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Cayard Bows Out Of US Sailing

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  • Cayard Bows Out Of US Sailing

    February 24, 2023) – Paul Cayard (San Francisco, CA), who had been had been appointed by US Sailing in March 2021 as Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, today announced his resignation from the position. Here are his words to supporters of US Olympic Sailing:

    "Unfortunately, over the past couple of months, the US Sailing Association and I had a complete breakdown on several levels. The process of resolution was not good and ultimately unsuccessful. Despite my passion for our mission and my perseverance, I can no longer work with US Sailing.

    In 2020, I was told that trying to build a successful Olympic Team, within US Sailing, would be very challenging. Changing the processes, culture, and support for the Team is an extremely difficult task. We are just starting to make gains. Raising two or three times the amount of money ever raised in the USA, to support that goal, is also a difficult task. Starting and building an endowment so that future leaders will have something to rely on financially, is another tall order.

    Ultimately, the relationship with US Sailing proved to be one that I could not cope with. It pains me to admit that as I did sail around the world twice and generally feel pretty capable of dealing with adversity.

    I want to emphasize my gratitude for your support, trust and confidence in me. Know that we made significant progress in the movement to get the USA back to the top of the podium. I remain interested in our mission and supporting athletes. Maybe this will take a different form in time.

    It has been my honor and privilege to work with my staff and for all the great athletes of the USA who have so much potential. I wish them all the best!"


    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Paul Cayard has resigned as executive director of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, the latest upheaval for a once-dominant squad that has become an afterthought on the world stage.

    Cayard, one of America’s most successful sailors, said Saturday that he couldn’t work under a restructuring of the Olympic team’s management. He said he was told just minutes before a board of directors meeting that he would be asked to focus on fundraising while someone else ran the team.

    Cayard leaves less than 1? years before the Paris Olympics, with the American team mired in an unfathomable slump that started long before he took over in March 2021.

    This is the second time in less than two full Olympic cycles that a highly successful sailor has left the position. Cayard was hired in March 2021 to replace Australian Malcolm Page, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who was forced out after less than three years on the job.

    The United States has won just one medal in the last three Olympics — a bronze in 2016 — and has been overtaken by Britain on the all-time sailing medals table.

    “In March of 2021, I accepted the position as head of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, with the goal of getting Team USA back on the podium,” Cayard said in a statement Saturday to The Associated Press. “While this was my greatest challenge, I am very proud of my team and what we achieved to date.

    “Unfortunately, the current board of US Sailing recently restructured the Olympic Department, including my role as executive director. The new structure is not what I signed up for, nor something I am willing to be part of. I am not a quitter, but I do know when it is time to go. I am grateful to those who supported this mission with me. I wish our USA athletes great success and I always will be there for them.”

    Cayard said he raised $18 million since he was hired and was working to restructure the Olympic trials to reduce burdens on American sailors.

    In an email to the AP, US Sailing board president Richard Jepsen said Cayard “was offered the ability to continue to support the team by, among other things, providing valuable input into its direction and leading the important fundraising efforts. He declined, and we respect his decision.”
    Cayard replaced Page four months before the rescheduled Tokyo Games, when the United States failed to win a medal while watching the well-funded British team win five, including three golds, to surpass the Americans for the most in history, 64.

    Americans failed to medal in the 2012 London Games, their first whitewash since 1936. They avoided a second straight shutout in 2016 thanks to Caleb Paine, who won the bronze in the Finn class, but then were blanked again in Tokyo.

    The last American to win a sailing gold medal was Anna Tobias, who went by Anna Tunnicliffe when she won it in the 2008 Beijing Games.

    When he was hired, Cayard said a turnaround might not happen until the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

    However, the Americans do have a solid 2024 medals hopeful in 21-year-old Daniela Moroz of San Francisco, who has won six straight world kiteboarding titles and is a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year.
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