NEWPORT – Yachtsman James H. “Jim” Clark, internet pioneer and co-founder of Netscape Communications, continues to follow through on his promise to promoting youth sailing by making a $190,000 donation to Sail Newport.
It's Clark's second significant donation to the public sailing center. In 2011, he gave $150,000, to the local non-profit.
Sail Newport Executive Director, Brad Read, said that the funding will enable Sail Newport to satisfy the huge demand for beginner and intermediate sailing lessons.
“Thanks to Jim’s support, we have increased capacity by nearly 20 percent in back to back years, alleviating our waiting lists for children wanting to participate in sailing”, Read said.
According to Read, Sail Newport has purchased new youth sailing dinghies, coach boats and will hire more sailing instructors this year in order to expand the summer programs.
A large portion of the donation has been placed in the Sail Newport Endowment which funds Sail Newport’s outreach and financial aid programming.
Both donations represent Clark’s follow-through on a statement he made public last year to make charitable donations to marine organizations commensurate with the amount he spends on professional sailboat racing events. Clark competes at regattas around the world with his 138-ft J-Class boat Hanuman.
“He is truly a man of his word,” Read said. Clark’s motivation is to help sustain the marine environment and marine recreations. Clark, who competes at regattas around the world with his 138-ft J-Class boat Hanuman hopes to have other J-Class owners follow his lead.
“I have made it quite public that if I spend money on professionals to try and win a sailing competition, I will donate a comparable amount to a marine- or sailing- based charity,” said Clark about the original donation which has increased with a second major donation to the charitable organization.
“Some of us are fortunate to have the money to spend owning these boats, and if we all do this in the spirit of friendship, dedication to the sport of sailing, and devotion to the oceans that they use, perhaps we can have an impact,” Clark added.
“Jim Clark keeps his promise,” Read said. “All of us sailors have spent a lifetime enjoying the world’s oceans through the sport of sailing and Jim’s enthusiastic leadership in contributing to the ocean environment sets a tremendous example for the world.”