Willamette Sailing Club (Ore.) and Washington Sailing Marina (Va.)
Selected as New Supporting Siebel Centers for the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic Regions
BRISTOL, R.I. (March 1, 2021) – In the fall of 2019, US Sailing announced a new community sailing program made possible by a major donation from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation. The purpose of this ground-breaking Siebel Sailors Program is to increase diversity and opportunity in the sport of sailing by providing resources and support to youth sailors at public access sailing centers across the country. Despite 2020 being an unprecedented year of programming challenges, the Siebel Sailors Program delivered over 1,200 hours of programming to 244 unique sailors across the five regions to a diverse population of sailors.
Today, US Sailing is highlighting newly selected Supporting Siebel Centers who will implement this innovative program in our current Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic Regions. We are adding a fourth Center within each of these Regions to bring us closer to our overall goal of having 20 active Centers nationwide. These designated centers will support an important US Sailing objective of providing increased access to sailing for youth, regardless of socioeconomic background, and will receive a fleet of sail boats, other necessary equipment, and expert coaching.
Siebel Sailors will have access to a range of sailing experiences and boat types, with the RS Feva XL as the primary boat. Michael Cornew, Siebel Coach in the Pacific Northwest, and Janel Zarkowsky, Siebel Coach in the Mid-Atlantic, both look forward to adding these Centers to their current partnerships.
US Sailing is excited to partner with the following Siebel Centers in the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest regions:
- Washington Sailing Marina (Alexandria, Va.)
- Willamette Sailing Club (Portland, Ore.)
Meet the Supporting Siebel Centers:
Washington Sailing Marina
The Washington Sailing Marina has been the place to learn to sail in the DC area for over 70 years. With camps for kids, lessons for adults, and other creative programming, the Washington Sailing Marina Sailing School welcomes over a thousand sailors each summer to learn to sail on the Potomac river in Alexandria, Virginia. From dinghies to keelboats, our motto is “safety, fun, and learning.” When people feel safe and are having fun, the learning just comes along naturally.
Owned and operated since 1994 by Amy Zang, the sailing school continually grows and adapts. In previous years that has meant adding one of the first windsurfing programs in the country or expanding into racing and incorporating keelboats into the youth program. In 2020, they worked hard to create a safe and fun space for kids to come together despite the pandemic. With an incredible staff and hardworking leadership team, they still saw one of their best summers yet.
“We are grateful for the partnership with the Siebel Sailors Program to help empower more people to become active in sailing,” said Zang. “We believe sailing is a way to teach independence and grow leadership skills in kids and adults, helping them to excel in all aspects of life. We believe that what starts on the water, shows forth in our lives. We are thankful for the generous support of the Tom and Stacey Siebel Foundation and US Sailing and look forward to joining our partner centers in developing even more supportive programs so our sport can reflect the strength of the diversity of our community.”
Willamette Sailing Club
The Willamette Sailing Club has been the center for small boat sailing in Portland since 1961. Located five minutes South of downtown Portland on the banks of the Willamette River, the club hosts a busy year-round schedule of racing, cruising, and learn-to-sail programs, as well as several river-related social and educational events, all of which are open to the public.
Each summer, more than 600 kids and adults learn sailing, water safety, and river adventuring skills from WSC’s staff of US Sailing certified instructors. WSC also serves as the headquarters for local youth, high school, and college sailing teams, providing the young sailors with boats, coaching, and a base on the river. These programs represent more than 20 Portland-area schools and colleges, year-round, on the water three to five days a week. Weekend regattas, held several times throughout the school year, attract as many as 200 sailors from all over the northwest to the Willamette River.
Supported by non-profit Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation, the free Community Sailing Program at WSC partners with local organizations to provide sail and job training for Portland Metro youth who lack river access. In 2020, the program also became a US Sailing Reach Youth Engagement Grantee and began implementing maritime STEM education into the curriculum. Becoming a Siebel Center in 2021 further advances the scope and quality of public programming at WSC.
“Willamette Sailing Club is elated to be working with US Sailing and the Siebel Sailors Program. Growing diversity in our sport is a priority for WSC,” said Matthew Berger, WSC Program Director. “We believe deeply in sharing the joy of sailing and the life skills it teaches. This partnership is a valuable new asset for the city of Portland and will have an immediate positive impact on our community here on the Willamette River and beyond.”
Eligibility criteria, center guidelines, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found at www.siebelsailors.org.
For questions about the program please contact Blair Overman, Siebel Sailors Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
US Sailing Communications: Jake Fish, email@example.com
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.