Last Friday evening, hopeful Olympics-bound windsurfer Farrah Hall called upon her own to help ensure she gets to London for the 2012 Olympics.
This Annapolis-born athlete started to sail when she was 13-years-old, and her love of water took her past sailing and on to windsurfing. She fell in love with the sport while working at a windsurfing equipment rental shop in Martha's Vineyard. The college sophomore was hooked and started a windsurfing club at her school, St. Mary's. She had no idea at the time, but at that moment, her life was about to change.
The windsurfing club at St. Mary's began to receive national recognition, and the members were eventually visited by Olympic Medalist Mike Gebhardt. Farrah didn't know windsurfing was an Olympic sport until that moment, and after graduation, she began campaigning to make her Olympic dreams come true.
Farrah has a great deal of hometown support. Part of the Olympic campaign involves holding fundraisers and making presentations like this one held at the Cape Saint Claire clubhouse.
It's clear that local businesses have come together in a big way for Farrah; with donated silent auction items filling long tables along one side of the venue and everything from sailing shoes, athletic wear, and wine to a car detail at the local Jaguar dealership were up for bid. Chevy's and other restaurants donated gift certificates for the raffle as well.
After a spaghetti dinner for guests and supporters, Farrah began her presentation. She had a slideshow prepared that outlined how she got into the sport, a timetable of her achievements and maps of the locations of her Olympic windsurfing courses.
"Once I found out I had a sponsor, I basically dropped everything, hopped in a van and headed to Florida," she said.
Farrah shared anecdotes and history about the U.S. Sailing Team and talked about her involvement in youth windsurfing and helping others to learn basic skills. The interaction was friendly, light and informative, as the audience laughed while she made jokes and listened intently as she shared her goals.
"Olympic class windsurfing is the most challenging but most rewarding sport I've ever been involved in," she said.
To learn more about Farrah Hall or to donate to her campaign, please visit http://www.farrahhall.com.