Who We Are

The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation’s mission is to foster and promote amateur sailing of national and international importance in New York Harbor.

New York Harbor is experiencing a renaissance. Recreational sailing has returned after an absence of many decades.  The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation is proud to help lead the way.  By bringing important sailing events to the harbor, the Foundation is increasing the awareness of all New Yorkers in our great recreational resource.

The New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit corporation incorporated in New York State.  We are registered as a 501(c)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Services and donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Board of Directors

Jim Cavanaugh, Chairman

Jim has been Chairman of the Foundation since 2011.  Jim served as President of the Battery Park City Authority from 2005 through 2010. His tenure saw significant construction at Battery Park City,  including the Goldman Sachs headquarters, Riverhouse,  the Visionaire, Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green. He also began the restoration of the long-vacant Pier A.  Jim is currently a partner in Empire Strategic Planning, an Albany-based government relations firm that represents a variety of trade associations, health care organizations, labor unions, and not-for-profits.   Jim lives in Yonkers, New York with his wife Wilson Kimball who is the City’s Commissioner of Planning and Development.

John LaGrassa, President

John has been President of the Foundation since 2005.  He grew up on the waters of the South shore of Long Island and is a graduate of SUNY Maritime College.  New York Harbor has been huge part of his life since the late 80’s as a Schooner Captain for the South Street Seaport Museum and a member of the Manhattan Yacht Club.   John is resident of lower Manhattan and an insurance executive with Zurich Insurance Group.

Michael Fortenbaugh, Executive Director

Michael is the founder of Manhattan Yacht Club which reintroduced recreational sailing to New York Harbor in 1987.  He was a sailor who grew up racing on the Jersey Shore in Bay Head.  After graduating from Princeton University, he moved to New York City and founded the yacht club.

Michael Duran, Director

Michael joined as a Director of the Foundation in 2019. He has been a Director, member and financial advisor of the Manhattan Yacht Club since 2002, helping the Club rebuild after the events of 9/11. Mike is an avid sailor and racer; originally from Seattle and recently lived and raced in the San Francisco Bay Area. In California, he was active with BAADS, Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors. He is now back in New York, where his corporate team twice won the MYC Hedge Fund Regatta. Mike also a member of the New York Yacht Club, Breakwater Yacht Club (Sag Harbor, NY) and Devon Yacht Club (Amagansett, NY). Michael runs Laser Capital, providing financial advice to young companies.

Board of Advisors

Scott Curtis

Scott joined Manhattan Yacht Club in 2011, shortly after taking the 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing course, along with his wife who grew up sailing. Sailing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty has brought him immense enjoyment, which he hopes to share and promote through the NY Harbor Sailing Foundation. Scott is part of the 12M Leadership Committee, a Syndicate member of America II, and he is an active sailor aboard US46. He is a Derivatives trader and lives in NYC.




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