If Hallie Schiffman could sail seven days a week, she would. The 11-year-old’s father, Mark, works at Sarasota Sailing Squadron as the maintenance technician, and she has grown up around boats. In summer 2010, she learned to sail at a Sarasota Sailing Squadron camp, and she loved it so much she joined the Green Fleet program that taught her the basics of optimist racing and tactics.
In her first year of sailing, she traveled around the state competing in regattas, in which she consistently placed in the top 10. Now, she’s in the Blue Fleet and is preparing for the USODA trials in St. Petersburg for the Valentine’s Day Regatta. If she makes the cut, she will go to Rhode Island for team trials.
What got you into sailing?
I took a summer camp, and I just really loved it. It was a two-week camp. I’ve been sailing ever since, and that was September 2010.
What’s your favorite thing about the sport?
The friends (I’ve made) and the competition. It’s difficult, and when you win, you just feel really good.
What’s the hardest part about sailing?
When it’s really windy, it takes a lot of strength. In the morning we go out for an hour of exercise: sit-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, running and monkey bars.
If you could sail with anyone in the entire world, who would it be?
Jessica Watson. She’s the youngest person at the age of 16 to circumnavigate the world.
If you could skip a day of school to do anything, what would you do?
I’d go surfing in Queensland, Australia. I want to learn how (to surf).
If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
Wind power so I could blow it on my sail to make it go faster.
What is the breakfast of champions?
A Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich if I have a race.