America True Establishes $150,000 Community Sailing Scholarship Fund at Oakcliff

America True Establishes $150,000 Community Sailing Scholarship Fund at Oakcliff

America True during race day at the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup in Waitemata Harbor, New Zealand. / Courtesy America True

(Oyster Bay, NY) – Twenty five years after America True challenged for the America’s Cup, its assets are being donated to Oakcliff Sailing, establishing a $150,000 scholarship fund. The America True Scholarship Fund will be available to community sailing graduates, allowing them to train at Oakcliff and become professionals and leaders, on and off the water.

America True, with Dawn Riley as CEO, was the first syndicate headed by a woman and raced with a co-ed crew. The team was also a critical part of the mid-90’s movement to expand sailing opportunities into underserved populations. America True helped develop youth programs across the United States, getting at-risk kids on the water with the motto of “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Riley is now the Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing, with the goal of building American leaders through sailing.

“The sport of sailing still desperately needs more diversity at all levels,” said Dawn Riley. “This scholarship fund will provide a pathway for those who fell in love with sailing at a community sailing program, and will provide the training and network for them to be successful in our sport.”

Scholarships will cover up to 50 percent of the cost of an Oakcliff Acorn or Sapling program for graduates of community sailing organizations. Community sailing is defined as sailing organizations that do significant outreach to underserved communities and underwrite costs for disadvantaged students. Scholarships are need-based and awarded on a first come, first-served basis. Organizations can apply for official accreditation through US Sailing, as well as access a database of other community sailing programs.

“As someone who made sailing a career, with 40 years in training adults and children sailing and seamanship, I am over the moon to hear of this ground breaking and transformative initiative,” commented Rich Jepsen, President of US Sailing. “Dawn Riley always goes big, and this is another testament to America True’s commitment, Dawn’s vision and Oakcliff’s success in creating the next generation of elite competitors and professionals.”

Riley adds, “none of this would be possible without the Coffin Family; the thousands of donors, volunteers and supporters from True Ally Clubs; not to mention the team which actively participated in outreach at the same time as they were training for the America’s Cup.”

The America True Scholarship fund is also accepting donations on our website. The 1999-2000 America True retail inventory is also for sale in our online store with all proceeds going to support the fund:

Oakcliff Sailing is an adult and youth training center for athletes who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods and want to take the next step in their career. Located in Oyster Bay, New York they offer trainees 15 and older a proving ground to develop their skill set and professional network in the three big areas of competitive sailing: the America’s Cup, the Olympics, and The Ocean Race.  Partnering with American Magic and 11th Hour Racing and providing Olympic classes training and camps,  Oakcliff is raising  the level of American sailing worldwide.

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