For the 3rd time in ICSA history, Princeton is leading the charge in defining the sport of college sailboat racing
Princeton’s innovative sailing program is designed to advance a student’s long-term skills in our great, lifetime sport. Yet, also emphasized within our program is the importance of friends made and the fun of intercollegiate competition. The key to this is a flexible, customized sailing schedule during the week tailored to each student’s skill level and academic demands while enabling that sailor’s optimum contribution to team results. At Princeton, a student’s academic endeavors come first, and time spent sailing should be fun and enjoyable.
With this in mind, it is thrilling to announce our team’s brand-new fleet: ten DragonFlite 95 radio-controlled sailboats. One-design racing in the DF95 class embodies Princeton Sailing’s mission to provide exciting racing opportunities to its members in an inclusive setting. While we currently can’t meet on the water in full-scale intercollegiate events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DF95 fleet will be pivotal to provide our members the thrill of racing this spring.
DragonFlite 95 radio-controlled “models”? Yes. For the 3rd time in ICSA history, Princeton is leading the charge in defining the sport of college sailboat racing and college sailing programs – this time with a progressively smaller craft.
In 1929. Arthur Knapp ’28 organized the May Challenge Cup for the first intercollegiate regatta versus Harvard and Yale. In 1930, Dartmouth, Williams and Cornell were added and IYRA (ICSA) founded. These were in 8-Meter “yachts”, S-Boats and Atlantics.
In 1934, to broaden the sport with more a affordable craft, Princeton became the first college to have its own fleet of Tiger “dinghys” on Lake Carnegie. This led to the Morss Trophy for the ICSA Dinghy Championship at MIT in 1937 — now the ICSA National Coed Dinghy Championship..
In 2021, with potential for expanding the sport even further to colleges with geographic challenges, Princeton is launching a fleet of 10-DF95’s from their Lake Carnegie Clubhouse “on campus”. Pandemic permitting, Harvard and Yale have been challenged to the 90th Anniversary revival of the May Challenge Cup. Princeton had retired the May Cup in 1931 after winning it 3-times per the Deed of Gift — the oldest trophy in Intercollegiate Sailing. It’s back!
The DF95 is the fastest growing one-design class of sailboat in the world. What could be more inclusive, accessible, affordable, pandemic-compliant and mobility/gender/weight/age neutral to attract sailors of all skill levels? Heavier sailors, not typically as competitive in college dinghies, can sail a DF95 level with everyone else. Dinghy crews can be helpful to their skippers if they better learn short course racing tactics, sailing their own DF95. Being able to rattle off 6 races in an hour makes it easier to keep up with a demanding academic schedule. The benefits of this new addition are endless; we can’t wait for them to splash!
This tremendous addition to our program was made possible through a generous gift by Bob Johnstone ’56. We can’t thank Bob enough for his support of our program, and his indomitable spirit and love of sailing. Hopefully soon we can invite all alumni back to campus for a DF95 regatta!
Here are the designs of the boats below: