Kayla Ellis
Kayla Ellis
Year: 2016
Hometown: Long Beach Township, NJ
High School: Southern Regional High School
Position: Skipper

2015-2016: 1st at Stu Nelson

2014-2015: 3rd at Women’s Eastern Semi-Finals... 5th at Thompson Trophy... 6th at Dellenbaugh Women’s Trophy... 3rd at Vietor Trophy... 5th at 76th Annual Oberg Trophy... 1st at Toni Deutsch 

Major: Marine and Environmental Science (MES)

Why did you choose to come to the Coast Guard Academy? I chose to attend the Coast Guard Academy because I want to serve my country as well as get a good education. I also really loved the sailing team and wanted to be a member of such an awesome team.

How long have you been sailing? How did you start sailing? I have been sailing since I was 8 years old. My parents sailed together when they were in high school and naturally wanted sailing to be a big part of my life. I began sailing the Opti and made it up to the national team, then began sailing the C420, Lightning, and Laser 4.7, which I sailed nationally and internationally, around age 13. I have also sailed the J22 and Sunfish competitively.

What is your favorite thing about the sailing team at Coast Guard? The thing I love the most about the sailing team at CGA is all the fun we have. We are extremely competitive, but we all try to have a little fun. It is great to have an escape from the rigorous life of the academy and be able to do something that I love - sail.

What other activities/positions/clubs are you involved with on campus? I am a member of the Cadet Blog club. I have a blog on the academy's website that I contribute to about once a month.

What is the sailing achievement that you are most proud of? The sailing achievement I am most proud of in the laser is attending laser 4.7 youth worlds in Thailand. While I may not have done as well as I had hoped, I learned the most about sailing as well as myself. I was definitely the smallest sailor there but I learned how power down and sail through the huge waves there. It was here that I learned to try my hardest and to never give up, even if you had a tough day. It was an awesome experience.

What are your future sailing plans and career goals after graduation? In the future, I hope to continue sailing competitively. I would like to continue sailing the laser and lightning as well as race some larger boats. Upon graduating from the academy, I might want to become a maritime lawyer, but I haven’t decided yet. I know that whatever I choose, I will be happy with my decision. My only goal is to one day be able to say that I have helped change someone's life.

Tell us something that your teammates would be surprised to know about you. Something that my teammates would be surprised to know about me is that I love inspirational quotes. My favorite is "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain