URI names Karlsen head sailing coach

KINGSTON, R.I. ­­– July 2, 2024 – Joakim Karlsen has been named head coach of the University of Rhode Island Club Sailing Team, the University announced today. He has served as interim head coach since August 2023.

Karlsen led the Rams to appearances in three of the 2023-24 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association national championships, with the team finishing 14th in the Open Dinghy Nationals in May 2024, and Okyanus Arikan ’26 finishing in sixth place at the Women’s Singlehanded Nationals in November 2023. Karlsen was named the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association coach of the year for the 2023-24 season.

An experienced and winning coach, Karlsen has served in an interim capacity since August 2023. He was named the New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association coach of the year for the 2023-24 season. (Photo courtesy: Joakim Karlsen)

“URI has a long tradition of having a strong sailing team. I couldn’t be more honored and excited by the opportunity to continue that tradition,” Karlsen said. “As the interim head coach last season, we surprised our competitors both in conference and nationally with strong sailing in fleet and team racing. Continuing the work with all these great athletes and our fantastic staff, we will be a team the University and state can be proud of. Go Rhody!” 

Prior to arriving at URI, Karlsen served in a variety of sailing coaching roles at Sail Newport, St. George’s School, the United States Optimist Dinghy Association, and New Bedford Yacht Club. He also owns and operates JK Sailing LLC, where he develops elite youth Optimist sailors.

“The URI Sailing Team is absolutely thrilled to have Joakim Karlsen join us as our head coach. He did wonders when he hopped on as our interim coach for the 2023-24 season,” said team captain Kytalin Hendrickson ’26. “In that short time, he truly became part of the Ram family and has already achieved amazing results.” 

A native of Norway, Karlsen is an accomplished dinghy sailor in his own right, having participated in several Norwegian, European, and world championships. He won the 2002 Norwegian Europe Dinghy Championship and was ranked third in the Europe Dinghy World Rankings in 2004.

Karlsen and the Rams resume training in late August. Competitive sailing for the 2024-25 season begins on Sept. 7.