We are the initial founders and supporters of the fledgling Jacksonville University Varsity Sailing Program. The Plank Owner title borrows from the US Navy’s designation of the commissioning crew for a new ship as “Plank-Owners”. This tradition recognizes the unique contribution the first crew makes by turning a collection wood, rope and fasteners into a fighting ship of the line. While many subsequent crewmen might sail to glory and honor no one who joins later can ever claim the title of Plank-Owner. Our organization will take JU Sailing to Varsity and National prominence but first we must “get the ship launched”. We have adopted the nautical designation of Plank-Owners for the select group of farsighted individuals who are coming together for the purposes of launching JU Varsity sailing. Following Naval tradition we will display a permanent plaque listing all Plank Owners names in the JU Sailing Center. This plaque will be on display in the sailing spaces within the Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI) building currently under construction on the waterfront and eventually, in our own dedicated Sailing Center. JU has designated a portion of the MSRI building to the Sailing program, one small example of the financial commitment JU has already made to this program. JU’s Master campus plan also includes space on the waterfront for a dedicated Sailing Center on the waterfront, a future project for us. Here is a bit more on what we are trying to accomplish:
VISION: We believe the First Coast area is an exceptional sailing destination and that Jacksonville University in partnership with all of the local sailing communities can raise and enhance the city of Jacksonville’s profile within the national sailing community. We intend to make JU Varsity Sailing an integral part of the comprehensive master plan for Jacksonville University campus waterfront, while fielding a nationally competitive sailing team.
MISSION: Develop a support network of friends who value competitive and recreational sailing in Jacksonville to help take JU sailing to the next level. This includes fund raising, moral support, off campus sailing developmental opportunities and personal involvement. We will leverage the JU waterfront location and sailing community advantages prevalent here in Jacksonville while copying the best collegiate sailing programs in the nation. JU Sailing can provide a natural bridge between area youth programs and adult fleets while serving as a powerful attraction to non-local sailing talent, some of whom will choose to settle in our beautiful city. This outstanding opportunity for JU varsity sailors will provide positive and lasting impact on their lives and careers.
We hope you will join us in this important initiative and help keep the momentum we have gained over the last few months. We still need more Plank Owners to reach our goal. Contact information is included below and your pledges not only go toward a worthy cause, they are also tax deductable. Any questions, comments, ideas, or recommendations, please use the contact information below. Thank you for considering this opportunity!
Dr. Steven C. Davis – Plank Owner and Coach/Faculty Advisor
Jacksonville University Sailing