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University of Michigan Sailing Team’s Sarah Sloan has kept the SA’ers abreast of Midwest college sailing for the past couple of years, and she has a big announcement for all of you U of M parents and alums.  We’re stoked to get the chance to help college sailors out whenever we can – let us know how we can help your team.

10801800_10152365945322395_6352462841784983861_nAfter three years of fundraising, the University of Michigan Sailing Team reached the first half of our $200,000 Capital Campaign goal and purchased a brand new fleet of twelve FJs.  The boats, scheduled to be delivered from Zim within the next week, can’t come soon enough; the team’s 420s (which are older than their freshman recruits) are on their last legs. There were a few collisions during practice and regattas last fall that required fiberglass work to fix, tillers were breaking left and right (one of which could only be salvaged into an award for our Halloween costume practice), and more mysterious cracks were discovered after removing the boats from winter storage last week.

There is something undeniably thrilling about being the very first people to sail in boats that cost more than most team member’s cars, but the team can’t sit back and enjoy their hard work for too long. The next step is raising the money necessary for an endowment to maintain the fleet for future teams and, more importantly, pay for a coach. The team’s main focus is becoming more competitive within the ICSA, and it has become increasingly apparent over the past few seasons that they need a coach to compete at the level they want to on the east coast as Sailing World’s #1 Ranked co-ed MCSA team. Even boats with sails that aren’t rags and fiberglass that hasn’t gone soft due to water damage can’t change that.

On behalf of teams past, present, and future, thank you to all of our supporters and donors; none of this would have been possible without your help. We’re look forward to finally unloading the trailer and taking selfies with the newest additions to the University of Michigan Sailing Team.