The Sailing Team has been an Athletic's Department success story since the former varsity program was resurrected as a club sport in 2000. A few years ago, it was ranked #6 in the country among 230 varsity and club College Sailing teams, and #1 among the 194 club teams.
This past weekend, at our first regatta of the spring season, competing against five varsity teams consistently ranked among the top 20 in the country, our Rams placed third at the GWU Team Race competition in Washington DC. Moreover, Fordham was the only team, which beat the winner, Hobart/William Smith, not once but twice!
ORDER OF FINISH * = Varsity Team
Hobart/Wm. Smith 13/2 *
Georgetown 11/4 *
George Washington 6/9 *
Old Dominion 4/11 *
St. Mary's 1/14 *
In a separate thread, "RAMS PLACE THIRD AT GWU TEAM RACE REGATTA," Scott W 86 asked "Joe... you mentioned the others are Varsity to our club status. Can you describe the athletic financial aid, or other support that the kids and those programs typically enjoy? Paid coaches?"
I answered Scott's questions and explained how critical the generosity of our benefactors has been in enabling the program to be successful. (SEE BELOW FOR EXPLANATION) Scott then asked how Fans might financially support the Sailing Team.
Coincidentally, the team is just winding down its major fundraising raffle, so the timing of Scott's question could not be better. Over $18,000 has been raised. After consulting with Director of Sailing Cristina Puglia '07, we both agreed that we do not want to waste an opportunity to recruit additional benefactors to the team's cause to someday win a national championship. So here is our pitch as we raise the bar goal to $20,000!
1. Every Fordham Fan's Board participant will automatically become a member of the Fordham University Sailing Association, whose primary purpose is to assist the Sailing Team achieve its financial and non-financial goals.
2. There are no dues. Members are included in the Sailing Association Directory. They are on the distribution list for all regatta reports and other news, plus they are invited to the Team's Annual End-of-Year Liturgy & Luncheon, usually held on campus in early May.
3. THERE ARE THREE PRIZES:
FIRST PRIZE - A five-day, four-night trip to London for two, arranged and donated in part (Up to $1,000) by Continental Travel Group
SECOND PRIZE - A Weekend Getaway to the second home of one of our benefactor families in Loon Mountain, New Hampshire.
THIRD PRIZE - Sailing Team Gear including a Fordham Team Burgee and a Sailing Team Tie. As xtey92a wrote re: the tie...
"I bought the Fordham Sailing Tie last year. Very Spiffy. Would make a good team fundraiser."
4. Raffle books containing six raffle tickets each are available for $25.00 per book, and participation is easy.
a) Email firstname.lastname@example.org
and indicate the number of raffle books you would like to buy. Include your name, address, cell or home number to be called, if you are a winner, plus school and year, if you are an alum.
b) For the number of books purchased, mail your check payable to “Fordham University Sailing Team” to Cristina Puglia, 360 East 72nd Street, Apt. A1204, New York, NY 10021. The last day that checks may be mailed is this Friday, March 10.
c) Upon receipt of your check, your raffle stubs will be completed with your name and phone number, and your ticket receipts will be mailed to you.
d) The drawing will be held on Tuesday, March 21. Winners will be notified immediately and listed on the Fordham Sailing Forum of the Fans Board.
Whether you purchase two, four, 10 or 40 raffle books, please know that you will be supporting a very successful Fordham athletic team; one which aims high, and whose team members are committed to being the best, that they can be. Please help these fine young ambassadors of our excellent University achieve their goals. They will forever be grateful for your support, as will Cristina and I, and your fellow and gal alumni and alumnae benefactors of Fordham Sailing.
Thank you, and GO RAMS!
Joe Sullivan '58
(EXPLANATION RE: FUNDS NEEDED TO COMPETE AT VARSITY LEVEL & HOW FORDHAM SAILING HAS DONE IT)
Scott, the ICSA prohibits athletic scholarships and financial aid for Sailing skill. Re: other support, every varsity team has at least one professional coach employed by the school and most have at least one assistant coach. Most varsity programs, with which I am familiar, have at least 18 sailboats and one or two safety boats. The sailboats are replaced every five – seven years and sails are replaced more frequently. Varsity teams have travel budgets, which allow them to participate in three or four regattas on weekends.
Most importantly, varsity programs have the greatest legitimacy in the coaching community and can afford to recruit the most experienced coaches in the sport. Not surprisingly, most teams, which compete for National Sailing Championships, are varsity programs with very experienced coaches.
Fordham receives $5,000 annually from Club Sports. As a result of the generosity of the Fordham University Sailing Association, which consists of members of the Fordham Afterguard (Alumni club and varsity Sailing Team members dating back to 1952) plus other Alumni and Parent Benefactors, the program has been self-sustaining since it was resurrected as a club sport in 2000. After the original cadre of seven students raised $5,000 to buy one boat in 2001, the Afterguard raised $48,000 to fund a fleet of six 420 sailboats and one coach boat.
From then, until September 2011, the program operated with a volunteer Head Coach and intermittent coaching clinics conducted by a former College Sailor of the Year, a former Sailing World's Champion and a former member of the US Olympic Team, who were funded by our benefactors. The latter, also, funded expansion of our fleet to 10 boats. Alumni, Parents and Friends of Fordham Sailing also contributed by generously opening their homes to host the team on regatta weekends. This allowed Fordham to participate in three-four competitions on a weekend, which helped us develop the team size and talent to compete against varsity programs. In addition, the families frequently provided meals and packed sandwiches for the team members to eat at regattas, which helped their pocketbooks because the sailors had to fund their own "Uniforms," i.e., drysuits, boots, gloves, hats, lifejackets, stop watches, etc.
Every year, the kids had a fundraiser, where they raffled off a trip or some other prize, which had been donated to the program. Raffle tix were printed and every team member was expected to sell $500 of raffle tix during the summer. As the team grew in size, this effort provided as much as $20,000 annually to the program.
In May 2010, the Sailing Association hosted a 60/10 Anniversary Dinner at the New York Yacht Club to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of Fordham Sailing in 1950 and the 10th Anniversary of the program's rebirth. A goal of $100,000 was established to replace our 10-boat fleet so Fordham & Columbia, via a joint venture, would have 20 of the same boats and the ability to co-host interconference regattas. $153,000 was raised, which allowed the team to fund the new sailboats plus a larger safety boat, and most importantly, the employment of a full-time coach for one year. The University, however, had a policy, that three years of funding was needed before a coach could be hired. While it was a surprise at the time, it made a lot of sense from the standpoint of commitment. Fordham Trustee Dennis Ruppel '68 was named Commodore of the Sailing Association to replace Dave McCarthy '62, who did an excellent job serving in that role for 10 years. A professional coach was hired in September 2011 and after the first year, Dennis has been the primary benefactor for the coach's position and the program's primary advocate with the administration. Without his generosity and that of so many others over the years, the Fordham Sailing Team would not have been ranked the #1 Club team in the country and have the national reputation, which it has today.