Fordham University Sailing Team

Dear Friends of Fordham Sailing,

We hope you had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday. Here at Fordham Sailing we are most thankful to finally be back on the water. The last year and a half has been tough for everyone, but for us it was made even more difficult by the fact that we did not have sailing as a part of our daily routine. Any former sailor can tell you how integral sailing was to their Fordham education, not just as a part of their broader experience but also as a part of their daily schedule. The ability to unplug, get off campus, and focus on an athletic endeavor you enjoy is both rewarding and enriching. The routine of practice and competition provides structure to our schedules that keeps our student athletes engaged in their studies. Though a busy schedule does not come without its challenges, I think most former sailors will tell you they were most productive with their time and engaged with their studies during our sailing season. 

That being said, we are not fully back to normal yet. The pandemic laid bare the differences between club and varsity programs, with nearly all varsity teams continuing to compete throughout last year while most club teams were stuck at home. It has always been a challenge to keep up with our varsity peers and this is even more true now that we are trying to catch up for lost time. I've always firmly believed that a large part of success is driven by a team's ability to cultivate a winning culture and build institutional knowledge and this is even more true for a club program. The passing down of this institutional knowledge from class to class is integral to furthering and perpetuating successes, not only by sharing specific technical knowledge to grow as sailors but also by sharing norms and best practices so we can grow as teammates. We lost nearly two years of that process so we need to work hard to get Fordham Sailing back on track. The process of rebuilding this institutional knowledge must come from within the team but can't happen without your support. With Giving Tuesday less than 24 hours away, please consider making a gift to help us elevate the experience for our student athletes and fast track Fordham Sailing to competing with our varsity peers. More details about the Giving Tuesday campaign can be viewed below. 

In order to keep up with increasing expenses and further enhance our sailing program, we have set an aggressive goal of $60,000. Dennis and Pat Ruppel have generously offered a $25,000 matching gift that will be unlocked after the first $10,000 in total giving for every dollar donated until we reach our goal of $60,000! Please consider making a gift to support Fordham Sailing this Giving Tuesday. In addition to funding our normal operating budget, your gift will help support the team in the following ways:

  • Assistant Coach: It is becoming clear that we need to add to our coaching staff if we want to provide a top tier experience for our student athletes and compete with our varsity sailing program peers. We have a candidate in mind and are working with the athletic department on final approval for a part time assistant coach. We are looking to make an initial investment of $20,000 towards funding this part time assistant coach position.
  • Equipment and Maintenance: Our 420 fleet is getting older and requires a significant investment to replace some aging parts and keep the fleet in regatta ready condition. Additionally, our FJ fleet requires a large investment to have all 20 boats in working order prior to our move to the new boathouse facility next fall when we will finally be able to sail both fleets simultaneously. We anticipate spending $7,500 to make all our boats regatta ready.
  • Travel Relief: The costs of transportation and lodging represent a large portion of our operating budget and they have skyrocketed since the pandemic. We aim to raise $10,000 to supplement our existing travel expenses and offset this increase in costs.
  • Facilities Rental: Though we will be in our new facility soon, we are still renting space at Morris Yacht & Beach Club and those fees have continued to rise. Our rental fees total $20,000 for this academic year, which is an increase of $7,800 from just two years ago.
The link to participate in our Giving Tuesday campaign will be sent out before the start of the campaign on Tuesday.

Johnny Norfleet 
Head Sailing Coach

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Fordham University Sailing Team · Lombardi Memorial Center · 441 East Fordham Road · Bronx, Ny 10458 · USA

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