11th Hour Racing Grants $1 Million to Sail Newport’s Campaign for Blue Space

NEWPORT, RI (September 6, 2016)- Sail Newport announced today that 11th Hour Racing has awarded a grant of $1 million to its fundraising Campaign for Blue Space. The funds will be used for a new facility and the expansion of marine educational programming at the non-profit public sailing center.

11th Hour Racing is a Newport-based program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, working to promote sustainability through the platform of sailing. Using three main areas of engagement: grants, sponsorships, and ambassadors, 11th Hour Racing supports efforts that improve ocean health through innovative solutions and programs.

“We established 11th Hour Racing to bring our Foundation’s focus of promoting the wiser use of our natural resources, directly to the maritime world,” said Wendy Schmidt, founder of 11th Hour Racing and president of The Schmidt Family Foundation. “Sail Newport has taken an inclusive approach to introducing people of all ages to the sport of sailing, and combined it with educating them about the vital importance of our oceans. We look forward to supporting Sail Newport’s mission, as it expands its presence and programs.”

Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read says, “The 11th Hour Racing grant will help us carry through our goals to build sustainable headquarters for Sail Newport and create programming to inspire sailors to be ocean stewards. It’s important that we not only foster environmentally-friendly sailing events and green regattas, but that we also integrate the message of preservation and maintenance of our ocean and shoreline.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center, will be held on Monday, September 12 at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public and will take place at the Dock Office area.


The new building will be LEED-compliant, environmentally sustainable and will be powered by renewable energy. The new building will include fifty or more solar panels, energy-efficient fixtures and systems, and eco-friendly and recycled materials, both on the interior and the exterior of the building. In addition, a rain harvesting system will be installed to service water needs such as boat washing, landscape irrigation and flushing in the public restrooms.

Sail Newport and 11th Hour Racing have partnered before on sustainability, sailing and marine education programs. 11th Hour Racing was a sustainability sponsor for the 2012 America’s Cup World Series Exploration Zone and supported a similar educational initiative for the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover in 2015. 11th Hour Racing has also supplied reusable water bottles to thousands of Sail Newport students, volunteers and regatta entrants, helping to eliminate single-use plastics.

Jeremy Pochman, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing says, “Sail Newport shares our vision for active ocean stewardship and educating the next generation of sailors and students, we’re excited to support the construction of its new headquarters and education programs.”

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