No stranger to high-pressure situations, just 90 minutes before race time today Jeff Causey swapped his shore manager hard hat for a sailing helmet and calmly stepped into the cockpit of the supercharged F50 to take over for Riley Gibbs as U.S. SailGP Team’s wing trimmer for the first day of New York SailGP.
Gibbs suffered a minor back injury while helping to dock the boat earlier today and has been scratched from the New York SailGP event.
Back in 2013, Causey saved the day for ORACLE TEAM USA in the America’s Cup when just minutes before the start of the critical tie-breaking final race, 30 feet up the mast he completed a crucial wingsail structural repair, allowing them to race and complete one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
A veteran professional sailor, Causey is the U.S. SailGP Team shore manager. He joined ORACLE TEAM USA in 2010 as a rigger working on the AC72 and continued into the 2017 campaign as a rigging manager.
Originally from Olympia, Wash., he captained the Portland State Sailing Team and has been a member of many successful professional sailing campaigns in TP52s, Melges 24s and 18-foot skiffs. In 2018, he rejoined with ORACLE TEAM USA teammate Rome Kirby as one of the first members of the new United States SailGP Team.
“Jeff was one of the first calls I made when the call from Russell came in to build a team,” said Kirby. “I trust him completely.”
Trust is critical between the helmsman and wing trimmer as the two positions must always be in sync, especially for today’s short-course racing in the very shifty and puffy wind conditions.
“Jeff knows how this wingsail works better than anyone at SailGP; he’ll do a great job on board today,” said Kirby.