Monday, April 6, 2015

A Letter to the Editor of Sailing Magazine

Dear Sailing Magazine Editor,

In the February edition of Sailing magazine, Nick Hayes published an editorial piece entitled - “Kids should sail because it’s fun, not because it’s homework”. The article made references to US Sailing’s Reach initiative for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. First, a big thanks to Nick for his continued work promoting sailing, and for highlighting these innovative programs.

We would like to take this opportunity to provide your readers with some background on the Reach initiative and address some misconceptions. Much of what Nick discusses regarding sailing and learning, kids and fun, are cornerstones for the Reach program and other STEM sailing initiatives. We are certainly not trying to change the face of youth sailing, but open doors to new possibilities. Reach is a grass-roots program derived from community sailing, the bedrock of learn to sail programs around the country. These organizations are utilizing their infrastructure, expertise and relationships to be a more valuable and relevant resource for their communities.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

US Sailing Adaptive Programs in Action: College of Charleston and Jacob Raymond

When Jacob Raymond returned from Iraq and enrolled at the College of Charleston in 2008, he couldn’t shake the feeling of disconnection from his world.

As a military policeman in the National Guard, Jacob rode convoys and survived a roadside bombing, but like many war veterans, he had a difficult time integrating into the college community.

“I’d witnessed the worst corners of the world, but for my friends it was like nothing had happened,” said Jacob. “They were just living their lives.”

Traverse Area Community Sailing – Connections for Success

Traverse Area Community Sailing (TACS) has come a long way in its first 20 years. This Traverse City, Michigan operation has grown from a small handful of passionate sailors and dedicated volunteer instructors to a full-service sailing center serving over 500 youth and adults each year with US Sailing certified instructors and a fleet of over 100 sail and powerboats.

TACS earned its foothold in community sailing through Youth Learn to Sail programs. Over the years, the all-volunteer Board of Directors has guided the growth of TACS to include Adult Learn to Sail, Advanced Sailing, Adaptive Sailing, Open Sailing, High School Racing Team, and Keelboat programs. In an effort to expand their creative programming to increase participation and introduce newcomers to sailing, TACS has recognized the demand for non-racing related programs for those more interested in experiencing sailing without competition or traditional buoy racing as the focus. They are in the process of launching a new series of programs that foster this type of community interest.

Westwind Sailing’s Success: Innovative Opportunities and Partnerships

“We all have something awesome to offer the kids in our community,” said Diane Wenzel, Executive Director of Westwind Sailing, an organization located in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. that is dedicated to providing safe boating and sailing education for the general public. “We’ve built strong relationships with our neighboring clubs and organizations through the years and our passionate staff has worked hard to grow and expand in new communities.”

And Westwind Sailing has certainly expanded.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reflections from the President - Tale of Two Meals

Tom Hubbell w/Alicia Martorella (Outstanding Community Sailing Director Award)

by Tom Hubbell

Scene 1:  We had a record 340 people in New Orleans two weeks ago for the National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) which is our premier training and community sailing event. A remarkable majority of the group grew up after the ‘60s; they are younger people engaged in teaching and sharing the sport.  Their enthusiasm spread throughout the symposium sessions and into the social functions some of which made New Orleans proud to host us along with our NSPS mascot, Marvin the Gator.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflections from the President - 2014 in Review

by Tom Hubbell, President of US Sailing

The Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego last February brought over 600 sailors together to share ideas and inspiration. There are a lot of savvy volunteers and US Sailing staff who know about strong programs. US Sailing creates the foundation for sharing that intellectual wisdom. This chemistry gelled into a three-day festival of ideas and sailing enthusiasm. 

The US Sailing Board, consisting of six women and nine men, meets three times a year in person and monthly by phone. The typical phone conference takes two hours! Sailors on the board have distinguished backgrounds that represent all areas of the sport. They are engaged in growing the sport and supporting racing, and they are simply good people with whom to work. Membership is growing and we only use black ink for the bottom line.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

All Shapes and Sizes in Sarasota

The Sarasota Sailing Squadron is a club of a different shape – an umbrella shape, to be precise. Under the umbrella of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, and within the nine-acre property boundary, a host of “silent” water sports affiliations coexist and thrive, including kayaking, paddle boarding, one-design racing, casual cruising, youth racing and adventure sailing, adult learn-to-sail programs, big boat beer can racing and more.

The Sarasota Sailing Squadron provides the clubhouse, the dockage, maintains the schedule, offers boat rentals, maintains the facilities and hosts the parties – with the help of a small army of volunteers.

The First Sail that Changes Lives

Justin "Judd" Goldman was 17 years old when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in he discovered sailing. Over the next 58 years he competed successfully in many races throughout the world. Soon after Judd passed away, Judd's wife, Sliv, son Peter, and daughter Judy established the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation as a public/private partnership with the Chicago Park District in 1990. 

Rocking the Boat in the Bronx

A non-profit youth organization based in the Bronx, N.Y., named Rocking the Boat, is empowering young people challenged by severe economic, educational, and social conditions to develop the self-confidence to set ambitious goals and gain the skills necessary to achieve them. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to sail and row, and restore local urban waterways, revitalizing their community while creating better lives for themselves.

Partnerships for Growth - Sail Newport

It’s easy to assume that Sail Newport’s remarkable success is a result of location and tradition. After all, Newport, R.I. is a sailing town. However, Brad Read, Sail Newport’s Executive Director, identifies the nexus of their success as the strong public/private partnership forged by forward thinking state officials and the visionary founders of Sail Newport.