Life beyond windward-leeward racing

Published on March 2nd, 2017

In a society of overly scheduled and structured youth events, a group in Connecticut is pushing back on what an event is supposed to be. A year ago they tasked members 30+ youth Club 420 teams with preparing homework, attending meetings and studying course instructions to help them navigate the 10-mile course around Fishers Island at the eastern end of Long Island Sound.

But the bar has been raised in 2017. In just its third year, the SECOR Volvo Fishers Island Sound Race is giving young sailors between the ages of 12 and 18 a racing experience normally reserved for world-class skippers.

The 2017 edition begins on Thursday July 13th at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club (Niantic, CT). The fleet will race to the Fishers Island Yacht Club (Fishers Island, NY) where the teams will then set up camp for the night. Friday morning they dust off and head up the river for an epic finish at the Mystic Shipyard (Mystic, CT). Total distance: almost 20 miles.

The race has been modeled to be a one of a kind youth race that closely resembles the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race. Just like the big boys, the race comes complete with live-streaming video footage shot by drones, online access to real-time GPS race tracking, on board reporters competing for a new WASP action cameras, a VIP spectators boat and, of course, top-notch sailing.

Who knows, kids may even discover there is life beyond windward-leeward races.

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