The University of Michigan Sailing Team will be hosting the Commodore Barbour Memorial Regatta at Bayview Yacht Club on Sunday, September 8th, 2014. The team is reaching out to sailors between eight and eighteen years old to help crew on boats during the regatta, which is hosted in memory of former BYC commodore John Barbour, who was a huge supporter of the local junior sailing community. Many of Michigan’s sailing team members began their careers in the Detroit area, and as their graduation from college looms closer, so does the end of their time as dinghy sailors. That moment may still be a distant speck on the horizon for many junior sailors, but having big boat experience early on can make the transition smoother, as well as help foster a love of sailing that continues long after they’ve outgrown their first life jacket. Christopher Cyr, co-captain of Michigan’s team, states that “far too often, young sailors end their sailing careers when they get too big for dinghies. The team’s hope is to bridge the gap between junior sailing and sailing as a life long sport.” Every boat owner that signs up for the event will have the opportunity to choose from a list of local junior sailors compiled by Cyr, the regatta chairman, to take on as crew members during the race. “We had approximately twenty-six boats with junior sailors aboard last year, and we’re hoping to double that number this fall,” says Cyr.
Part of the purpose of this event is to raise funds toward the University of Michigan Sailing Team’s Capital Campaign to replace our fleet of deteriorating collegiate dinghies. As a club sport at the University of Michigan, the team is primarily self funded, governed, and managed. This makes raising the $100,000 necessary to purchase a new fleet very challenging. With over $61,000 raised for the campaign, the team hopes to use this event to continue raising money so that it can meet its goal within the next twelve months.
Visit the Commodore Barbour Regatta page for more information regarding boat owner and junior sailor sign up!