Rhode Island sailing program has home on Newport Harbor
Sailing is to Newport, Rhode Island, asfishing is to Gloucester, Massachusetts, clamming is to Cape Cod, whaling is to the island of Nantucket. Which is to say, its iconic and defining. Newports sailing history includes most notably the Americas Cup, a race that took place from 1930 until 1983 in the waters of Newport, a location determined by the New York Yacht Club, which by virtue of winning the competition (24 times since 1857, a record sports streak) was entitled to choose the venue for each challenge to the title.
So when an Australian boat won the Cup in 1983, top American sailors feared they were seeing the end of an era for Newport and formed, on the very day the Aussies were victorious, an organization (later named Sail Newport) to continue Newports sailing prominence. (So important is the date of the founding that the last four digits of Sail Newports phone number are, to this day, 1983.)
Today, Sail Newport is New Englands largest public sailing center. It teaches youths and adults to sail (some 1,000 children go through its youth sailing program every year), rents sailboats by the hour, provides a venue for summer weeknight sailboat racing and winter weekend frostbiting, offers boat storage and hoist services, and hosts local, regional, national, and world-class regattas.