The best way to insure youth sailors continue in the sport is to expose them to the sport beyond youth boats and age-based competition. This is an initiative in which every active boat owner can contribute, but a group within the US Etchells Class has taken it to the next level.
First launched in 2017, the US Etchells Youth Team (USEYT) was conceived to provide the opportunity for youth sailors to race competitively in the Etchells Class. Now in its third year, five competitive boats have been secured for the 2019 USEYT.
Eligible applicants for the 2019 team could not be older than 25 years and were selected by a committee comprised of Senet Bishoff, Michael Gavin, Connor Needham, and Steve Benjamin. New this year was the addition of a Junior Varsity team (19 and under) along with the Varsity squad (25 and under).
“We’re very proud of the progress this program has made since 2017,” notes Benjamin. “This year we actually had 45 applicants from all over the country. It was tough picking the 32 as most of these applicants are some of the best young sailors in the US.”
A comprehensive calendar of events in 2019 includes the Etchells World Championship (Corpus Christi, TX) and Cowes Week (Cowes, UK). While the program has benefited from generous donors, a fundraising campaign for tax deductible donations and sponsorships is now underway for the USEYT to fully reach its goals.
For details on the 2019 trip and how you can help, click here