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Opti Spotlight: Spencer Gerber

May 8, 2017

Ten-year-old Spencer Gerber has been sailing since before he can remember. A third-generation sailor living in Traverse City, Michigan, his dad and older brother are helping him become a better sailor as he sets his sights on a top regatta finish later this year. 

When did you start sailing? Why?
I started sailing when I was around 2-years-old because my whole family sailed.

What's your favorite thing about sailing?
Racing and starting. I really like starting. It’s lots of fun in a big fleet.

What's the funniest thing that's happened while you were sailing?
Once there was a blue bubble underwater, so I reached into the water to touch it. I then realized it was a jellyfish and I screamed really loud.

If you could sail anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Newport, Rhode Island. My dad sailed there and said it was cool. (Specifically, dad mentioned that it was a very scenic place where they could sail inside the bay or out in the ocean.)

What was the scariest thing that's happened while you were sailing?
The scariest thing was when I capsized my boat and my foot was tangled in a line. My coach came to me really fast in a powerboat.

What are your sailing goals?
I want to place in the top ten in the 2017 Orange Bowl Regatta in the Opti class.

What advice do you have for other new sailors?
Sail the route that you think is better.

Who coaches you? What’s the best sailing advice they’ve given you?
My dad and my older brother coach me. They taught me to set proper goals and to manage expectations.

Which sail do you use? Why did you pick that one?
I use a Quantum Opti sail, like my brother. It was brand new, and it fit my age, weight, and ability level.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know yet.

Other than sailing, what other activities do you like to do?
I play lacrosse, football, and basketball. I like team sports, and I like being physical.

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