Mission Statement

Getting into Sailboat Racing is not Easy

In many ways, Long Beach, California is the ideal location for racing a sailboat.  The relatively mild weather and consistent southwest breeze offer almost ideal sailing conditions.  San Pedro Bay, the ocean right off our coast, is protected by an offshore breakwater which creates an ideal sailing venue for smaller boats.  The City of Long Beach operates the Alamitos Bay Marina and the Shoreline Marina which, collectively, offer slips for 3,755 boats.  In addition, the area boasts five yacht clubs that host sailing and racing events year round.

Despite all of this, it is not easy for people living in Long Beach to get involved in sailboat racing.  Learning how to sail is relatively easy.  You can take lessons at the Leeway Sailing Center, which is operated by the City of Long Beach, the U.S. Sailing Center, the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship, or the Newport Sea Base.  Once you know how to sail, getting involved in sailboat racing at a local yacht club is relatively difficult unless you have the means to purchase your own boat and join a yacht club.

Granted, you do not need to join a yacht club to take part in local sailboat racing; all you really need is a boat.  However, the logistics of storing your boat at home or in storage facility, trailering the boat to the club hosting the race and launching the boat before every regatta can be daunting.  Then, when the regatta is over, you have to start the process all over again but in reverse order.  Needless to say, a person who is simply trying to figure out whether they would enjoy sailboat racing is not going to do this.

If you are lucky, you will know someone who owns their own boat and convince them to take you out on their boat as a crew when they go racing.  Unfortunately, most sailors who race their own boat are looking for experienced crews and may not be willing to take out an inexperienced person unless they are willing to commit to crewing for an extended period.

Our Mission
USITA Long Beach is a young, nonprofit organization that offers a solution to the above problem.  We want people from Long Beach and the surrounding area to have an easy way to get into sailboat racing.  We offer a collaborative approach to teaching sailboat racing, using the International Tempest, an exciting two-man keel boat.  Designed to be the two-man keel boat in the Olympic sailing event, the Tempest is an ideal boat to learn high-performance sailboat racing.  At the present time, USITA Long Beach has seven Tempests. Three are being actively raced, while the others are being rebuilt.

Anyone who knows how to sail and is interested in racing can crew on one of our boats without joining a yacht club or making a significant financial commitment.  We hope that you will enjoy crewing so much that you will be willing to take the next step which is to be the skipper on one of our boats and assume the responsibility for taking care of it.  Although becoming a skipper does require paying a fee, the amount is negotiable if you are willing to support the fleet, typically by taking care of boats, helping to run races, or by teaching others how to race.

In addition to being avid sailboat racers, we are avid environmentalists.  As sailors, we are directly connected, both physically and spiritually with the Pacific Ocean in southern California.  Quite naturally, our love of sailing is intertwined with the health of the ocean in which we sail.  It is only natural that we expand our love of sailboat racing to becoming advocates for the marine environment.

As sailors who spend most of our time in San Pedro Bay, we are extremely appreciative of the efforts by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to project our environment.  Despite being the home of the largest active port complex in the United States, San Pedro Bay is remarkably clean, thanks to the efforts of our two ports.  As can be see on the photo to the right, the water is clean and free of floating debris.  If you would like to know more about how this is possible, please contact us for more information.

At this time, we are looking for people who have graduated from a sailing school or who sailed while in high school or college and would like to get involved in one-design sailboat racing.  Please let us know that you are interested by contacting us by e-mail, dommeo@verizon.net, or by phone, 714-377-8887. To see if you would be a good fit for our team, we would take you out for a sail and give you the opportunity to both skipper and crew on a Tempest.

We are a teamwork-oriented organization, and all of our members contribute in some way to building the fleet.  This brings the team closer together and creates a positive learning experience.  If you do have the financial resources, we would like you to help cover our operating costs. You can also help build the fleet by assisting with boat rebuilding and repair, web design and updating, producing and editing videos, fund raising and hosting social events.

Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to teach sailing to non-sailors, or those who are interested in racing.  Fortunately, the facilities mentioned above offer excellent programs.  If you are interested in learning how to sail, please check out one of these programs.

November 13, 2014

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