Financing USA Olympic Sailing

Published on January 6th, 2024

Unlike nearly every nation competing in Olympic Sailing, USA athletes receive no government funding. Rather, they rely on their personal funding efforts or organizations to support their campaigns.

Earning the right to represent the USA in the Olympics is a test of many skills, but it is sailing ability currently being tested at the Olympic Trials in Miami, FL. However, regardless of who wins, the USA still needs to gain entry to the Paris 2024 Olympics in four of the ten competing classes.

The international qualification system provides one remaining opportunity in early 2024, and to support the sailors, one of the funding organizations had to rethink their plan. Here’s their update:

The Sailing Foundation of New York (SFNY) has revealed that 2023 Golden Spinnaker Gala funds will be provided immediately to competitors who win their US Olympic Team Trials irrespective of whether the US has yet qualified for the class.

The original intent of the collaborative effort in this year’s Sailing Foundation Golden Spinnaker Gala was to distribute funds to those teams who earned spots for the Paris 2024 Olympics, held this summer in Marseilles.

In an unanticipated situation facing US Olympic Sailing Team members, the US will hold trials in several classes where the US has not yet secured an actual berth, or slot, for the Olympics.

In the interest of putting forth the best possible effort, the Sailing Foundation Board determined that the winners of the upcoming US trials will receive access to funds that had previously been designated for release only upon announcement of US representation in a given class.

Accordingly, the winner of each selection will be awarded a grant of $35,000 per person to help with efforts in securing a US berth, and ultimately competition in the Olympics. These funds will be distributed in accordance with SFNY standard practices.

Co-Founder and President Thomas Stark is proud to work with US athletes at this critical time. “A strong partnership between the Sailing Foundation of New York, the New York Yacht Club, and our 2023 Golden Spinnaker Committee allowed us to modify our plan to provide the greatest level of support to our aspiring US Olympians.

“We understand that these are challenging and uncertain times for our athletes vying to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The original intent of the SFNY – still held to this day – is that we remain true to the athletes and their campaigns at the highest level. On behalf of the Sailing Foundation Board and our Golden Spinnaker donors, I am pleased to be able to announce this support for our sailors.”

The 2023 SFNY Golden Spinnaker Gala was held in September 2023 with the support of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). This year’s Gala, the 9th hosted by the organization, honored two past NYYC Commodores, Sailing Foundation of New York Founder George Isdale Jr. and original Board Member George Hinman Jr. for their tireless efforts and lifetime commitments to the sport of sailing.

The evening was designed to support athletes who will represent Team USA at the Paris 2024 Olympics. This event raised more than $600,000 in direct support to sailors.

Created in 2000, The Sailing Foundation of New York supports not only individuals who demonstrate the commitment and potential to represent the United States of America at the highest possible levels in the sport of sailing, but also the organizations and programs committed to growing the sport.

Currently, the SFNY coordinates with more than 80 athlete sailors to help them remain competitive in the sport.


Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program*:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7 (41)
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6 (41)
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470 (19)
Men’s Skiff – 49er (20)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (20)
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (19)
* Quota per event in parenthesis but does not include Universality Places (2 men, 2 women)

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 28-August 9

• Paris website:
• World Sailing microsite:

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