Letter from the OYSF President

Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation Update

You may be wondering what is the OYSF?

Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation is a 501(c)3 not for profit foundation which serves to support youth sailing in Oregon. Our simple mission is to “get more Oregon youth sailing.”

Why? Sailing is a unique sport worth keeping alive.

Unlike many team sports and school-related activities, sailing is a sport and past time in which participation can last a lifetime. At club-level events, teenagers can compete in the same fleet as 80-year-olds. On larger dinghies, the two or three person crew can be a family. Sailing is an environmentally friendly sport powered by free and abundant wind energy. The art of sailing is thousands of years old, part of a rich community with complex traditions and folklore.  Sailing can be adapted for participants of all sizes and abilities. Respect, cooperation and sportsmanship shape the sailing experience. Sailing has an undeserved reputation as an elitist sport, in reality it is truly a global (and local) community that invites all who desire to engage in this wonderful way of life.


A brief OYSF history

A small group of dinghy sailors in Portland organized Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation in 2007. OYSF started out with a generous donation intended to support a revival of high school competitive sailing in the Portland area. Conceived as a state-wide effort, OYSF is independent of any yacht club or sailing club. The leadership of OYSF has included sailing enthusiasts from Willamette Sailing Club and other sailing organizations, and people involved in the sailing equipment industry. Administration of OYSF has been an all-volunteer operation with very low overhead expenses. 2017 will mark the first year we intend to bring on a part time staff member whom will split their time as an OYSF ambassador and WSC coach. From the start, OYSF has focused on small boat or “dinghy” sailing, which we value over large boat sailing for its modest expense, simplicity, speed, and fun.

As of 2017, OYSF has raised over $350,000 and funded boats, sails, multimedia equipment, and sailing camp scholarships at Willamette Sailing Club, the Columbia Gorge Racing Association, and the Oregon Maritime Museum.  Portland area youth sailing programs have received support for regatta travel, coaching, and staff development. In 2013, OYSF launched the WSC capital campaign with the goal of building a new sailing education center on the Willamette. The campaign attracted a large team of volunteers. Social events, mailings, a raffle, matching fund challenges, and phone banks generated donations from hundreds of donors. The two-story floating building, a vast improvement over the prior 50-year old single-room building, will be completed and moved into place in 2017. OYSF donations paid a major part of the cost of the new sailing center.


2017-18 plans

 Our top goal is to increase the number of youth sailing in Oregon.

We aim to fund and support the WSC as Oregon’s premier youth sailing center, College sailing and several other Oregon youth sailing programs. This means raising funds to sustain the sailing school fleet at WSC, provide funding to support fleets at other clubs and general funds to support many aspects of youth sailing in Oregon such as coaching, travel, etc.

We will be campaigning for funds as we have many initiatives to support. Look for more specifics in future “TellTales”, but suffice to say the funds required will exceed $100,000 to provide adequate support in 2017-18. So please don’t hesitate to donate now, your tax deductible donation is needed!

To donate, go to www.Oregonyouthsailing.org and click on donate or send a check made out to Oregon Youth Sailing Foundation to 4418 SE Henderson St. Portland OR 97206. You will then receive the great feeling of helping to keep sailing alive in Oregon! Also, a thankyou letter that can be used as your donation receipt 😉

Woody Blackford


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