U.S. SailGP Team announces ‘Foiling First’ partnership program supporting community sailing organizations nationwide
Organizations can apply through an open application process; Bristol Yacht Club / East Bay Sailing Foundation announced as founding partner
NEW YORK – June 24, 2021 – Today, the United States SailGP Team announced that applications have opened for community sailing organizations to partner with ‘Foiling First’ – a breakthrough athlete development program created to advance diversity and inclusion in the sport through building the first ever professional pathway to foiling in the U.S.
Developed as part of SailGP’s #RacefortheFuture purpose-led agenda to drive meaningful change towards a more inclusive sport and a better planet, Foiling First builds upon the U.S. SailGP Team’s existing social impact commitment to advance change in American sailing.
Alongside this announcement, today the U.S. SailGP Team also welcomed Bristol Yacht Club / East Bay Sailing Foundation (EBSF) who have joined as a founding partner of the Foiling First: Partnership Program.
“Since launching Foiling First we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the American sailing community,” said U.S. SailGP Team CEO and Driver Jimmy Spithill. “We’re looking forward to working with Bristol Yacht Club/East Bay Sailing Foundation and we’re excited to invite more organizations to join. It’s really encouraging to see communities ready to participate in change on and off the water.”
The partnership program is a multidimensional, long-term commitment, specifically designed to counter historic barriers to entry in professional sailing. It is comprised of three layers:
- Partner organizations will build a fleet of foiling boats upon which community members will learn to sail (organizations with existing fleets of foiling boats are welcome to apply).
- U.S. SailGP Team athletes and coaches will lead annual “Coach Clinics” with partner organizations – multi-day courses held at centralized national locations that will equip coaches to instruct foiling and serve as a forum for collaboration on training curriculums.
- To further increase accessibility for communities less exposed to the sport of sailing and to champion diversity, partner organizations will choose one diversity-focused organization in their community to work with, supported by Foiling First, to create introductions to the sport of sailing.
“Kids want to learn how to race foiling boats and compete like the pros do,” said Kristin Browne of the East Bay Sailing Foundation. “At the same time, as a club, we want to contribute to making our sport more inclusive and we’re excited to partner with Foiling First and the U.S. SailGP Team to help begin that change.”
As part of its commitment to join the Foiling First: Partnership Program, Bristol Yacht Club/EBSF will also host a Foiling First: Learn to Foil Camp on July 20th and 21st, in cooperation with Melges Performance Sailboats, where U.S. SailGP Team athletes will facilitate a multi-day course introducing community youth and coaches to foiling.
As part of this camp, youth and coaches will participate in educational workshops from the team’s #RacefortheFuture partners, RISE and World Sailing Trust aimed at educating athletes on racism, social justice, and advancing inclusion in the sport.
Sailing organizations interested in joining Foiling First can apply for both the partnership program and learn to foil camps at FoilingFirst.com.
For more information on the U.S. SailGP Team and SailGP’s #RacefortheFuture, please visit SailGP.com or follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.