Funding available for F18 racing

Published on January 18th, 2023

The Narragansett Bay Adult Athletic Sailing Association (NAASA) is accepting applications for scholarships for the 2023 NAASA F18 League season. Now in the third year, NAASA Scholarships provide fully funded F18 Catamarans for the NAASA F18 League including entry fees, coaching, and summer storage at Sail Newport in Newport, RI.

Scholarships are open to sailors with a strong sailing background and passion for the sport. The venue for NAASA F18 League racing is Newport, RI – so applicants must be at Sail Newport for all league events.  Full teams or individual athletes over 18 are welcome to apply and sailors are selected based on their sailing resume, athletic accomplishment, character, and ability to be an ambassador for the sport.

In 2022, NAASA awarded two boats to four sailors who took part in the full season. Now in 2023, the two boats are once again available. The F18 League scores boats and allows for sailor substitutions.

Scholarship boats are expected to sail all F18 League races, but in recognition that sailors have schedule conflicts, NAASA is encouraging teams of 3 or 4 to apply for a scholarship with substitutions in mind. Partial teams and individuals are also encouraged to apply and NAASA will work to connect applicants with potential teams.

Sail GP

“We want to create the missing pathway into athletic sailing,” explains Chris Bulger, President, and Founder of NAASA. “Only two years into this program, we have already seen sailors get introduced to fast sailing thru NAASA and then move on to the Olympic squad and to the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup teams. We are eager to broaden the on-ramp so have expanded our scholarship program and will be offering free F18 Clinics.”

Free F18 clinics are also new for 2023. “We have found that in one or two outings we can turn a 420 sailor into an F18 sailor who is capable of racing in the F18 League,” said Bulger. “NAASA will host F18 Clinics every Friday (4 pm-Sunset) starting June 1st and running all summer out of Sail Newport.”

o participate in the clinics, sailors should fill out an interest form. NAASA does require accepted sailors to join NAASA and membership is $50. Sign up at SailNAASA.org/clinics.

“Whether you are a college student, a recent grad, or working in the marine trade – it’s hard to get a ride on these fast cats and even harder to imagine funding your own program,” adds Bulger. “The scholarships, clinics, and the whole league is structured to make this type of sailing as accessible as possible to as many sailors as possible. If you are a dedicated athlete – we want to remove the barriers and get you running your own high-performance program.”

Founded in 2021 by a group of F18 sailors, NAASA is dedicated to growing participation in competitive high-performance sailing The organization’s core activity is the NAASA F18 League – which is 13 days of F18 racing sailed on Narragansett Bay in the Summer.

The application period is open until March 1, 2023 with interviews in March and the final winners will be announced in April. The application and more information can be found at SailNAASA.org/apply.

2023 CALENDAR
May 20 – Saturday Rigging Clinic
June 3/4 – Wickford Regatta
June 24/25 – NAASA Race Day Saturday and Sunday
July 8/9 – Newport Regatta
July 22/23 – NAASA Race Day Saturday and Sunday
August 12/13 – New England 100
August 19/20 – NAASA Championships
September 9 – NAASA Saturday and Dinner

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