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Governor's "Take It Outside" Inspires More Sailing at Sail Newport

MLK Community Center students enjoy a sail on a J/22 skippered by Matt Duggan of Sail Newport. The program is sponsored by 11th Hour Racing. (Credit: Rodrigo Fernandez/Sail Newport)

In response to Governor Gina Raimondo’s recommendation to “Take it Outside” campaign, Sail Newport has added a wide variety of public sailing programs for adults and youth. The Governor launched the initiative in a press conference on Tuesday to encourage Rhode Islanders to recreate outdoors as long as possible into the fall to help flatten the spread of COVID-19 in the Ocean State. 

A new slate of programs has been announced for students who want more recreational sailing experience or more competitive race training opportunities.  Both the recreational and racing programs are designed for children aged seven and older.

The delay of the school year has added extra time for students to participate in recreational activities. Also, the cancellation of many fall sports has also increased the number of hours children have to participate in outdoor recreation such as sailing. 

“We live on an island, and these new opportunities are designed to get more children more time on the water. Sailing is not only restorative and fun and healthy, but the sport also builds children’s self-esteem, self-reliance, problem-solving skills, and perseverance. It’s really and outdoor classroom,” says Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport

Sail Newport youth sailors navigate on a Quest dinghy during the summer youth session. (Credit: Sail Newport)

For as long as school children have more time to recreate during weekdays, the sailing organization will also offer small groups of three and four customized sailing opportunities by age and skill group.  

For adults, the non-profit organization will offer all of its rentals and adult instruction at discounted rates to Rhode Island residents. Also, families will be able to take a one-hour guided sail at a nominal cost to enjoy Newport Harbor. 

“Adult sailors can experience the same healthy, restorative, and enjoyable benefits by being on the water in a sailboat. ‘Take It Outside’ means ‘Set Sail’ for anyone in the community who would like to experience sailing,” Read adds. 

The Governor said that the “Take it Outside” Campaign was launched as a result of studies she have seen that show activities outside may help flatten the spread of coronavirus in the Ocean State. 

An Optimist sailor practices near Fort Adams State Park during a Sail Newport youth dinghy program. (Credit: Sail Newport)

Sail Newport has worked closely with Janet Coit, Director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to be able to use the Sailing Center located in Fort Adams State Park safely under COVID-19 guidelines.

As Governor Raimondo said in her press briefing on August 18, “Let’s have some fun. And let’s see what we can do outdoors.”

To register interest in the sailing program, adults may email For Youth programs, parents may email

More information is available at


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