Monday Morning Keynote Speaker: Ralf Steitz, President, USMMA Sailing Foundation [updated]

Ralf Steitz, President, USMMA Sailing Foundation

Ralf Steitz, President of the USMMA Sailing Foundation

Born in Hegoland, a small island in the North Sea off the coast of Germany, Ralf Steitz has over 40 years of combined sailing and boating experience.   He is an active and well known personality throughout the sailing world, having participated in such events as the America’s Cup, Transatlantic/Transpacific ocean races, Maxi worlds, and the Farr 40 World championships.

Ralf brings the same passion that made him a great sailor to the teaching and training of people of all ages about sailing and seamanship.  He is active as a member of the Safety at Sea Committee for the Storm Trysail Club in Larchmont, as well as a member of US Sailing and the Storm Trysail Club. Ralf has been the recipient of numerous awards for his efforts to promote the sport of sailing including the OWEN C. TORREY award for outstanding service, and the Timothy A LARR award for his lifelong contribution towards the advancement of sailor education, training, and safety.  He served for 15 years as the Director of Offshore Sailing at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and since 2007 has been the President of the USMMA Sailing Foundation, a not for profit organization whose mission is to provide operational and financial support for on water programming above and beyond that which is covered by Federal funding.

In 2011, upon hearing that a German youth team was entering the Trans-Atlantic Race, he created the All American Offshore Team to field an entry made up of sailors from across the United States.   Instead of simply bringing together an under thirty crew,  he helped them to create their own self run racing program which sailed Vanquish a Storm Trysail 65 first across the Atlantic and then in the Fastnet Race.

When not managing Grand Prix campaigns aboard the Foundations fleet of performance racing yachts, Ralf can be found exploring the canals of Treasure Island, Fl where he lives with his wife Jamie.


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