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Oakcliff, Oyster Bay, and Olympic Hopefuls

Published on March 13th, 2023

As the National Governing Body for Sailing in the United States, US Sailing is required by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee to manage the sport as it pertains to the Olympic Games.

But as one of the few countries that does not get government support for any Olympic Sport, the cost and complexity of managing the Olympic Sailing Program is extensive for an organization also required to provide leadership for all parts of the sport. Maybe too extensive.

Various outside efforts seek to support the US development or Olympic program, and with recent disruption occurring within the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program, one significant contributor continues to stand out: Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, NY.

Oakcliff Sailing Executive Director Dawn Riley offers this update:

Getting to the Olympics is HARD work. It requires living and breathing sailing, in training, travel, competition, sponsorship and fundraising. It is not supposed to be easy. It is the OLYMPICS!

It requires a complex and long-term commitment by all involved: athletes, families, coaches, donors and the critical volunteers and staff behind the efforts. It must be fueled by an unrelenting drive for perfection. Yes, it does take money, but as Bill Koch’s mantra for winning the America’s Cup called out, it takes Teamwork, Talent and Technology (money is the base but not the special sauce).

Oakcliff and Oyster Bay have been supporting High Performance sailing since the low medal count in 2012. In 10 years, we have invested in a fleet of 49er/FXs, Nacra 17s, 470s, and ILCA Lasers, built a high performance beach with utilities and workshops, invested in a support fleet, have awarded over $5 million in grants and support to use primarily for travel and equipment.

This is in addition to the rest of the operations which train athletes in match racing, offshore sailing, and apprenticeship programs in shore skills, business and project management.

Our facilities include housing, meeting areas, a sail loft, composites and machine shops, as well as a specialized gym. You are welcome to visit us in person or virtually.

For useful and inspiring information offering some direction for the future, click here.

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