Victory for the U.S. Sailing Center

Published on May 10th, 2018

Miami, FL (May 10, 2018) – The U.S. Sailing Center in Miami is a rare public facility that serves all aspects of sailing – basic instruction, disabled sailing, one design class support, and Olympic-level training. The Center’s lease was threatened by City Hall suits that wanted the land back.

Limited water access for sailing is a hindrance for the sport, and what does exist is worth protecting. A long time contributor to the sport, Bill Smoak presented a plea to save the U.S. Sailing Center.

The Center, which pays market rate rent, wants to continue serving the sport, both the local enthusiasts along with the international tribe that travels to Miami each winter to train.

The Center is the result of a 1985 tripartite agreement between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the City of Miami, and the United States Sailing Center, a nonprofit comprised of a local volunteer management team.

It was designated by the USOC as a U.S. Olympic training site for the sailing team with permission to fly the Olympic flag. In addition, the center was to provide local small boat sailors year round access to Biscayne Bay, and to support youth sailing.

The Center has not only fulfilled its initial role as a training ground for our Olympic teams, but also expanded and brought international recognition for Miami as one of the most important sailing venues in the world. In 1990, the center held the first Olympic Classes Regatta, now designated as one of three regatta venues leading to Olympic entry qualification.

In 2002, a two-story building designed to accommodate sailors was completed. The Herman Whiton Pavilion provides class rooms, a press room, and storage for the equipment necessary to support the center’s year round activities.

Earlier this month, a petition was set up to flood the city’s commissioners with emails and letters.

At a public hearing today, with over 100 supporters in attendance, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and the city council voted to renew the lease. The City Commissioner voted to renew the U.S. Sailing Center lease for 10 years with two (4) year options.

Some additional supporting documents:
US Olympic Committee
US Olympic Sailing
Background of U.S. Sailing Center
Economic Impact Overview

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