The Shields Class Foundation was created to preserve authentic one-design yacht racing competition and culture through the introduction and education of new adult and youth sailors to Shields Class sailing everywhere.
The sport of yacht racing has seen dramatic changes through its long history. Newer one-design classes have catered to “sport” boats with modern designs, permissive class rules which allow and encourage unequal competition and sizeable investment outlays to purchase boats, gear and sails. PHRF and IRC sailing competitions have removed tactics from the sport altogether.
While evolutionary and appealing to a broad segment of sailing participants, responsive to modern spectator interests and attractive to marketing and sponsorships, we have identified a significant underinvestment toward an important part of the sport’s history and culture, authentic one-design yacht racing.
The founding members of the Shields Class Foundation wish to preserve, appreciate and memorialize the tenets of crew coordination, adherence to a strict one-design regimen, sailing without extensive communication and navigation suites, and an emphasis on sailing tactics. The foundation hopes to introduce and educate new sailors from all backgrounds to the joys of Shields sailing and racing while continuing in the tradition of our namesake and class founder, Cornelius Shields.