Jesse Fielding Assumes Leadership of Navy’s Offshore Sailing Program

ANNAPOLIS, Md — Jesse Fielding, an experienced offshore sailor with almost 20 years of professional racing background, has been appointed as the upcoming head coach for offshore sailing at the U.S. Naval Academy.


Fielding, who holds the position of founder, CEO and skipper at Open Ocean USA, boasts a comprehensive track record in offshore and inshore sailing. His journey includes being a part of the Morning Light crew, featured in a Disney documentary, and more recently, serving as the co-skipper and general manager of the State Street Marathon Sailing team.


“First, our collective and sincere gratitude to Jahn Tihansky for 18 years of incredible leadership and success as our offshore sailing coach at Navy,” said Chet Gladchuk, director of athletics in a statement released by “The Navy Sailing community extends our best wishes as he launches into calm waters and a well-earned retirement from competitive coaching.


“We now welcome a new leader for our Midshipmen who brings a documented resume of regional, national and international acclaim. Jesse Fielding has experienced the widest array of challenges brought forth by the sea. He has achieved success at every level of offshore sailing and his reputation in racing circles is phenomenal.


“I am extremely confident our Midshipmen will be highly motivated to train and compete with Jesse. The decision to bring him aboard complements our ongoing ambitions to be the best collegiate offshore sailing program in the nation.”


Securing triple crown honors at the Transatlantic Race 2015, Fielding has achieved podium placements or victories at esteemed professional events, including the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Transpacific Race, the Newport Bermuda Race and the Palermo Montecarlo regatta.


“I am very excited to lead the Navy offshore sailing team and I want to thank Mr. Gladchuk for the opportunity to guide the program,” said Fielding in the statement. “Navy and college sailing are synonymous with each other, and this is a program that has had outstanding success through the decades while helping develop some of the best and brightest our country has to offer.


“I look forward to using my wide range of experiences as we aim at continuing the long tradition of success within the program.”


Brad Rodi, a trustee of the Naval Academy Sailing Foundation and member of the Fales Committee, regards this as a significant recruitment and enhancement to both the Naval Academy and the leadership of its sailing program.


“He brings with him world-class offshore racing and management success, which will help elevate the team to greater heights,” said Rodi in the statement. “Jesse’s extensive at-sea experience will continue to greatly reinforce Navy Sailing’s primary goal in the development of naval officers through experiential leadership and readiness for the Fleet.”


Fielding’s journey in elite sailing commenced when he was chosen to join the Morning Light program, which assembled the youngest crew by average age to compete in the 2007 Transpac. Chronicled in a film executive produced by Roy E. Disney, this documentary showcased the team’s six months of intensive training leading up to the week-long Los Angeles to Honolulu race. Returning to the Transpac in 2009, Fielding sailed with another Disney-backed crew aboard Pyewacket.


Transitioning to the Oakcliff All-American offshore team alongside fellow Morning Light alumni, Fielding competed in the Transatlantic Race 2011, securing second place, followed by another notable achievement with a second-place finish in class (third overall) in the Rolex Fastnet Race the same year.


Fielding’s successes continued, with highlights including a triumphant campaign aboard Lucky in the Transatlantic Race 2015, clinching line honors and first place in class and overall. He further demonstrated his prowess with notable placements in prestigious events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race.

In addition to his offshore achievements, Fielding has excelled in inshore racing, contributing to victories in world championships and prestigious regattas.


Notably, Fielding partnered with two-time Olympian Francesca Clapcich during his tenure with State Street Marathon Sailing, pioneering the proposed mixed doubles offshore discipline as they pursued the 2024 Paris Olympics, making history as the first American team to complete the La Solitaire du Figaro.


Fielding’s sailing journey also includes his collegiate sailing career at the University of Rhode Island, where he led the Rams to victory in the 2008 Kennedy Cup, securing the big-boat national championship. He continued to excel on the international stage, representing URI at the Student Yachting World Cup in Marseilles, France, achieving a third-place finish.


Hailing from Wickford, R.I., Fielding graduated from the URI in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He holds certifications and licenses, including Yachtmaster Ocean and Maritime Radio Operator (Short-Range) credentials from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Royal Yachting Association, as well as a U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton.


For more information, please visit

Share This:


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *