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/ABOUT MYSELF/

I was born in Annapolis, Maryland, which is known as the “Sailing Capital of the World.” I started sailing small sailboats off and on around age 13, picking up basic skills from friends and figuring everything else out by trial and error. I wasn't competitive in boat sailing during this time, but I was an athletic kid who was involved in soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and swam for the Naval Academy Junior Swim Club. I attended Broadneck High School and was heavily involved with the running team. I was on the varsity cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams. When I was 16 I became involved with triathlon and participated in various local Olympic-distance events around Maryland. I graduated high school in 1999 and continued with triathlon through college, and ran marathons as well. I also took a break from running during college and swam distance freestyle events with the varsity swim team.

I attended college at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, which is a school well-known for its excellent sailing program. During this time, I began to shift focus from my many other sports to windsurfing. I spent the summers of 1999 and 2000 working for Wind's Up, a windsurfing rental shop on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and immediately fell in love with windsurfing. I didn't have any formal instruction and for a few years was cruising around the St. Mary’s River on a really old longboard. During my sophomore year of college, I started a windsurfing club so I could share my love of the sport with other students. The St. Mary’s College Windsurfing Club started with three members and a bunch of old equipment from the 1980s that were donated to us through our begging at a local windsurf swap meet. The very first members of our club all learned how to tie a boom to a mast!

Vital Stats
Height: 1.7 m
Weight: 61 kg
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

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We continued fund-raising for the club and bought modern gear including Sailworks sails, masts, and wide-style beginner boards. We also had a shed donated to us from Alan’s Factory Outlet. We organized events including fun regattas, annual trips to Cape Hatteras and the Florida Keys, and weekly learn-to-windsurf sessions. Annually we also held a community learn-to-windsurf session and taught windsurfing basics to about 70 students in one day! In 2002, the SMC Windsurfing Club won the “Best New Club” award from the Student Government Association. The club is still active with about 15 members and generates a lot of attention across campus. They are now located in a brand-new waterfront facility. Windsurfing is once again being offered as a credited class for the first time in 25 years.

During my junior year at St. Mary’s, the windsurfing club and sailing team were visited by Mike Gebhardt, a famous windsurfer and two-time Olympic medalist. During his visit, I learned that windsurfing was an Olympic sport and that I had the potential to take myself to a whole new level through racing. That summer, I began racing locally on an old Mistral Olympic-class sailboard that I bought at a local swap meet. However, being a too-sensible kid and biology major in addition, I didn’t start thinking about an Olympic campaign until after I graduated college in 2003 and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. I started my Olympic campaign in May, 2005 when ISAF switched the Olympic class from Mistral to the NeilPryde RS:X.

Olympic class windsurfing is the most challenging but rewarding sport that I have ever been involved in. It requires bringing together three major elements: equipment-specific sailing technique, racecourse management and tactical sailing, and IronMan-level physical fitness. I am grateful for my ability to rise to elite levels of competition, mental strength, and physical fitness. I am also grateful to be able to the travel around the world and represent the United States on an international level of competition. As an athlete, this has been my lifelong dream.

Besides windsurfing, what are my other interests? My long-term career focus is obtaining my Ph.D. and being a professor of ecology at a small college. Currently I work part-time at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St Petersburg, FL doing sea grass field work, lab work, and data analysis. I’m also obsessed with bird watching and enjoy identifying trees, plants, algae, and invertebrates. I have played the violin since I was three and casually play guitar. Books and knowledge are very important to me and I can be found with my nose stuck in a book during my infrequent spare time. I carry a small library with me in my minivan, which is my major luxury in this life on the road.

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality;
and then there are those who turn one into the other.
-- Douglas H. Everett

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Farrah Hall
Farrah Hall
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