Friday, April 11, 2008

Sailing after college

For many US youth sailors, they work hard perfecting their pram skills, then move up to either Lasers or doublehanded boats, perhaps do some high school sailing, and then off to the university and four years of collegiate sailing. However, when they graduate from college, what do they do? What boats do they sail then, or can even afford to sail? Big props to the 5o5 class for pursuing these prospects. Read on...

College Sailors,

If anyone has an interest in pursuing their sailing after college on an international level, there is no better time to get into the 505 class. The 2008 and 2009 schedule of events in the United States is loaded with top quality events on both the East and West Coast. Some of the notables are as follows:

2008:

May 24-25 Larchmont Spring (Larchmont, NY)
June 7-8 Region One Championship (Marblehead, MA)
July 12-13 Newport Multi-class (Newport, RI)
July 16-20 North Americans (Gorge, OR)
Aug 1-3 BBR (Marion, MA)
Aug 22-24 Canadian Championship (CORK, Kingston, ONT)
Sep 19-21 East Coast Champs (West River, MD)
Oct 11-12 High Performance Open (American YC, NY)
Nov 8-9 Region Two Championship (Hampton, VA)

2009:
Aug Pre-Worlds(North Americans) and Worlds (San Francisco, CA)

There has been a recent influx of younger sailors at many regattas in the past year. The biggest deterrent currently is the lack of quality used boats and the high exchange rates making new boats expensive. Keep in mind that quality 505's do not get soft and wear out like the boats we normally sail. It is not rare to see boats 20+ years old in the top 10 at a World Championship. The purchase price of a used boat may seem high, but the re-sale value of boats does not decline, resulting in minimal financial risk. Also the class is unique in the fact that the senior members are eager and willing to help younger sailors improve.

There are two unique opportunities to get into a boat in time to compete in these upcoming events:

Boat for Charter:
Drew Buttner has arranged a charter boat that is available in Newport, RI for the 2008 season. Although I don't know all of the specifics on this boat, I have been told it is competitive and would include everything needed to go sailing. The charter fee is $1500 for the entire season including sails. If interested please contact Drew at: andrew.buttner@gmail.com

Boat for Sale:
There is a unique opportunity for a young sailor to purchase a very competitive and lightly used boat. The owner of this boat wants to sell this boat to a young sailor interested in getting involved in the class. The boat is USA 8600 which is a 1996 epoxy Rondar. The boat is fully cored and is as stiff as the day is was made. This boat has seen very light use especially in the last 8 years. It has been mainly fresh water sailed and meticulously maintained. There are a few updates that would probably be beneficial although the boat comes ready to sail with full covers, blades,trailer and dolly for $9500. This means that even after a brand new set of sails, the all up cost is just over $11000. Please contact JB Turney at: jb.turney@gmail.com or Craig Thompson at: iqcraig@comcast.net

JB and I have been working hard to try to dig up boats like these and get younger sailors involved in the class. We hope to find many more used boats in the near future so that more college sailors have the opportunity to get out an race. One day of 505 sailing in over 20 knots and you will be hooked!

Craig Thompson
University of Rhode Island Sailing Team
iqcraig@comcast.net

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