11th Hour Racing Awards Grant to US Sailing’s Reach Initiative

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (May 16, 2017) – US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport, is proud to announce a multi-year partnership with 11th Hour Racing, a program of 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.

The US Sailing Reach Initiative, 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, is honored to be named a grant recipient from 11th Hour Racing that will directly fund its efforts to grow sailing as an educational platform for youth and bring more awareness to environmental and ocean stewardship.

Photo credit to Community Boating Center (Providence, R.I.), Northeast STEM Center of Excellence.


“We are thrilled and honored that 11th Hour Racing continues to put their valued resources behind this important initiative,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing. “Reach has a unique ability to engage kids in STEM education through sailing, while teaching them about leadership, teamwork and self-confidence. We are excited about the opportunities we will have to expand this programming through the tremendous support of 11th Hour Racing.”

The Reach Initiative plans to continue creating systemic change in how youth perceive and interact with STEM, sailing, and their environment through the growth of the Reach Regional Networks. In 2015, the Reach Northeast Regional Network (Hub) was established thanks to a pivotal grant from 11th Hour Racing, impacting five key sailing centers in the Northeast. The Reach National Network is a group of regionally based coalitions comprised of sailing centers, schools, youth organizations, colleges and universities, industry, and local environmental education organizations that are working together to expand access to the water and STEM programming through sailing.

“The US Sailing Reach program showcases that our sport provides an ideal platform to educate kids and inspire and engage them in caring for our local waterways,” said Rob MacMillan, 11th Hour Racing co-founder. “Through learning comes a greater understanding of our impact and with these partnerships we can create a wave of positive change at a local and global scale. We are excited to continue our collaboration with the US Sailing Reach Initiative and help expand this program even further.”

In 2016, the second Hub Network was established in the Mid-Atlantic, bringing together leadership from five sailing centers. Through the support of 11th Hour Racing, US Sailing will cultivate the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions and begin to establish a West Coast region.

In 2017 and 2018, Reach will focus on projects that directly support the expansion of the Reach National (Hub) Network and positively impact our Reach students. Educational resources and best practices will be created to engage youth and support our Reach educators. In addition, training, professional development, and mentorship will be provided to these sailing centers through the regional networks and will be hosted by STEM Centers of Excellence.

Since its inception in 2012, Reach has grown to impact over 120,000 youth annually, 90% of which are first time sailors creating an onramp to the sport for youth of all backgrounds. Reach has given educators the tools to make STEM and sailing relevant to students and has fostered new connections with the environment. With a solid foundation of learning modules, an educator guide, and training initiatives, Reach has become the gold standard in STEM sailing.

Learn more about US Sailing’s Reach at reach.ussailing.org.

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, Communications Manager, communications@ussailing.org

US Sailing Reach Contact: Jessica Servis, Education and Outreach Manager, jessicaservis@ussailing.org

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 www.ussailing.org.