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Third Annual May 11th, 2013  
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Just Announced - Our Keynote Speaker for 2013




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Betsy Alison

the only female sailor currently represented in the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Currently residing in Newport, RI with her facility dog “Morrow”, Elizabeth “Betsy” Alison is the Paralympic Coach of the US SAILING Team Sperry TopSider.  Her primary focus is the development of national team athletes in the three Paralympic sailing events in preparation for the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and beyond.  US Paralympic sailors brought home Silver (SKUD 18) in London 2012 Games and Gold (SKUD 18) and Bronze (2.4mR) in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in China.  She served as a coach for both the 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Team athletes which brought home another 3 medals in those Games for the USA.  In 2007, she was joined on “staff” by Morrow II, a CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) assistance dog, to help with the health and well being of team members at training camps and competitions. 

Betsy is the only female sailor currently represented in the National Sailing Hall of Fame having been inducted in the 2011 inaugural class. She is a 5 time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, the only person male or female to have been honored that number of times.

Betsy has won World Championship and National titles in numerous sailing disciplines including Women’s Match Racing, Yngling and lightning classes, Adams Cup, Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship to name a few.  In November of 2005, she was honored by the Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Committee with a diploma in the career category for her ongoing contributions to the sport of sailing and its participants.  Betsy currently serves as a Vice President of IFDS (the International Association for Disabled Sailing and Chairs the IFDS Coaches Commission.  She also sits on the US Olympic Sailing Committee, the US Sailing Committee for Disabled Sailing, and US Disabled Sailing Championship Committee.

She received her BA at Jackson College of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.  Betsy has served on the National Training Faculty for US SAILING since 1990, and is a Master Trainer for the development of coaches and instructors for that organization.  She co-authored the current Level 2 training manual for coaches in training for US SAILING, and routinely contributes to other publications including the International Association for Disabled Sailing’s (IFDS) most recent edition of their “Sailing Manual.” She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Sports Council.   

Betsy works closely with Dr. Anne Allen of SailSportMed on many projects involving athletes with disabilities including safety studies, classification systems and accessibility issues. Along with Dr. Allen she co-authored a comprehensive sports medicine paper on “Sport Safety in Sailing” which was based on direct results of study done at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.  It was presented to the International Paralympic Committee in March of 2005 and was utilized by organizers of both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games in the development of their sailing facilities.  

Elizabeth Mary “Betsy” Alison
Paralympic Coach, US SAILING Team Sperry TopSider
40 Elm Street
Newport, RI  02840