West Coast Sailing joins its affiliate Zim Sailing in a new sponsorship agreement for college sailing across the United States.

A few months ago, we helped get the word about about a new holding company making waves in the youth and dinghy sailing markets — Starting Line Sailing was formed when Oregon-based West Coast Sailing joined with Zim Sailling and Dwyer Mast & Rigging. The new company is helmed by West Coast Sailing founder, George Yioulos.

By combining forces and creating bi-coastal efficiencies between manufacturers and distributors, West Coast Sailing and Zim Sailing now have even more traction to make good on their promises to enhance service to sailors and programs, and to help more people discover their own passion for sailing. Through a new sponsorship agreement as the Official Suppliers of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association, Zim and West Coast Sailing are providing equipment at certain events as well as making cash contributions to support student athletes and the growth of college sailing. This arrangement is the latest in a long history of sponsorship and stewardship from both Zim Sailing and West Coast Sailing.

Here’s the full press release from Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association:

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is excited to announce a new five-year sponsorship agreement with Zim Sailing and West Coast Sailing. These are two of North America’s leading suppliers of boats, parts and equipment, both owned and led by former college sailors.

As ‘Official Suppliers’ of College Sailing, Zim Sailing and West Coast Sailing will contribute equipment for use at the various ICSA national championships, including 420/FJ sails at Spring Championships, and complete ILCA boats at Singlehand championships. In addition to providing equipment, both companies have created a unique cash contribution plan where 5% of purchases made by college sailing programs will be donated back to ICSA. This will create a direct circle of support for the long term benefit of student athletes and the continued growth of College Sailing.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Zim Sailing and West Coast Sailing as sponsors,” said Mitch Brindley, President of ICSA. “Their contributions ensure the stability of College Sailing and provide funding for the operations and promotion of the National Championships, education and training for developing sailors and coaches, and development grants to open the pathway to sailing for a wide range of student athletes.”

Zim Sailing, founded by Steve Perry in 2008 in Bristol, Rhode Island, provides one-design sailboats, parts, accessories, and services to the North American market. They manufacture popular collegiate dinghies including the FJ, C420 and 420E, while engaging in grassroots youth development of yacht club junior sailing programs, community sailing and youth racing. Zim Sailing is seen at regattas around the country, providing charter boats and onsite support.

West Coast Sailing, founded in 2005 in Portland, Oregon by George Yioulos, is one of North America’s leading marine retailers, focusing on the dinghy racing and small keelboat market with an emphasis on e-commerce fulfillment and industry leading customer service. Yioulos, a former University of Oregon sailor and recipient of the 2005 ICSA James Rousmaniere Award for Student Leadership, brought West Coast Sailing and Zim Sailing under common ownership in 2021 – with the goal to expand support for sailing in North America.

“College Sailing changed my life. In four years, I learned more about teamwork, leadership, budgeting, and development than I ever dreamed,” said Yioulos. “For a club team from the Pacific Northwest with a $6000 annual budget, College Sailing gave me an opportunity to grow and make lifelong friendships. Eighteen years later, the ability to give back to the sport on a national level, is a dream come true.”

Both companies are led by, and employ, many alumni of College Sailing. Their teams continue to volunteer, donate, coach, and support ICSA, year in and year out. For sailors, programs and supporters of College Sailing, this is an opportunity to work with a valued sponsor for all boats, parts, equipment, and apparel needs. Programs can set up accounts for easy online ordering with discounted pricing, with 5% of those purchases going back to ICSA. Individual student athletes can take advantage of 15% off apparel and accessories purchases to get the gear they need to get on the water at a great value. Knowledgeable sailors are on hand to provide support and answer questions.

Originally published May 4th, 2022 by collegesailing.org

Title background photo by Andrew Nelson.