Kudos to your fine magazine, editor Chris Szepessy and contributor Rick Bannerot for chronicling the trend of young sailors pursuing coastal and offshore sailing. The experiences, lessons, comradery and pure enjoyment of being offshore are compelling drivers. All that is needed to inspire sailors is access to them. The source of the Figaro 2s chartered by Stamford and Noroton Yacht Clubs and so spectacularly portrayed on the cover of the March issue is the Collegiate Offshore Sailing Circuit (COSC). This project, conceived, founded and led by Rich Wilson, aims to provide that access. Do visit our website at cosc-usa.org.
The Figaro 2 is a perfect platform to get young sailors offshore. It is sporty, modern (despite its symmetrical spinnaker set up), supremely rugged and seaworthy and, well, cool. The “F2” until 2018 was the boat used in the Solitaire du Figaro. This is the brutally tough single-handed series in which all the shorthanded ‘round the world legends cut their teeth. When the Figaro 2 was retired for the Figaro 3, Rich Wilson, with some initial help from the Storm Trysail Foundation, took advantage of the market to bring boats to the U.S. for youth offshore training.
Originally the plan was to create an offshore circuit alongside the collegiate dinghy schedule. Starting last summer, the focus has grown to include community sailing organizations. Judging by the reactions we are getting from young sailors up and down the East Coast, this change in focus is serving the Mission in spades!
The COSC fleet has grown to thirteen boats. In addition to providing a platform to traditional yacht clubs like Noroton and Stamford, COSC provides boats to non-traditional groups of sailors through outstanding organizations like Sail Maine in Portland, Community Boating Center in New Bedford, and COSC’s internally managed program out of the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol. We are working with Courageous Sailing Center in Boston to establish a program there.
COSC expects that all thirteen of its boats will be in action this summer, introducing young people to offshore sailing. As Rich likes to say, “You never forget your first night at sea.”
Keep up the good work WindCheck.
Edward R. Cesare
Board Member – COSC
Commodore – Storm Trysail Club
Ed – Thank you for the kind words.
To all young sailors racing a COSC F2 this season – We at WindCheck relish publishing firsthand accounts of races of all kinds, and we hope you’ll consider sharing your words and photos with our readers by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. ■