With a goal of making it easier for college graduates and students to stay involved in the sport of sailing, the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation has launched a Young Adult Program to provide free sailing opportunities to sailors ages 18 to 25 in New York Harbor.

US 46 America II is one of two 12 Metres owned by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation. © Allen Clark/PhotoBoat.com

“Each year, many college graduates and students come to the New York region for jobs,” observed Michael Fortenbaugh, Executive Director of the Foundation. “While getting their careers started, young adults often have financial constraints, making it hard for them to stay involved in sailing – a sport they love. The Young Adult Program will help to change this and make more sailing available to more people.”

The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation was founded by members of the Manhattan Yacht Club in 1994 to foster and promote amateur sailing of national and international importance in New York Harbor. The largest sailing organization in New York Harbor, Manhattan YC is based at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City, NJ, directly across the river from Manhattan’s Battery.

The Foundation’s fleet includes several Flying Juniors (part of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s collegiate sailing team), which race in New York Harbor near the Honorable William Wall, Manhattan YC’s floating clubhouse; a 35-foot International One Design (IOD); and a pair of America’s Cup 12 Metres, US 42 and US 46, which competed in Fremantle, Australia in 1987.

If there is enough interest, the Foundation may also acquire a J/105 with a goal of entering a team of young adults in the Around Long Island Race. “This race starts from the Honorable William Wall near the Statue of Liberty,” said Fortenbaugh, “and it would be good to have a team representing New York Harbor.”

The Young Adult Program is open to 20 sailors, with spots allocated based on skill and experience in the world of sailing. The Foundation encourages young adults who have participated in collegiate sailing programs, especially those who have distinguished themselves on the racecourse or in organizations, to apply. The Young Adult Program can also lead to professional opportunities such as teaching sailing, managing races, and race coaching.

“The idea for the Young Adult Program in New York Harbor was inspired by Yacht Club de Monaco, which established a similar program recently,” Fortenbaugh continued. “Their program involves three incredible ocean races, including the Palermo to Monte Carlo Race. Yacht Club de Monaco has extended an invitation for the New York Harbor Young Adults to join one of the races as part of a cultural exchange. This exchange is beneficial to our Young Adults by broadening their horizons and creating international friends and contacts.” To apply for the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation Young Adult Program, visit nyharborsailing.com/young-adult-program/application/