Debbie Capozzi

2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Bio


Walter Cooper/ Us Sailing

Class: Yngling
Position: Crew
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics: 2003-2008
Member of: Sayville YC
Education: Bayport Bluepoint High School, Old Dominion University (graduated 2003)
Birthdate: July 9, 1981
Birthplace: Smithtown, N.Y.
Hometown: Bayport, N.Y.
Occupation: Full-time sailor

Significant sailing achievements: Winning the Yngling World Championship and the ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds in a single year (2005), Ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Sailing Team in the Yngling class (2005-2008)

Biography: For Yngling crew Capozzi, growing up on the shore of Long Island, N.Y., was all about being on the water. Capozzi and her family lived within walking distance to the yacht club, and that is where she spent her summers: sailing Optimists or Sunfish or Laser Radials from the water’s edge, and racing junior events on Great South Bay.


“How I grew up, that is a big part of where I am right now,” said Capozzi. “Without sailing lessons as a kid, I would not be doing what I am today.”

However, it wasn’t until college that Capozzi made what she calls “the leap.”

“At Old Dominion, I sailed every day,” she says. “I entered as a freshman and we had some very good upper classmen on the sailing team. We did so many starts, so many mark roundings: there were lessons to be learned every day.”


College is also where Capozzi met Sally Barkow, a fellow teammate at Old Dominion. They both raced against Carrie Howe on the intercollegiate circuit, and the trio teamed up together for a shot at an Olympic berth in 2003.
Capozzi enjoys both the positions of crew and helm. As an Yngling crew, the opportunity to look around the racecourse and gather information to feed to the helmsperson is what she finds most satisfying. She also makes a point to vary her perspective and get behind the helm for match-race events.

“It’s important to change roles every once in a while,” she says. “It’s a powerful thing to take yourself out of your comfort zone.”

Recent Results:
2008 4th Yngling Women’s World Championship/Miami, 6th US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR/Miami
2007 1st HRH Princess Sofia Trophy/Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1st US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR, 1st US SAILING’s Rolex Int’l Women’s Keelboat Championships (IWKC)/Houston, Texas (J/22s), 4th The Good Luck Beijing – 2007 Qingdao International Regatta/Qingdao, China