Call for Proposals

600 influential decision makers from all levels of Yacht Clubs, Sail Training Programs, and Class/Fleet Leaders from across the country are gathering in Coronado, CA for three days in February 2025.

Do YOU have something to say? Here is your chance.

Presenting at SLF

Sailing Leadership Forum is only made possible by leaders inside and outside our sport donating their time and talent to educate the sailing community. Sessions include both professional education and personal development. Presenters have vast experience which the sailing community can learn from.

Education Tracks

These are our preliminary tracks for 2025: 

  • Business Development and Leadership – Business operations including budget management, operations, logistics, fundraising, sponsorship, marketing & communications and strategic planning. Understanding leadership, culture, employee happiness, and volunteer management
  • Innovation, Sustainability and Technology – Exploring creative programming, innovative competitive event formats and cutting-edge sailing technology. Designing events and programs that go beyond low impact to positive impact, innovations in sustainability
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility – Creating inclusive accessible programs, events and workplaces
  • Trends, Participation and Growth – Looking to the future to develop programming and events which grow participation.
  • Safety On and Off the Water – Comprehensive emergency action and crisis communication plans, lessons learned from recent incidents, Safe Sport guidance, accident proofing your organization and running safe regattas.
  • Advancements in Race Management – Understanding the Racing Rules, event formats that encourage participation, keeping it simple and fun, grow your race committee volunteer base
  • Well-being and Personal Growth – Prioritizing mental health and emotional intelligence
  • Facilitated Networking - Facilitated hour of networking with like-minded attendees. Use this as an opportunity to share best practices and learn from others who serve a similar role in the sport. All networking group requests will be considered.
  • Regattas and Racing - From registration to awards, best practices for creating, running and growing your regattas and racing programs.
  • Program Development - Development, enhancement, support and growth of sailing programs.

Target Audience

Program Directors
Offshore Sailors
Race Officials
Yacht Club Management
Organization Leaders
One-Design Sailors
Yacht Club Leadership
Class/Fleet Leaders

Session formats

Most sessions take place in breakout rooms. Additional format options described below.

Capacity: 100 people
Length of session: 60 minutes
Learning format: Full presentation using provided PowerPoint template.
Set up: Theater or Rounds (room dependent)
AV: There will be a provided laptop available and full audio-visual equipment provided including screen, projector, computer audio and microphone

Capacity: 100 people
Length of session: 60 minutes
Learning format: Peer to peer discussion
Set up: Theater or Rounds (room dependent)
AV: Only a moderator microphone will be provided for these sessions as the intention is group discussion rather than presentation.

Ways to Pitch a Session

Propose a Session
Want to present at SLF 2025 and have a topic that you think is perfect? Submit a session proposal! Proposals don't require you to present a fully developed session. Instead, we'll ask a few brief questions designed to capture the importance of the issue and the solutions offered. Have an idea outside of the preliminary tracks? We want to hear about it! Submit a proposal and we will consider your session.

Propose a Topic: Share an Idea or Topic Area You Want to See at SLF 2025
We want to hear the big ideas of our attendees! If you have a topic or idea you want us to explore at SLF 2025 share it with us without needing to prep a full session proposal.

Pitch a Speaker
Know a great speaker or subject matter expert? Share the contact with us! Refer someone you want us to consider for a SLF 2025 speaker.

Speaker Guidelines

Session content
All sessions must be educational in nature and not feature overt marketing or direct selling for a single company or product, although mentions of products and services are acceptable to illustrate learning points. All submissions are reviewed on the merits of the content and chosen with relevance to the program. In short, sales pitches are not allowed!

Presentation slides
An official US Sailing/Sailing Leadership Forum PowerPoint template for speaker presentations will be provided, please prepare your presentation slides on provided template. Please bring completed presentation to the show on a USB. Note: sessions are not recorded unless otherwise noted.

US Sailing doesn’t typically compensate speakers for travel or accommodation expenses or pay speaker fees. We view speaking opportunities at Sailing Leadership Forum as mutually beneficial, an opportunity to present yourself and your ideas to an influential and engaged audience together with a chance to leverage the opportunity for yourself or your organization and give back to the sport with your time and talent.

If accepted as a presenter do I have to register?
Yes, ALL session moderators and speakers must register and pay the conference registration fee. A deeply discounted presenter registration rate will be offered.

Important Dates

  • Topic suggestions, and speaker referrals deadline: September 1, 2024*
  • Proposals reviewed: Ongoing through September 15, 2024
  • Notification of session acceptance and delivery format: October 1, 2024
  • Approved sessions - final descriptions, speaker bios & headshots: November 1, 2022

*Topics will be reviewed and confirmed as submissions are received. Schedule may fill before Sept. 1 deadline!

Additional FAQs

US Sailing is looking for a wide array of topics that are innovative, engaging, inspiring, and informative for the leadership of sailing from around the country. The Forum’s goal is to offer relevant, timely education and training to help attendees do their jobs more effectively and make their organizations/programs more successful. First-hand perspectives provide insight. Proposals should address contemporary or emerging issues confronting the sailing industry and the leaders of sailing organizations across the country. Ideas for 2025 including some popular past topics include:

  • Youth Sailors: Ask Them What They Want
  • Women in Sailing Leadership
  • 10 Ways to Optimize Fundraising and Secure More Funding
  • Equip Staff to Foster Achievement and Support Failure
  • Summer Operating Systems: Getting Ready for Summer Programs
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Prepare and Respond to On-Water Crisis
  • Taking the Next Step: Beyond Recycling & Reusable Water Bottles
  • Creating a Player-Centered Youth Environment
  • Busting myths about what motivates employees - it’s not pay and pizza parties
  • Boards of Directors - keeping board members in their lanes; ensuring they are reassured enough to remain there
  • Sales techniques - how selling sailing is different than selling TVs
  • Management Accounting - financial forensics for determining products with the largest contributions to the bottom line

A Session or Speaker Idea Submission must be completed to be considered for SLF 2025. Information required on the submission includes:

  • Title of Presentation
  • Presentation Description
  • Learning Objectives & Takeaways
  • Methodology
  • Track/Topic/Audience
  • *Speaker Information Required: Name, Organization, Title, Bio and Email

Yes! Please be sure to complete the form for each topic proposed.

Online submission of proposals is required. Email submissions will not be accepted or reviewed.

Review Process

The Sailing Leadership Planning Committee will select proposals based on:

  • Extent to which the proposal targets and is relevant to SLF attendees
  • Experience/expertise of presenters/speakers
  • Definition and focus of the topic
  • Timeliness and importance of topic
  • Overall presentation quality
  • Level of interactive and dynamic components offered in the presentation
  • Reflection of the diversity of the audience including organization, geography, gender, experience, etc
  • Encourage active learning (indicate in the proposal what active learning strategies you will use to engage the audience in the session instead of having them passively listen to information)
  • Demonstrate innovative thinking
  • Present ideas, best practices, and/or relevant knowledge to assist attendees in their leadership roles within their organizations
  • Present strategies for effective implementation of gained knowledge
  • Include presenters who have significant expertise in the topic area and can effectively communicate in front of large groups

A team of US Sailing staff and volunteers evaluate the submissions based upon quality and criteria noted above. The team works to ensure the entire program is well-balanced.

Speaking at SLF 2025

Breakout sessions take place each day, Thursday – Saturday (February 6-8) of SLF 2025. Breakouts begin as early as 8:30 a.m. and run throughout the day, ending as late as 5:00 p.m.

Submission of a proposal is a commitment that the speakers will be available to speak on any conference day and time as assigned by US Sailing staff. SLF has limited options to accommodate speaker conflicts.

Most breakouts are 60 minutes long.

All breakout rooms will be set theater style to maximize seating. A podium and head seating for four (4) is standard in each room for presenters. Additionally, the following AV equipment will be set in each room:

  • (1) computer at the podium
  • Audio connection from computer (to play DVD/video)
  • (1) wireless presentation mouse
  • (1) podium microphone
  • (1) handheld microphone for panelists
  • (1) screen
  • (1) LCD projector

Any additional requests will be considered at the discretion of the US Sailing Events Department and the availability of such resources.

SLF attendees invest a considerable amount of time and expense to attend the Forum. For these reasons, US Sailing works hard to ensure each and every session at the Forum realizes its full potential. Our members expect:

  • Presenters will prepare for their session prior to arrival.
  • Presenters have a significant knowledge and expertise of the subject area, and have sufficient presentation skills to effectively communicate.
  • Presenters will engage the audience. The greatest success you can have is to inspire your audience so they come out of the presentation buzzing with thoughts and ideas. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Engage your audience as quickly as possible.
  • Presenters will not engage in commercial presentations of their organization.
  • Presenters will be conscious of the time limitation of their presentation.
  • Presenters will not simply read directly from written statements.
  • Presenters understand that materials provided for SLF 2025 become the property of US Sailing (for placement on,, or use in other educational activities of the association).

If you do not see your question answered above, please contact