US Sailing’s Reach Accepts Grant from 11th Hour Racing in Support of STEM Education

In association with USODA, and California Yacht Club the Reach initiative brought STEM and stewardship to youth through a one day event, just one small example of how Reach can be implemented near you. Visit to host a STEM Night near you.

CONTACT: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications,, 401-366-3115

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (February 3, 2015) – US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport, is proud to announce a new partnership with 11th Hour Racing, a program established by The Schmidt Family Foundation that specializes in fostering strategic partnerships within the sailing and marine communities to promote collaborative systemic change for the health of our marine environment. US Sailing is honored to receive a $100,000 grant that will directly fund its efforts to grow sailing as an educational platform for youth through the Reach initiative and bring more awareness to environmental and ocean stewardship.

US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart commented, “We are thrilled that 11th Hour Racing has demonstrated confidence in US Sailing’s Reach and put their valued resources behind this critical initiative. Reach has a unique ability to engage kids about STEM education through sailing, while teaching them about leadership, teamwork and self-confidence. This program directly addresses one of our country’s most pressing issues – improving education, while introducing them to a fun and safe outdoor activity.”

Developed in 2012, US Sailing’s Reach initiative was created as a national education venture to inspire schools and sailing programs to utilize sailing to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects and stewardship to youth. Originally piloted through the support of the John B. “Jim” and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation, Reach has established itself as a pioneer and leader in the integration of STEM education with sailing. A framework of curriculum has been cultivated into a very powerful and unique program that connects with kids from all backgrounds around the country. Reach has also engaged with networks of interested organizations worldwide and is now being positioned as a model for sailing and STEM programming in international sailing communities.

Community sailing programs, yacht clubs, schools, after-school programs, multi-sports organizations, and various environmentally insightful organizations are inspired to embrace the Reach initiative on many levels. The need to increase STEM skills has led to targeted government, corporate, and school-based programs that are changing the landscape of education.

The generous support of 11th Hour Racing will expand the Reach initiative to enable the advancement of STEM education and protect the health of our marine environment. By establishing a peer-to-peer network of community sailing centers implementing STEM, resources and best practices will be made widely available for sailing centers interested in integrating Reach. US Sailing will offer significant program support in the form of an online Reach tool kit for sailing centers, ongoing mentoring for programs, and curriculum review.

“11th Hour Racing is excited to support the Reach Program’s innovative approach of integrating youth sailing education with meaningful environmental stewardship,” said Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing Co-Founder. “US Sailing is uniquely positioned to provide community sailing centers across the country with STEM curriculum and high quality training. By furthering their investment in the inspiration and education of young ocean stewards, they clearly demonstrate their commitment to protecting the health of our waters now and in the future.”

US Sailing is creating a unique and exciting Reach Hub program that supports organizations who are implementing these programs with schools, youth organizations, and various community partners. The Community Boating Center (CBC) in Providence, R.I., the model Reach was initially based on, will serve as a pilot program for this new Hub initiative. CBC has a proven track record of successful partnership building, increasing capacity of Reach programming, and successful student outcomes. CBC has built strong strategic STEM and environmental education partnerships including the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), and many area schools. Their ongoing assessment and student attendance outcomes have served as measurable benchmark for success. Additional Sub-Hub and Emerging Hub programs will also be developed with extensive guidance, training, and support from a regional Hub and US Sailing.

Executive Director of Community Boating Center John O’Flaherty commented, “Systemic change requires much more than a lesson plan – we need skilled and experienced people to provide the guidance necessary to break down complex and critical educational and environmental issues in a personal manner. We are thrilled to serve as the pilot program for this Reach Hub initiative and deeply thankful for the personal vision and enormous generosity of the people at 11th Hour Racing for the opportunity for all of us to bring Reach to the next level.”

Sailing programs are rich environments for STEM learning. Every time a student steps into a boat, pulls the tiller, or trims a sail they are experiencing lessons in STEM. The weather, water, and everything on the boat can provide real-world applicable lessons in a fun environment. Sailing programs now have the tools to combine STEM content with on-the-water training in after-school, summer, and youth community organizations.

Since July of 2012, over 20,000 students have participated in the Reach Initiative from over 300 schools and sailing programs in six countries. Over 200 educators have participated in US Sailing’s STEM Educator Course, a one-day professional development experience that educates teachers and sailing instructors on how to implement US Sailing’s 10 STEM Educator Modules. These modules cover material from building wind anemometers to measuring sail area, and collecting marine debris and sharing the data with conservation groups, like the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, so scientists can make informed decisions.

Learn more about US Sailing’s Reach at

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, 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 Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit