COMMENTARY: The Costs of Competing in US Sailing Championships

Published on June 27th, 2013

There has been commentary this week in Scuttlebutt about the costs of competing in various events, among them being US Sailing’s Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, with concern expressed over the entry fee of $600 per person for the singlehanded, doublehanded, and triplehanded events.

Providing background on the situation is Frank Ustach, US Sailing’s Volunteer National Chair for the Chubb Junior Championships, and Shannon Bush, US Sailing’s Volunteer Championships Director…

Since 1921, US Sailing’s Championships has provided youth sailors with an outstanding overall experience, including top level competition, quality instruction and coaching, with social and entertainment events. Over the years, these events have helped improved the skills and abilities of these participating young sailors.

There are costs for both US Sailing and host organizations associated with running events like this and those costs include, but are not limited to: gas for up to 16 support boats including race committee, judges, coach, spectator, and safety boats; high-level coaching staff for 3 fleets; 3 meals a day for 5 days for approximately 90-105 sailors and 40 volunteers; printing and shipping costs; awards; and the list goes on.

What is important to emphasize is what the competitors and parents get for that registration fee and what a unique experience it is. All of US Sailing’s junior championship provide young sailors an opportunity to compete safely at a high level and do not require parents (time off work plus lodging and meals) or private coaches ($300-500/day on average with expenses) to travel with the sailors.

Instead, the sailors independently travel to and sail in the championships and are provided world class coaching, new or equal boats (private charters range from $100-200/day, and in some situations much more, at other major National and North American Championships), five days of housing and meals, clothing and gear, and first class race management. This is great value for $120 per day.

In the premier junior racing classes or clinics coming up this summer, clinics range from $500-525 for 4 days of sailing and regatta registration fees range from $100-225 for 3-4 days of racing. What all of these events had in common were they are BYOB, which means you are either chartering a boat or driving your private or club boat across North America all summer, which adds to the total cost. While housing was provided at some of the clinics, no regattas offered housing which adds additional lodging costs for the sailors and their chaperones as well.

In many cases with the Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, costs for participants are subsidized by their Area, the sailors’ representing clubs, or their sailing organizations. Additionally, there are US Sailing Sailorship funds available, which provide travel grants for sailors in need going to US Sailing junior events. These Sailorships are funded through donations made to US Sailing’s Annual Appeal and more information can be found here –

In regards to our outstanding sponsors for the Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, Zim Sailing is providing boats and financial resources; Gill provides gear, clothing and financial resources; and Chubb is our title sponsor and provides financial resources for host organizations. Their sponsorship works directly towards the benefit of the regatta and the sailors.

US Sailing organizes a number of youth sailing events from National Championships to Junior Olympic events and racing clinics that are both valuable to the development of youth racing and available at an affordable price. Quality multi-day sports camps, tournaments and championship events for youth have costs associated with them, regardless of the sport. We acknowledge this challenge for parents who are committed to getting their kids involved in sailing and enhancing their development through quality programming.

US Sailing recognizes those individuals and organizations that provide additional financial aid to these sailors either through the Sailorship program or through local organizations. US Sailing is committed in providing quality and value at our youth events and will continue to find ways to make these programs accessible to more sailors around the country.

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