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Sailing Story: Frankie Oliveri

a person wearing sunglasses and holding a signIf there is one thing you need to know about Frankie Olivieri to understand his sailing story– it’s that he isn’t the type of person to sit around and wait for things to happen. Frankie is a true go-getter.

This quality of Frankie’s is evident from the very start of his sailing story. His decision to become a sailor was made mere minutes into his first steps on a sailboat. 

“Six minutes after the engines went off [my friend’s boat], I had already called and bought a 22 Capri— sight unseen,” he said. “And that’s the start of my sailing story.”

Before the ink had even dried on his sailboat purchase, Frankie was already learning everything there was to know about sailing. 

“I’m an insatiable reader. I read every book possible,” he explained. “That winter I read close to 30 books on sailing.”

As the weather warmed, Frankie began looking for ASA courses along the Delaware River to put his knowledge to the test. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long after taking ASA 101 that Frankie began solo sailing. 

“I had literally only been on my friend’s sailboat for an hour and then on the Delaware River for 3 hours,” Frankie explained. “[Then] I went 570 nautical miles solo sailing and I couldn’t get enough of it.”

While Frankie’s whirlwind journey into sailing continued at breakneck speed, he was careful not to become too reckless.

“You need to have a sense of calmness and understanding to know what you are getting into,” Frankie explained. “I have the utmost respect for the sea. If you lose control for just a moment, the boat can sail away without you.”

However, Frankie’s ambitious goals as a novice sailor did raise some eyebrows. When he decided to call a sailing company in the British Virgin Islands to ask about doing a crossing, he was met with an incredulous voice at the other end of the line, “Well maybe you want to start off with something a little easier?”

The instructor recommended Frankie take a few more lessons with Captain Genevieve, the owner of Go Sail Virgin Islands. 

“So I booked a trip with Genevieve,” he said. “Ever since then it’s been magical!”

Frankie continues to sail regularly and has gotten his wife interested in the sport as well. In January, they plan on celebrating his 60th birthday with a sailing trip out of Tortola with Captain Genevieve.

While Frankie is excited for a relaxed 60th birthday cruise, he also has much bigger plans cooking too.

“At one point I wanted to circumnavigate the world… but at 60 years old that might be a bit ambitious,” he said hesitantly— before remarking excitedly: “But frankly, I’m 60, how much more time do I have to truly enjoy myself like that?!”