, 2022-06-27 14:37:59,
In November 2021, Rich Jepsen was introduced as the new US Sailing President, beginning a three-year term as Chair of the Board. In this report, Jepsen reflects on the organization’s history as he guides the sport forward:
As I started my first year as president of the board, I reflected on the long list of luminaries who served in my post before me. It’s a daunting list! I also reflected on how many times in those 125 years we’ve reinvented ourselves.
From NAYRU to USRYU to US Sailing; from representative organization to service and governance organization through the Ted Stevens Sports Act.
When US Sailing was birthed October 30, 1897 as the North American Yacht Racing Union, the founders were five American yachting associations and one Canadian yacht club. We were constituted as a representative organization that organized racing for sailors in Canada and the US.
We remained fairly dormant until 1927, when Clifford Mallory worked, at the invitation of IYRU (later World Sailing) on development and improvement of measurement and racing rules.
For a variety of reasons and over time, we morphed into the United States Yacht Racing Union as Canadian yachting leaders formed the Canadian Yachting Association to provide their sailors more bespoke advice and service.
As a representative body, USYRU was constituted with a board of 49 regional representatives and operated as such, with each representative deeply responsible to their own regions, balancing their duty of loyalty to USRYU with that for their colleagues back home. This, as you might imagine, made for interesting board meetings!
In 1978, Senator Ted Stevens created and marshaled through Congress the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act which changed elite athletics in…
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