While pro-level sailing events showcase world-class moves and grand prix-level gear, we at SAIL especially respect high-level Corinthian events, so we were particularly excited to learn about the recently announced Premiere Sailing League (PSL). This new transcontinental racing series—the first series of its kind in the United States—is being modeled after the super-popular Sailing Champion leagues that have been developed in Germany (the Segel-Bundesliga) and Denmark (the Sejlsportsligaen), and will see teams competing aboard J/70 one designs for both regional and national bragging rights.
The PSL is expected to kick off this August with teams from 72 different sailing clubs divided by geographical region competing in four separate qualifying events unfurling in Chicago (north), New Orleans (south), Newport, Rhode Island (east) and San Francisco (west). Each club will effectively act as its own team and will create an eight-person squad that represents the burgee at local regattas; four out of the eight crewmembers can participate in any given race, and individual sailors can be alternated. The top four teams from each regatta will go on to compete for the PSL National Championships, which will be held in Annapolis, and will coincide with the 2015 United States Sailboat Show (October 8-12).
According to Benjamin A. Klatzka, the PSL’s founder and director, the league was created “with the objective of strengthening community and camaraderie within the sport of sailing by providing an integrated platform that brings sailing clubs together to compete at both a local and national level.” For the record, Klatzka is so dedicated to his vision of bringing European-style league racing to the North American waters that he relocated from Germany to Newport to help make this concept a reality. For more on the PSL, visit premieresailingleague.com. We at SAIL will also be on hand to cover the PSL national championships this fall, so stay tuned!