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The Tuna Fund

The goals of the Tuna Fund:

-        To support Organizing Authorities who are unable to provide umpires travel costs.      

-        To help attract younger umpires to the disciplines of match and team race umpiring who might not have the resources to participate.

-        To establish a system that would allow cost reimbursements for those instructors who currently pay for travel, lodging and all other out of pocket costs.

-        To help fund international travel costs of umpires who are considered approaching IU (International Umpire) caliber by the US Sailing umpires committee.  These costs could be provided ahead of time to ease financial burdens.

-        To provide a model for the judge and race management disciplines at US Sailing to develop a similar fund.

Contributing and getting involved:

-        We need to have all of our umpires and US Sailing members spread the word on how this fund can support the future of team and match racing. The princcipal or the actual donations cannot be spent, only the interest earned on an annual basis can be used.  The fund must grow substantially to make the annual funds available for distribution.

-        These donations are tax deductible. We turn to teams and match racing regattas to donate funds that one day will pay many dividends to each of their organizations in the future.

How this has worked:

-         The Tuna Fund was launched in 2009 and initial donations have been small. In fact, 2010 was a very exceptional year.  A very special and considerate donor surprised us with a $25,000 donation and a commitment to match another $25,000 of contributions. Our fund rules allow any donor to distribute up to 20% of their donation and our special contributor did that. It allows for funds to be available for distribution. A total of $5,000.00 was made available for our certified umpires.

Tuna Fund Reimbursement Request Form

Fund History:

Arthur “Tuna” Wullschleger, a textile manufacturing executive from Larchmont, N.Y., has served as a US SAILING Judge and Umpire for decades.  More than 35 years ago, he made a safe and conservative call in the English Fastnet Race and was called “Captain Tuna, Chicken of the Sea.”  The nickname stuck.  Known for being tough but fair, he has served as a international judge and international umpire for countless regattas worldwide, and as well as serving as a mentor for many.  Almost two decade ago, it was Wullschleger who pushed for on-the-water umpires, modernizing the sport.

As on the water umpiring grows across the globe, there are many instances where certified umpires support the sport of match and team racing using their own funds to travel nationally and internationally. The cost of travel continues to escalate and in many instances results in certified umpires not having the means to support our sailors. This also holds true for those who work to train and evaluate our future corps of umpires.  This support fund seeks to resolve some of those issues.

The Arthur “Tuna” Wullschleger Umpire Fund (also referred to as “Tuna Fund”) is established as an endowment fund of the United States Sailing Foundation in honor of US SAILING Umpire Emeritus Arthur Wullschleger through the generosity of those interested in the growth of the US SAILING umpire corps. The endowment’s purpose is to promote quality umpiring in support of match and team racing in the United States and around the world.