Founded in 1995 by a small group of undergrads sharing a single boat, the University of Massachusetts Amherst club sailing team has come a long way from its humble roots. What makes our sailing team unique is the fact that many of our team members come from nautical homes, to Western Massachusetts, where the opportunities to sail are limited and the water to sail on is sparse. As a result, the team provides one of the few opportunities for thousands of UMass Amherst students to get on the water, gain real sailing experience, and have a great time doing it. But our team is growing faster than we can keep up with, and we need your help.
With our total team membership standing around 50 members and still growing, we desperately need your help in acquiring the resources necessary to continue our upward trend. This includes finally obtaining and maintaining our own fleet of boats, for the first time in the team’s history, and we can’t do this without you.
Growing our resources means we’ll be able to serve more people, which not only means a bigger team, but the general expansion of our program to allow us to do more community outreach- like our popular Learn To Sail Day. This past semester, our Learn To Sail weekend allowed space for about 40 participants, but dozens more were still hoping to participate and getting in touch with us even after the event. With the right resources, our team could provide an accessibility to the sport of sailing at a level which was previously impossible for those living in the greater Amherst area.
In addition, sharing boats has become difficult, due to the growing size of our team. With more people, we need more time on the water, and more boats. It’s important to our retention too, since team members expect a reasonable amount of access to the boats in order to grow their skills and perform better at competitive events. Sometimes, we are forced to send out boats with three people at a time, which is almost like trying to ride a regular bicycle with two people on it. In other words, the boats we sail are meant to be raced with two sailors on board, and sometimes it is hard for the team to even accommodate that! As pictured below, Johann, James, and Benno could tell you first-hand how they would love more boats to spread out on.
Ultimately, we are a club team here at UMass, which means a majority of our team operations and finances are left completely up to us. While we work hard to ensure that each team member has the resources available to them that enable them to participate in the sport, we cannot sustain this growth simply from collecting bi-annual dues or hosting local fundraisers. This is why we’re asking for your help. Your donation could help keep our team functioning for years to come.
Thank you so much for your consideration to help the UMass Amherst sailing team. Go team!