Anthony Kotoun

Newport, RI, USA

I was born in Arkansas but quickly left to cruise to the Virgin Islands while being homeschooled for 3rd and 4th grade. This journey down a few rivers and across a few miles was a wonderful way to learn the coastal way of life. Once in the Virgin Islands, I started to pick up racing and windsurfing. I was given a long ‘scope’ as a kid, so it was fun and educational to be out in the world sailing around at my own will.

There was no such thing as too much sailing for me as a teenager, and I soon found my way to Newport, RI, and realized this was where I belonged. Of course, for the racing, but also because it’s geographically exciting with access to ocean and bay, rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches. As a massive fan of the ocean and exploring, you can never get bored here. In addition to big boat sailing, I’ve always had a side hobby. From kitesurfing to Moth sailing and the current hobby of fishing, I’m usually somehow on my way or coming back from the ocean or bay.

What inspired you to become an 11th Hour Racing ambassador?

The ocean is just so big and beautiful. You gaze out upon it and can study it for hours, just watching how it works and what it might throw at you next. Sailing on it provides a tremendous challenge. A clean ocean is similar to a slick ice rink for a skater or perfect powder for a skier. Once you start to respect it and enjoy it for the incredible, intricate, oxygen-producing, life-giving system that it is, you want to protect it.

Why are you passionate about ocean conservation?

It’s great to see sailors worldwide starting to embrace the sustainable way of life. Before, it was a few passionate people within teams; now, it’s the whole team. This great new way of looking at our actions and how they affect the ocean is becoming the norm.