1. Please Help COSC’s Annual Campaign by Donating Now!
COSC is an IRS designated 501c3 public charity and thus all donations are tax-deductible to the donor.
Our goal for our 2020 Annual Campaign is $95,000. We ask you sailors, who love our sport and want to see it thrive, to help us bring offshore sailing to many more young sailors, to expand the foundation of the sailing pyramid, by supporting our COSC initiatives below (by check or online). In advance, many thanks for your generous support!
1. Our fundamental COSC mission is “to expand the pool of offshore capable mariners in the USA”. Our original plan targeted colleges where we saw the need to fill a big gap between college dinghy sailing and later adult sailing in larger keelboats for coastal or offshore cruising or racing. 6 of our 10 boats are currently deployed at Webb, Mass. Maritime, USMMA, and SUNY.
2. A second target has become summer community sailing programs where we have found great interest to train high school students in offshore sailing. See SailMaine’s concept here . Community sailing programs in Marblehead, Boston, Marion, Newport, and western Long Island Sound have expressed firm interest to offer a similar program.
3. And we now find interest to use our Figaro 2s for training by prospective Olympic campaigns toward Paris 2024 with the new sailing Gold Medal Event: doublehanded; mixed gender; 500 nautical miles; boats similar to Figaro 2s.
Read more on each of these three initiatives below! And please help offshore sailing now with your generous donation! Thanks!
2. COSC & Colleges
Although most college sailing (both racing and practicing) was vastly curtailed this fall season 2020 due to Covid 19, four of our Figaro 2s (at Webb, USMMA, SUNY Maritime) were able to train together and individually in western Long Island Sound, while complying with established COVID guidelines. We anticipate similar training opportunities for those boats in spring 2021. We focus now on Fall 2021 when we anticipate college sailing returning.
As continuing uncertainty around Covid 19 may reduce the ability of new colleges to maintain their own Figaro 2s in the near term, we are exploring the use of “Centers of Excellence” where we would stage boats for shared use by nearby colleges. Narragansett Bay, Boston and Charleston, SC are being considered as venues close to open water and to groups of schools.
3. COSC & Community Sailing Programs
Last year we connected with the imaginative team at SailMaine and with them developed a template that found great interest among other summer high school programs, in Marblehead, MA, Boston, MA, Newport/Bristol, RI, Marion, MA, and several clubs in western Long Island Sound.
The program template was: 5-6 weeks, with at least two offshore overnight training sessions (4 students plus 1 coach) before an overnight culminating distance race (in the case of SailMaine.org, this was to be the Monhegan Island Ocean Race – 150 miles). Two weekday evenings each week would include one evening of maneuvering training and one evening to complete the US Sailing Online Offshore Safety-at-Sea seminar.
4. COSC & Paris 2024 Olympics
Although still needing to be confirmed by the IOC in mid-December, World Sailing Council has included in their slate of races/classes for the Paris 2024 Olympics a new Medal event: doublehanded; mixed gender; 500 nautical mile race; and in boats very similar to our Figaro 2s.
COSC has been approached by several prospective American Olympic teams to use our boats for training. Although our primary mission is to expand the foundation of the pyramid of offshore sailing, and the Olympics represents the top of the pyramid, we may be able to help qualified teams with grants of boats, especially in this coming year given the Covid 19 uncertainties within college and community sailing.
5. COSC & Vendée Globe
COSC President Rich Wilson, because of his two Vendée Globe finishes, was able to gain an exemption to the EU travel ban to go to the start of VG2020. See his Facebook series of 8 reports here.
It is clear that for our COSC mission of “expanding the pool of offshore capable mariners in the USA”, COSC has chosen the correct boats for its fleet. The Figaro 2 is the fundamental building block boat for the great French ocean racers, and it shows in this year’s Vendée Globe 2020 , solo, non-stop, no assistance, around-the-world, in IMOCA Open 60s. There are 6 women of the 33 starters, and 18 of the 33 are first-timers.
La Solitaire du Figaro (the class’s top race) is likely the hardest sailboat race in the world to win: solo; 4 stages of 500 nautical miles each; annually a different race course; ~50 strict one-design boats on the starting line. Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Irish Sea, gales, rocks, currents, fog, shipping lanes, the Solitaire du Figaro has every challenge, and the winner (by accumulated time) may win by only a few minutes after 2,000 miles of racing!
3-time winners of the Solitaire include: Michel Desjoyeaux (2x winner of Vendee Globe); Jean Le Cam (3rd place in VG2020 with a 12 year old boat – no foils); Armel Lecleac’h (winner of VG2016); Jeremie Beyou (VG2016 – 3rd place). Today, Charlie Dalin (5x Solitaire podium finishes) is leading VG2020. Thomas Ruyant (2 x Solitaires) is in 2nd, Yannick Bestaven is in 5th (Solitaire 2nd rookie 2005). Also in the top ten is Sebastien Simon (Solitaire winner), and Louis Burton, Samantha Davies, Romain Attanasio are all Figaro 2 veterans.
COSC has the correct boats for offshore training at all levels of the pyramid in the USA.