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Introducing Lakewood's Newest Sailing Coach
From Barcelona Spain, Bernat Gali Bou joins us as the newest member of the Lakewood Sailing Coach team.

Most recently from New Zealand, Bernat brings a vast world-class experience competing with lasers and optis. When an early knee injury interrupted his aspirations to become a soccer player, Bernat took up sailing as a pastime. It was a hobby he was never to abandon.

Even while he worked hard to contribute where he could at home and financially support his mom and brother, Bernat still found time to sail several days a week. "I pushed myself and found opportunities everywhere." He stuck to his training schedule. And that kind of drive paid off.

Competing as a teenager in the European Championship, Bernat finished 14th out of 250 sailors. He went on to win the Spanish Nationals twice, and has consistently placed in the top 20 for the European and World Championships.

When the time came for Bernat to expand his horizons beyond Spain, traveling became one of his favorite obsessions. "As a coach in Spain, my team travelled to Italy, France, and Australia. Then when I moved out, I got to explore Asia -- Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai. Coaching the Myanmar National Team, I got to travel a lot."

For Bernat, coaching youth sailors is more than just a job. It's a measure of his own personal ambition. "I teach kids how to sail. But I'm actually teaching them how to become a better person. They're in a sport that's all about sportsmanship. It's physical, it's technical, it's boat-handling, it's psychology. It's really a complete sport. Kids think a lot inside the boat. But they're still kids. They're growing as a person. And to have a great coach makes all the difference for them."

The sailors trained by Bernat enjoy not only the lasting impact of his mentorship, but also a loyalty to the sport of sailing that far outlasts the rigors of training. "The sailors I trained on lasers in Spain, they're in the top 5. I have four in the top 10. They still Facebook me about sailing in the Spanish Nationals and finishing third or whatever. I get comments from parents about how grateful they are for what I contributed. That's an important personal victory for me."

When Marek contacted Bernat, he was excited about coaching youth full-time at a strong program like Lakewood's. "Sailing programs are like a pyramid. You need a strong foundation to reach for the top. I like Marek because he's been in this business for a long time and is one of the most experienced coaches in the USODA. As a coach here at Lakewood, I'll learn so much from him. I am very happy to be here!"

As we round the corner of another new year, we wish all our sailing coaches here at Lakewood the very best for one more season of spectacular sailing, training, and racing in 2016!

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Anne Bechard 
Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm thrilled to be a part of Lakewood's marketing team! From an early age, I started showing signs of becoming an auspicious writing geek. Today, I'm a columnist for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Business Insider. I get excited about exploring new ideas, communicating in a creative way, and solving problems that stump me. It's especially thrilling that I get to do all this in a place that personifies one of my greatest loves -- nature and the outdoors. I'm looking forward to growing our digital marketing techniques and meeting your communications needs with excellence!

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