US Sailing’s Reach Initiative to Partner with America’s Cup Endeavour Program

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (June 12, 2017) – As the racing action heats up in Bermuda at the 35th America’s Cup, the US Sailing Reach Initiative is thrilled to have a unique opportunity to participate in activities hosted by the 2017 America’s Cup Endeavour Education Station, presented by Orbis, at the America’s Cup Village through Sunday, June 25. US Sailing’s Reach Initiative is an official “Educational Partner” of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program.

Since 2015, US Sailing has provided training and resources to teachers and sailing instructors in Bermuda through the Reach Educator Course and Reach curriculum.

“US Sailing is encouraged about the positive impact the America’s Cup Endeavour Program is having on the youth of Bermuda and other young participants by providing a pathway for youth to learn how to sail and experience the science, technology and environmental stewardship sailing offers. The Endeavour Program is having an impact far beyond the scope of the 35th America’s Cup, by engaging youth in the sport of sailing, and helping create a passion for learning within the next generation of leaders,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing.

Participating students are experiencing the excitement of the America’s Cup Village through the America’s Cup Endeavour Education Station, presented by Orbis, during the 35th America’s Cup. Fans in the America’s Cup Village, as well as over 1,800 students from public, private and home schools across Bermuda, are enjoying hands-on activities in four learning stations covering Sustainability, Health & Nutrition, Technology & Innovation and Science & Engineering.

Each experiential learning zone includes highly impactful and engaging hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) educational activities, including virtual reality experiences that enable students to enjoy the excitement of the America’s Cup with the America’s Cup Oculus Rift and America’s Cup Simulator. There are also physical activities, including the America’s Cup Community Grinding Challenge sponsored by Vineyard Vines, and the Sperry Balance Board that enable spectators to experience what it is like to be an America’s Cup sailor by testing their own fitness levels.

US Sailing is organizing the “Reach Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt” supported by Harken. Thousands of participating youth have a special opportunity to connect science and sailing through mechanical advantage by exploring the association between six simple machines: wheel and axel, lever, pulley, screw, wedge and inclined plane. The youth participating in the scavenger hunt will be challenged to find examples of all six simple machines in the America’s Cup Village. Those who complete the challenge receive their very own ‘simple machine’ to take home, a block key chain from Harken. Thanks to Harken, kids were also able to explore a winch (wheel and axel), winch handle (lever), blocks with various purchase systems (pulleys) and a vang system (pulley).

US Sailing is also presenting a sustainability activity to inspire students to apply their knowledge of marine debris and reinforce the importance of making good personal choices on the water to keep our waters clean and healthy. A waste-free lunch means that you have no packaging to throw away when you’re done. All you’re left with are apple cores, banana peels and other biodegradable extras. This sustainability activity comes from Reach Module 18: “Reducing a Sailor’s Environmental Impact – Start with Lunch.” This sustainability activity is supported by 11th Hour Racing.

Another exciting development between the US Sailing’s Reach – America’s Cup Endeavour partnership is the educational student exchange program for sailors. Through the support of US Sailing donors, and the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, two US Sailing Reach Initiative students have been selected to travel to Bermuda on Friday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 21 for a six-day STEM/sailing experience of a lifetime. Abigail Clinger and McKenna Wherry of Fort Myers, Florida have been selected as the recipients of this student exchange experience. Both Abigail and McKenna participated in the US Sailing Reach Initiative through a partnership with their middle school and the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers. With strong support from their teachers, sailing center leadership, and sailing coaches, US Sailing is honored to provide this experience.

McKenna Wherry (left) and Abigail Clinger (right)

Abigail and McKenna will experience the America’s Cup Match Race, presented by Louis Vuitton, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, explore the America’s Cup Endeavour Education Station, presented by Orbis, and visit the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, The National Museum of Bermuda and the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. This experience will be provided in 2018 with two students from the America’s Cup Endeavour Program having a similar experience during the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.

“Going on this trip will help me better explain to my peers the way sailboats are engineered and how the wind and water causes it to move,” said McKenna. “I will be able to bring the knowledge of tides, wind, boat design, and teamwork back to Edison Sailing Center to help our programs continue to grow. Experiencing sailing on a higher level will further motivate me to stretch my own knowledge in all areas of STEM. The Reach program has taught me the importance of our natural resources. We have to take care of our beach front and our water ways so that sailors in the future can enjoy them as well.”

“I have been extremely blessed for the opportunities my sailing club has given me through providing boats and equipment for anyone interested in the sport,” said Abigail. “If I could change one thing, it would be to make sailing accessible to more students. Throughout my life I played many sports, but something about the kind atmosphere combined with the competitive sailors got my attention. Whenever I sail, something changes, from weather conditions to race courses, a sailor is constantly faced with new challenges. If more students had access to sailing, it would give them a hands on approach to the STEM curriculum. This opportunity will help me gain more education and useful experiences to help water issues in my community.”

The US Sailing Reach Initiative is a nationwide education program created to engage youth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and inspire sailing programs and schools to utilize sailing as an educational platform. Learn more about US Sailing’s Reach at

As part of the America’s Cup commitment to the Bermuda community, the America’s Cup Endeavour was created as an ambitious youth education and sailing program dedicated to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.

To date, America’s Cup Endeavour has engaged over 1,550 students ages 9 to 12 from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds across Bermuda by introducing them to the sport of sailing in a uniquely designed, fun and interactive education program, which features a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math curriculum (STEAM) through Sailing. Learn more about the America’s Cup Endeavour Program at

US Sailing Reach Contact: Jessica Servis, Education and Outreach Manager,

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, Communications Manager,

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. For more information, please visit