A Message from US Sailing: Evolving our Business to Serve Sailors

To the US Sailing Community,

Together we are facing an unprecedented time and I wanted to personally reach out and let you know that our team is here to support you, our members, and the sailing community at large. Sailors are known for and proud of being able to face challenges and find solutions in all areas of our sport. We want to celebrate this spirit of perseverance and therefore are working hard to quickly evolve our business in ways that will provide resources to keep critical programs moving forward.

The COVID-19 outbreak is disrupting our business forcing our team here at US Sailing to think differently about how we provide continuity of service across the board to all our members and constituents. We are working to quickly leverage online capabilities and resources that will provide new ways to deliver our programs and services. It may not be perfect right out of the gate, but we will continue to refine the approach and most importantly continue to move ahead.

We are starting with our training programs, online learning and member engagement, especially focusing on youth, to deliver useful and engaging content to our community as a first step and will continue to expand. With our in-person events, seminars and classes postponed or cancelled through most of April, our education staff and volunteers are adapting our core education programs and creating new avenues for online learning with web-based classrooms. Details on specific developments are below.

Additionally, as our community is mostly home bound, we are also launching the Starboard Portal, a new member content video portal to further facilitate the sharing of ideas and ways to stay connected through engaging videos and live content. This is all happening quickly and with the tireless effort of the full staff and volunteers.

With this approach, we will make new options available in the short-term and continue to refine the products and offerings for long term sustainability.

We are also working closely with sailing organizations who are hosting US Sailing events to determine the ongoing scheduling status so that we can collectively make the best decisions on how to move forward.

The US Sailing Bristol, Rhode Island office location transitioned to a remote work environment beginning Tuesday, March 17 to ensure the safety of all our employees and adhere to the requirements set forth by local and state authorities regarding public gatherings. US Sailing business operations remain fully functional and employees are working full-time from remote locations to support our members, partners, and our sport. These procedures are being re-evaluated on a regular basis.

Thanks to members like you, US Sailing has been at the heart of the sailing communities we support. We are confident that we will continue this leadership and support in the face adversity.

Please see the latest US Sailing program and event updates below and feel free reach out to our team directly as we are all ready and willing to help.

Gratefully,

Jack Gierhart
Chief Executive Officer, US Sailing


New Programs Currently under Development:

  • Expediting work on the online Safety at Sea course and expect to have the final 5 modules, 11-15, available in April, that will cover the core learning topics listed in the World Sailing Offshore Regulation minus the required Hands On components. Coastal and Offshore Online courses are currently available. Click to learn more.
  • Developing online versions of our Race Management, Judges and Umpire seminars online, including opportunities for engagement with seminar leaders in a live format. An umpire’s course is being beta tested this weekend online, and we are working to begin delivering the One Day Race Management Seminar online by mid-April.
  • Modifying Small Boat Level 1 Instructor course to deliver 50% of the course online, with a corresponding 2-day in-person segment that will enable more courses to be scheduled in a shorter season and reduce the time commitment for students who have a condensed window to complete their training prior to beginning their summer programs.
  • Exploring options for hosting our Regional Symposiums in a virtual environment.
  • US Sailing offers Basic Keelboat Online, which helps students prepare for a course at any of our Accredited US Sailing Schools. Click to learn more.

Status of US Sailing programs:

  • All Safety at Sea courses through the end of April have been postponed or cancelled. Please contact your course host organizer for refunds or rescheduled dates.
  • All certified US Sailing Instructor courses through the end of April have also been postponed. We are re-evaluating the situation on April 6 to determine extending postponements further into April. Candidates may transfer into any courses that begin after May 15. Candidates may also begin the online component that is currently available, Teaching and Coaching Fundamentals, and we will update candidates on additional online materials as they become available.  No new instructor courses will be scheduled before May 15. Those impacted by this change may transfer into any existing course with available space that starts on or after May 15 or take a full credit for a future course or seminar.
  • US Sailing is also temporarily modifying its cancellation policy for instructor courses through May 31, 2020 and is implementing this revised policy to assist candidates making decisions regarding their upcoming courses during the evolving worldwide COVID-19 situation. A full course fee transfer will be available up until 24 hours before the course starts. If US Sailing must cancel a course due to this situation, a full course credit will be made available for one year.
  • US Sailing has recommended that all in-person Race Management, Judge and Umpire Seminars scheduled through April 30 be postponed.

US Sailing National Championships and Sanctioned Events:

  • At this time no decisions have been made to cancel or postpone our 2020 US Sailing National Championships, but we continue to monitor the situation.
  • We are accepting applications for our first two events of the season in June – U.S. Youth Sailing Championships and U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship.
  • 2020 Youth Championships: An amendment to the Notice of Race has been posted, adjusting the regatta registration fees to be fully refundable until May 17. Sailors are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible, prior to the April 12 application deadline.
  • U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifiers: The Sarasota Qualifier on March 28-29 has been cancelled. Please apply for alternative qualifying events. The David Storrs Memorial qualifier – April 13-14 has been rescheduled for June 6-7. Invitations issued for the prior April date will be honored for the June date.
  • Events that include qualifiers for participation are being managed by the host clubs and we are consulting closely with the hosts on the status of these events. We will support their communications of these schedule changes and work internally to determine the appropriate qualification or application process.
  • Regarding the 2020 Youth World Championship qualifiers, one event (Laser Midwinter West regatta) has been postponed. We are currently determining options for qualifier events.
  • The first two USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals in March (Sarasota, Fla.) and April (Atlanta, Ga.) and have been cancelled. The events scheduled for June have not been affected or postponed at this time.
  • The West Coast Qualifier at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for the U.S. Team Racing Championship has changed their dates from May 16-17 to June 6-7, 2020 – NOR BCYC.
  • U.S. Multihull Championship – Early Registration date has move up to May 31, 2020.
  • We are paying close attention to the status of sailing events around the United States. We recommend that host organizers follow the CDC, as well as specific guidelines set by your local authorities and municipalities regarding group gathering restrictions.

US Sailing Team / Olympic Sailing:

  • Due to the travel restrictions from Europe that were announced by the U.S. on Wednesday, March 11 and last week’s event cancellations and postponements, US Sailing Team athletes and coaches have returned from Spain where they were training and preparing for the 470 World Championships and Princess Sophia regatta. Some US Sailing Team athletes have residence in Europe and have elected to remain at these locations during this time.
  • US Sailing Team on the water training is on hold until the beginning of April.  Coaches and Athletes are conducting dry land training, webinars and continuing strength and conditioning programs.

US Sailing Offshore:

  • The Offshore department continues to operate, producing ORR, ORC and IRC certificates at full capacity.
  • Currently, the major summer races that utilize the measurement rules are still on schedule.
  • Due to travel restrictions and shelter in place restrictions, we have curtailed/halted measurement activities. Once restrictions are lifted and it is safe to conduct business, our corps of measurers will be back in the yards and on the waterfront collecting data for certificates.

We will be providing frequent updates on the status of our courses, seminars, regattas, and other events.