Louisa Chafee is a lifelong Rhode Islander with a fierce love for her little state. She began sailing at a fairly young age simply because her cousins were sailing, and for a few summers she sailed opti’s out of Saunderstown Yacht Club. Even though she enjoyed sailing, she hated the boat. Following a particularly painful sunburn, Louisa finally convinced her mother to let her quit sailing.
After departing the sailing world, Louisa used her summers to pursue other interests. She acted in various plays, backpacked through the Sierra Nevada’s and the Swiss Alps, and traveled to China on a study abroad program. As senior year of high school wound to a close, Louisa realized she had nothing planned for the first summer of her year off before she entered Brown University. Her mother suggested she give sailing another try, and after initial rejection and hesitation, Louisa decided to try competitive sailing once more. She began crewing in a Club 420 for various skippers at her yacht club, and in about two months, she was close to being considered one of the top crews in the fleet. At the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association Race Week, Louisa and her skipper placed 3rd overall, and it was here that Louisa first met John Mollicone, the coach of Brown Sailing. He suggested she try college sailing.
After her year off of non-sailing activities, Louisa entered Brown in the fall of 2010 and began the arduous process of balancing rigorous academics with the demands of the sailing team. Her sophomore year she began sailing in A-division and competing at varsity events every weekend. Thrown in the fire, Louisa worked extremely hard every day to prove herself worthy of sailing in the top position. At the end of the year, her hard work paid off when she was selected for the All-NEISA First Team Crews. Furthermore, Brown qualified for all three Nationals that year: Women’s Fleet Racing Nationals, Team Racing Nationals, and Coed Fleet Racing Nationals, and when John asked her if she’d be willing to sail all three, she gladly accepted. At the Awards Banquet following the conclusion of Coed Nationals, Louisa was named an All-American Crew, an honor rarely given to sophomores.
Louisa’s junior year of college sailing consisted of some of her top results. Sailing once more in A-division, she and her skipper placed in the top 5 at almost every regatta they sailed in, and won both the New England Fleet Race Championship and the New England Team Race Championship. As the result of such an incredible year, Louisa was once more selected for the All-NEISA First Team, and was a Finalist for the Babineau Trophy, given to the NEISA Crew of the Year. She also competed in all three Nationals, helping Brown finish third at Team Race Nationals and fourth at Coed Nationals, earning her a spot on the All-American team once more.
Senior year of college, Louisa began sailing with a new skipper in A-division following the graduation of her previous skipper. While there were a few growing pains, the pair persevered and focused their energy on achieving the top result possible every weekend. When the All-American team was declared a week after the conclusion of Coed Nationals, Louisa’s name was announced, making her a three time All-American Crew. Such a feat is seldom accomplished by college crews. She also finished her academic career feeling extremely satisfied, graduating with honors in Folklore and Mythology after writing a thesis on dragons.
Louisa is known for accomplishing anything she sets her mind to, and has proven that she can achieve top results in minimal time. She plans on utilizing these assets in her Olympic campaign to bring home a gold medal for the state she loves.