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Chris & Marissa Neely: Ambassadors

March 2, 2021 by Nicki Bennett
Chris and Marissa

Welcome aboard to Chris and Marissa Neely. The husband and wife sailing duo are currently refitting their Cheoy Lee 41 Avocet in preparation to cast off the dock lines and go cruising. We are excited to have them representing the Southern California young cruising fleet. 

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

Chris grew up sailing on his family's Mason 43' out of Berkeley California. When he was 15 years old he convinced Marissa to crew with him in the High Sierra Regatta aboard his Victory 21 sailboat.- they have been crewing together ever since! in 2018 they bought their 1979 Cheoy Lee 41' Avocet that has been their floating home ever since. Avocet's blue water design and previous owner's repertoire inspired the couple to pursue the cruising life and eventually catch up to Chris's older brother who has been cruising since 2014 on his Hans Christian 33, "Prism". As they prepare to explore beyond the horizon, Chris and Marissa have been enjoying the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. 

What is your favorite color? 

Black, blue, and teal!

Preferred type of sailing: 

All of it - just give us some wind!

Boat Make: 

Cheoy Lee 41

Boat Length: 


Boat Name: 



Ventura, CA

Favorite Point of Sail: 

Close Hauled or Beam Reached

How long have you been sailing? 

Chris: since he was an infant Marissa: since she was 15

What do you love about sailing?

The rush of adrenaline at the starting line, the teamwork between crew and vessel, the moments of bliss with every dolphin riding the bow, the "scary" moments that prove we are more capable than we think, and the endless possibilities. 

How long have you been participating in Summer Sailstice? 

This will be our second year

What are your Summer Sailstice plans for 2021?

Have a good time! Hopefully, get a good group of friends together to buddy boat with us.

Are you a part of any sailing clubs, fleets, or organizations? 

Fresno Yacht Club (yes, it's real)

Why do you want to be a Summer Sailstice Ambassador?

We think that this is a fantastic organization and a great way to encourage people to get out on the water! Shout out to John who inspired us to apply :)

How do you plan to promote Summer Sailstice? 

Through our Instagram, Youtube, Website and Facebook! As well as word of mouth and sharing at our home marina.

Who is your sailing hero?

Lin and Larry Pardey, John Kretschmer, Joshua Slocum...

What is your bucket list sailing trip? 


Favorite Sailing Movie? 

We watch Wind before every regatta, it may not be the "best" but it's tradition! We also love Morning Light, and of course, Captain Ron.

Keep up with sailing Avocet on their website, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube Channel.

Chris and Marissa aboard Avocet at Pelican Harbor (SCI)
Overhead shot of Avocet at anchor


Birds eye view of Avocet under sail, Anacapa Island in the background


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