Sailor Spotlight: Juan Mazzini
For those who don't know Juan, he is the Opti Race Team Coach at Toms River Yacht Club. Juan hails from Argentina, but he has spent many years living in other countries and working with sailors in many different boats. He is energetic, sociable, and a really nice guy. Juan is passionate about the sport, and he works very hard with his sailors each day. Currently, Juan is working with a very young group of up-and-coming Opti sailors at TRYC, and his experience and focus will set these sailors up for successful sailing careers!
Name: Juan Ignacio Mazzini
School Attended: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Yacht Club: Club de Veleros Barlovento (Argentina)
1) Juan, give me a brief history of your sailing career. Where are you from? How did you get into sailing? What boats have you sailed? I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since I can remember I've been on boats. My dad has a sailboat, and I got into an opti program at my yacht club when I was eight. I've sailed Optis, Cadets, 420s, Lasers, Sunfish and big boats.
2) You are the Opti Race team coach at Toms River Yacht Club. How is this summer going so far? What were your expectations before the summer and how are the kids doing? The summer is going great. We have a very young -- but talented -- group of kids. Before I arrived it was hard for me to set expectations because I didn't know the level group or the venue. But so far everything is exceeding my expectations. The kids are learning and getting better everyday, and we've placed in all the regattas so far. The yacht club has been very supportive and everything is running smoothly. I'm enjoying my time here!
3) Where did you coach before Toms River YC? What makes it appealing to coach in the United States? I started coaching in Argentina for my sailing club. Then I moved to Belize, where I coached the Laser and Opti National team. After that I coached for 2 seasons for the North East River Yacht Club in Maryland. Right now I'm going back and forth between the USA (Chicago Yacht Club, Toms River YC) and Myanmar, where I coach the Optimist National team.
4) As a coach, what do you look for in your sailors? If you could give your sailors some advice to make them better in the long term, what would that advice be? I really like to have sailors who have passion, who work hard and who are respectfully. As a piece of advise, I always try to tell them my sailors not to get lost in the results. If you train hard and really focus on your goals then the results will come.
5) What's your plan after the summer? Will you continue to coach or will you be able to sail yourself at all? After the summer, I will be taking a couple of weeks off to travel and sail around Europe. At the end of September I have to be back coaching in Myanmar so I will head over there.