ABOUT RESILIENCE RACING
LEADERSHIP TEAM & ADVISORS
Resilience Racing was founded to support cancer survivors in their recovery and offer an experience in teamwork and participation in competitive sailing. Research has shown that outdoor sports and adventure activities promote recovery and healing for cancer survivors and may improve physical and mental wellness. Outdoor activities, being part of a team sport, and competitive sailing have each been demonstrated to be effective tools in recovery for individuals who have undergone traumatic experiences. While charitable competitive sailing programs exist around the world to support recovery for groups such as veterans with PTSD, Resilience Racing is the first competitive sailing program specifically for cancer survivors. Resilience Racing is a 501(c)3 charitable and tax exempt organization.
The founder of Resilience Racing, Jennifer Hinkel, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1998 at the age of 17 and achieved a full remission after treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. Jennifer realized that while the cancer was gone, the physical and emotional effects of cancer and cancer treatment were not going to be instantly resolved. Dealing with cancer is not only a physically exhausting experience, but it is also traumatic, emotionally exhausting, and extremely disruptive to an individual's life - from daily activities to long-term plans.
After that experience, Jennifer sought both ways to give back to other cancer patients and survivors and to find peace and healing related to her own experience. One of the first things her family did after the completion of chemotherapy was to take a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. While this wasn't her first time sailing, it was a transformational experience to be on the ocean and feel the synchronicity of wind, water, and sails.
WHY COMPETITIVE SAILING? OUR FOUNDER'S STORY
"When a person goes through cancer, that person experiences a rift between the physical body and the spirit. Cancer is, both metaphorically and literally from a scientific standpoint, a betrayal of one's own body. While the hopeful spirit can sustain the body through grueling treatment and recovery, often the spirit is then left exhausted and the person is left an emotional wreck. I struggled with coming to terms with this experience, with anxiety over whether the cancer would come back, and with an enormous fear that, much like my cancer diagnosis, another unexpected disaster could be just around the corner.
Sailing is an amazing sport, and so much more than a sport at the same time. People talk about being out in the middle of the ocean and feeling a unique sense of calm and oneness with nature. The moment when the sails are raised and the engine is turned off, when you're propelled across the waves only by the silent wind, is pure magic, and it sweeps up your soul and your sense of being.
Racing is physical and mental, and requires an intense amount of focus and concentration. When I am racing, that experience squeezes out any sense of fear or anxiety, and I feel strong and at peace. This experience, more than anything else, has aided in the recovery of my mental and emotional health after cancer. The physical fitness and endurance it requires has also helped me become stronger and healthier. Sailing is also incredibly fun, and the camraderie of a racing crew has given me some of my closest friends and confidantes. Racing is an experience that I want to share with everyone else who has been through cancer, in the hope that it might impact and inspire them in the same ways it has done for me."
- Jennifer Hinkel, Founder