Harken Derm

Promoting Sailing in New York Harbor

Published on March 6th, 2019

Youth sailing programs may focus on teaching sailing, but what they tend to overlook is teaching how to remain in sailing. Where earlier generations were soon integrated with adults in one design classes and keelboat activity, today’s youth programming is often focused on only age-based sailing.

While the current paradigm has provided excellent opportunities and allowed for increased participation, the attrition rate is equally extraordinary when young sailors find they are not certain how to continue in the sport beyond their youth years.

Addressing this issue is the Young Adult Program being launched by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation which seeks to make it easier for college graduates and students to stay involved in the sport of sailing. To achieve this, the Foundation will be providing free sailing opportunities to young sailors (ages 18 to 25) in New York Harbor.

All Foundation programs are currently based at the Manhattan Yacht Club where the Young Adult Program will offer free sailing opportunities on Foundation sailboats.

The program will have access to the fleet of Flying Junior dinghies and an International One Design yacht. Additionally, the Foundation’s most impressive boats are two America’s Cup 12 Meters, US 42 & US 46, which competed in the 1987 Cup Races in Freemantle Australia. If there is enough interest, the Foundation may also acquire a J/105.

The goal of the program is to enter a team in the 205 nm Around Long Island Race that annually starts in July from the Manhattan Yacht Club clubhouse now based at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City, directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan’s Battery.

The idea for the Young Adult Program was inspired by Yacht Club de Monaco which established a similar program recently. Their program involve three incredible ocean races, including the Palermo to Monte Carlo Race. Yacht Club de Monaco has extended an invitation for the NY Harbor young adults to join one of the races as part of a cultural exchange.

The Young Adult Program will be open to 20 sailors, with spots allocated based on skill and experience in the world of sailing. The Foundation encourages Young adults who have participated in collegiate sailing programs, especially those who have distinguished themselves on the race course or in organizations, to apply.

The Young Adult Program can also lead to professional opportunities such as teaching sailing, managing races and race coaching. For more information, click here.

The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation was founded by members of the Manhattan Yacht Club in 1994 to foster and promote amateur sailing of national and international importance in New York Harbor. The Foundation organizes the Annual Sailors Ball which is its main fundraiser. This year, the Foundation is also relaunching the Lady Liberty Regatta, an all-women event on J/24 sailboats.

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