Progress has been made recently with the addition of a new fleet of Z420’s arriving from Portugal. These seem to be much more solid than the previous fleet. Although we have some modifications to make We hope they will prove to be reliable workhorses for years to come. Last year we upgraded our outboards and now run exclusively Yamaha’s. We are planning to work with the Carolina Yacht Club to purchase a matching set of race sails for our J-22’s and theirs this year. Next year we are scheduling the replacement of the FJ fleet which is now 7 years old.
While our fleets require update and attention our facility does as well. Last year our facility celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. Prior to this we had begun a campaign to raise $500k to put toward updates and repairs to the center. I’m happy to report that a $100,000 matching challenge gift has been met. Provided by the Perry family subsequent to Claire’s graduation in 2019, family and friends of the class of 2019 compiled $50,000 and over $50,000 in gifts from other donors came in over the past 18 months. In addition to this the College has committed to providing $100,000 in funding and to make things a bit better FEMA came through with nearly $80,000 of insurance funds to address specific repairs. We are still have work to do to meet our goal but are putting plans in motion to repair floatation under the main facility, replace the Laser dock, increase awning coverage and install improved connections off of the main facility dock.
This summer we were honored through the creation of the Mary Ann Donaldson Hay Memorial Fund to support Women’s Sailing at the College of Charleston. Mary Ann grew up sailing right here off of the shores of Mt Pleasant where the team practices regularly. Her father and uncle built their own boats and some of her fondest memories were of sailing here as a child. The Hay family is a fixture here in Charleston, Mary Ann’s son David is the Chair for the Board of Trustees at the College. We are humbled by this but also find it such a great fit to keep Mary Ann’s memory present and alive.
We are currently looking for a lead donation for this year’s race to the Match which has become an annual tradition for us. This year we are going to run it in conjunction with the CofC Day celebration on January 18th. Gifting prior to year’s end can be accepted as part of this campaign. If you are interested in filling an important role by providing a matching challenge gift, are interested in making a gift of any amount, want to learn more about how our foundation accounts support our programs please reach out to me at any time.
So often it’s difficult to pull yourself above the fray to see the long road ahead. It’s good to write this report and reflect on all of the positives we have going for the program right now. Keep us in your thoughts as we navigate the challenges ahead. Staying healthy might be the biggest hurdle, hopefully we can accomplish this and find ourselves competing for another set of National Championships come May.