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from ASC to the America's Cup

One beautiful summer day back in 1993, the dad of “Little Gehres” Paschal scurried around the Augusta Sailing Club frantically trying to locate her. Several hours before, she had properly told dad that she was “Going Out”. Jim Paschal had proudly watched the results of ASC’s Junior Sailing Program as she “tacked out” onto the big water of J. Strom Thurmond lake, the orange sail becoming fainter as she rounded Lake Springs Point. That little Sunfish vanished toward what is now, 20 years later, her training in support of The America’s Cup in San Francisco. 

That eventful day in ’93 was the beginning sign that the independence which sailing instills- the quest for adventure, challenges, and daring which has been the mantle of sailors for thousands of years- had taken hold on “Little Gehres”. Taken her from Lakeside High, The University of Georgia (where in 2005 she was featured as “An Amazing Student” in the student paper-The Red and Black), and The Medical College of Georgia, to the mountains of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru, where she was helping to provide medical care where there was none. Dad Jim recalls a photo of her riding a donkey as she transported medicines and supplies to a mountain clinic. And of phone calls demanding of a hospital to treat a street orphan in Costa Rica…”maybe that was Nicaragua…” says Dad. A few years back, “I got a call from Tanzania, it was then that I questioned the decision to teach her to sail. But Mom, Sinclair Jackson of Evans, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents were all sailors- I knew it was in the Genes!”

Doctor Gehres Paschal is “sailing” in her role in San Francisco as part of an Elective with Kaiser Permanente Health, a Supporting Partner to The America’s Cup. She gained the position through the Residency Program of St. Luke-Roosevelt Hospital, in New York City, where she is in her last year of Trauma ER training. “She should have been completed with all this years ago, but we couldn’t keep her away from those Central American mountain clinics, and a year approved by MCG to obtain a Masters in Global Health from The University of California-San Francisco”, laments Dad.

Certainly Mom, Dad, and The Augusta Sailing Club “Village”, are proud that one of our own has made it to “The Super Bowl” of sail racing! Brother Will, a sailor in many championships, an instructor throughout the East Coast, and a sailor in many parts of the world, says “…who knows where she will be next in four years".