by Rich Jepsen, US Sailing President
This holiday season, I would like to extend my personal well wishes and gratitude to all members of the US Sailing community. As we approach the new year, US Sailing is proud to be the stewards of our sport and look forward to continuing to serve the American sailing community into 2022 and beyond.
First, I would personally like to thank the volunteers and community organizers who have worked tirelessly despite the challenges we have experienced over the last few years. With your dedication, we have been able to adapt to the changing times.
We have created virtual and COVID-safe spaces; from the Starboard Portal and in-person regattas to boat shows held with health safety protocols in place allowing us to get back to some sense of normalcy.
We continue to support, guide, and lead a huge Community Sailing network that allows anyone with the desire to get on the water the ability to do so. With your continued support we are expanding our community sailing outreach with the growth of the Siebel Sailors Program, designed to provide opportunities for under-resourced youth to experience the joys, values and sense of community that sailing brings.
With the amazing support of our Olympic staff, supporters, partners, and donors, we were able to successfully send the US Sailing Team to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In 2022, the West Marine US Open Sailing Series will continue to elevate the level of domestic training and racing ahead of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
No matter what the new year looks like, US Sailing is committed to educating, inspiring, and uplifting American sailors of all stripes. Sailing creates remarkable stories, friendships, and adventures unparalleled by other outdoor activities.
Whether competing or cruising or chartering, it allows us to immerse ourselves in some of the most beautiful places across the US and the world. It is a life-long activity that you can do, from 5 to 85, or longer. Sailing allows people of all ages and genders to compete with and against one another.
As the new Board President, I’m proud of US Sailing’s role in making sailing so special. From my humble beginnings as a US Sailing volunteer, I discovered the joy that volunteering for US Sailing provides and made giving back through volunteering a large part of my life, and I am so happy, honored and privileged to do it.