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Oakcliff trainees to race historic 12 Metre Courageous in the World Championship

by Oakcliff Sailing 24 Mar 11:20 PDT July 31 - August 5, 2023
Courageous in action in 2022 © Onne van der Wal

Oakcliff Sailing will campaign the historic 12 Metre Courageous for the 2023 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island, Oakcliff executive director Dawn Riley has announced. The boat will be raced by a young and diverse team of sailors selected from Oakcliff's Acorn and Sapling training programs.

"This will be a bit of a David-and-Goliath situation with our young, aspiring sailors racing 12 Metres against the best of the best from around the world," said Riley, a dual hall-of-famer. "Most of our sailors and some of their parents were not even alive the last time this class competed for the America's Cup." 12 Metres were used from 1958 to 1987.

"Courageous has meant so much to the American sailing community and to Newport in particular," said Kimbra Walter, who with her husband Mark owns Courageous and will provide support for the forthcoming campaign. "We feel a responsibility to use Courageous' next chapter to help the world of sailing gain a wider and more diverse following. We want to offer more young women and people from every background the opportunity to experience the joy of sailing—and to be able to turn it into a profession. We're grateful to be working toward this alongside Dawn Riley, a legend in the sport and a model for our efforts."

Courageous USA 26 won the America's Cup in 1974 with Ted Hood and Dennis Connor on board and again in 1977 skippered by Ted Turner with Gary Jobson as tactician, becoming the second and last boat to successfully defend the Cup. Jobson has agreed to share his experience and insight with the Oakcliff team this summer. Courageous also holds a prominent place in The Sailing Museum and the America's Cup Hall of Fame in Newport.

"Having this team onboard Courageous will do so much to continue to move the conversation forward and break new ground in ethnic and gender diversity" said Heather Rusham, executive director of The Sailing Museum. She added, "We look forward to working with Oakcliff and the Walters to showcase what is possible to all visitors and members of our community."

Oakcliff is located in Oyster Bay, New York and is a workforce training center for those wishing to explore a professional career in the sport of sailing and the associated marine industry. Need-based scholarships are available. An additional America True Scholarship is reserved for sailors from community sailing programs. More than 90% of Oakcliff graduates are employed, and many are leaders in their field, playing roles in the America's Cup, preparing for the Olympics or racing around the world.

Applications are open for Oakcliff's Acorn and Sapling training programs, which are open to anyone 15 or older with an interest in sailing. To learn more about the Oakcliff programs or to apply, visit or call (516) 802-0368.

Race Schedule: /b>

  • June 9 - 11 - NYYC Annual
  • July 7 - 9 - Sail Newport 'Pre Worlds'
  • July 31 - Aug 5 - Worlds

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