What is COSC?
COSC is the Collegiate Offshore Sailing Circuit, Inc., a non-profit entity incorporated in Massachusetts and applying for a 501(c)3 tax-exempt letter from the IRS. COSC has the requisite Officers and Board of Directors, and additionally an international Advisory Panel.
What is the Mission of COSC?
The mission of COSC is to teach fundamental offshore seamanship and leadership skills to a large number of college students of all socioeconomic backgrounds, in order to expand the pool of offshore capable mariners in the USA, and to grow the offshore side of our sport. COSC is structured to support both the professional training offered by the maritime and service academies and the efforts of colleges which may wish to develop the offshore skills of their sailing teams toward future adult offshore sailing after graduation.
COSC is not a pay-to-play yacht racing school, nor is its goal to train sailors to become “professional” yachtsmen.
How will COSC achieve its Mission?
COSC seeks to raise $3M to acquire 30 proven offshore-capable one-design yachts, 10 the first year, 10 the second year, and 10 the third year. COSC will install these boats (2-4 per site) to ~10 selected colleges or consortia to operate and train students offshore during the school’s academic semesters as part of their sailing teams.
How are the colleges/consortia selected?
COSC will consider these parameters in selecting the colleges/consortia:
a. current sailing teams;
b. facilities to dock and maintain the fleet;
c. enthusiasm of coaches and teams;
d. within a regional geographic proximity so that the colleges may gather each semester for fleet-wide regattas.
Coaches at the colleges/consortia are represented on COSC’s Board of Directors.
How will donations be looked after?
Donations towards this program will be channeled through the Storm Trysail Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, and therefore will be tax-deductible to the donor. STF has representation on COSC’s Board of Directors, and will Grant the STF-accumulated donor funds specific to this project to COSC. With those funds, COSC will acquire and hold title to the 30 boat fleet, and will then install the boats under Vessel Sponsorship Agreements to the selected colleges or consortia.
Who will operate and maintain the fleet?
The selected colleges/consortia will be responsible for operating and maintaining their fleet. COSC estimates maintenance cost to be $7k per year per boat. Also, COSC will operate an annual fleet maintenance crew to assist the colleges with spare parts and repairs, to inspect the boats to insure that the boats are kept up to standards and within one-design class rules. COSC may take back boats (and re-allocate them elsewhere) that are not meeting maintenance and operational standards thereby protecting the donors’ interests and the program’s integrity. The program has been structured outside NCAA and Intercollegiate Sailing Association rules. This will allow sponsor advertising (per individual institutions’ policies) that may help to offset maintenance and training costs.
How will the fleets be used?
The fleets are proposed to operate ~7 weeks each in both Fall & Spring semesters per each college’s schedule (versus the normal 12 weeks of current dinghy teams). The colleges may train/compete within their fleet, against another fleet, or in local regattas, as long as the COSC mission of logging significant offshore training miles is met. Each fleet may converge by feeder races to the annual Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (sponsored by STF at Larchmont YC) in the fall, plus a similar regatta TBD in the spring. These regattas will offer new Distance Races. In addition to on-water training, teams will offer a shore-based curriculum on offshore seamanship skills, i.e., Navigation, Rules of the Road, Log-keeping, Watch-keeping, Man Overboard, etc. Per a college’s choice, their boats may participate in summer offshore races, i.e., Newport/Marion-Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax, etc.
What about Donor recognition?
A donor (or group of donors) may name the boat or boats they are supporting. Also, an annual fleet-wide Trophy for distance offshore training performance may be awarded to a college under a large donor’s name.
How does COSC compare to traditional boat donation programs?
COSC is not a traditional boat donation program where the institution receiving the asset(s) can sell them after three years to meet the Tax-exemption requirement for the donor and generate funds for the institution. The fleet of 30 one-design boats will be owned by COSC and will be installed in Colleges & Academies under our Vessel Sponsorship Agreement. Our long-term goal is to create a sustainable offshore training and racing program for colleges. An advantage of this approach is that the colleges will receive strict one-design boats that can then train internally together evenly, or be raced against other colleges evenly, rather than if they had received traditional random boat donations that are of unequal performance and maintenance, and are simply meant to be sold in 3 years.
How does COSC track and measure success of the program?
COSC’s measure of success is not in races won by students in the program, but by the total number of qualified sailors with true offshore seamanship skills developed over hundreds of offshore miles logged aboard the boats. At full deployment COSC will be training ~300 offshore student/sailors per year, each sailing perhaps a thousand offshore miles in an academic year. This is many multiples of any other offshore sailing development program extant today in the USA and at less cost per student compared to those programs.
Who is supporting this program?
The Storm Trysail Club & Foundation has formally endorsed COSC. COSC has been endorsed by 8 sailing coaches of major colleges who have signed a “Coaches’ Letter of Support”. COSC is further endorsed by Gary Jobson, American representative to the World Sailing Council, as well as other senior personalities in both US and International sailing.
Are there Olympic opportunities via the COSC program?
Yes! Olympics 2024 in France (Marseille) will have a new Gold/Silver/Bronze Medal event: a doublehanded, coed, 500 nautical mile race in boats similar to the Figaro 2s. College sailors who aspire to the Olympics but may have outgrown the dinghy classes, may aim for this event.