The Storm Trysail Foundation, The Storm Trysail Club and club member Rich Wilson kicked off a fundraising effort to allow colleges with established sailing programs to enhance their offerings by teaching seamanship, leadership and navigation in order to better develop future leaders of the sport of offshore sailing. To date, the newly established Collegiate Offshore Sailing Circuit (COSC) has raised donations totaling $900,000. The funds have been used to purchase nine identical pre-owned Figaro 2’s – 33’ offshore racing yachts built by Beneteau that have been actively raced all over Europe by the worlds top offshore sailors before being supplanted by a newer generation of Figaro 3’s.
When multi-Vendée Globe finisher and club member Rich Wilson and his close friend and accomplished offshore sailor Pierre Jean approached the leadership of the Storm Trysail Club with an idea to establish COSC, it was readily apparent that a strategic alignment would make sense. Everyone agreed that providing a bridge from dinghy sailing to offshore sailing for collegiate sailors is critical to the health of the sport. Wilson and Jean realized the suitability of the Figaro 2 as an exciting and robust offshore platform.
COSC is well on its way to transitioning from idea to reality. Five boats have already been delivered to SUNY Maritime, Mass Maritime, and Webb Institute. While neither STF nor STC is taking ownership – nor the operational responsibility – of these boats, advisory and board participation are being provided by Past Commodore Rich du Moulin and Vice-Commodore Ed Cesare, who enjoyed a delivery with some of SUNY Maritime cadets. “The Figaro 2s are perfect for the mission. They are cool enough to get the attention of young sailors but forgiving enough to keep them out of real trouble. Although small, they are proper race boats with lots of interior space, comfortable for being offshore. And, they have a proper nav table at which to teach those skills.”
This strategic relationship clearly advances the Mission of the Club and provides real member value through the opportunities to volunteer as coaches and safety officers at the individually participating schools, as well as accompanying crews offshore. The COSC partnership is an excellent opportunity for the Storm Trysail Foundation to continue to execute its mission to support the Storm Trysail Club in its educational outreach goals above and beyond supporting the Club’s well-established Safety-at-Sea Programs and Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta.
The Club and Program could really use a volunteer to act as coordinator for Members who want to participate as coaches and safety officers. For more information on how to participate in supporting the STF and COSC, please feel free to contact Rich du Moulin, Rich Wilson, or Ed Cesare.