TISC SSL Fall 2017

Set Sail Learn, our experiential STEM program for San Francisco 4th graders, passed the 5,500 “smiles” milestone during the Fall 2017 Session.  Students learned about history, ecology and renewable energy. And buoyancy by building and testing their own watercraft!

654 4th grade students attended one of the 25 Set Sail Learn classes at Treasure Island Sailing Center during our just-completed Fall 2017 session. These youngsters came from 13 San Francisco Unified School District schools.

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On Wed., Oct 25, 2017 we had 29 students from the Francis Scott Key Elementary School. Since the start of the program in Fall 2013, students from this school have come every Fall session (except 2015), with a total of 9 classes and 273 attending our SSL program!

Each class had the option of studying Ecology of the Bay, Renewable Energy (with a focus on wind power) or Watercraft Engineering (with a focus on buoyancy).  Along with these studies in our activities center, students sailed in RS Venture or J24 sailboats.

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Students from the Francis Scott Key Elementary School connected with crabs as a way to learn about the Ecology of SF Bay.  Ecology-journal-min

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A class from the Sutro Elementary School learned about the origin of sea breeze…

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… and then built “wind cars” as part of their study of Wind Power.

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Testing and racing the “wind cars” was the most fun!

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Set Sail Learn classes alternate interactive discussions and study in the activity center with sailing on Clipper Cove.

Big smiles from “hands on” not only in the classroom activities but also on the tiller, actually driving J24 sailboats.

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At the conclusion of the Fall 2017 SSL session, 5,526 SFUSD students have attended 212 Set Sail Learn classes at TISC on Clipper Cove. They represented 39 schools over the last five years.

Regards from On the cove,

Alec L., with thanks to Luxine for the SSL pictures

 

In the wake

The grant received from St. Francis Sailing Foundation last fall was a game changer for TISC and SFUSD 4th graders. It officially launched the program; enabling the jump from pilot to a fully staffed program that delivers over 45 classes per year – at no charge to the schools.

The StFSF grant funds about half of the classes. TISC raises the other half through public and private grants along with individual donations.  Each SSL class costs approximately $1,500. If you are able and inclined to make an investment in the future of our children, please consider making a donation to the TISC annual fund – every donation helps no matter how much you are able to invest. If you act by December 31, 2017 your donations, up to $12,500, will be matched dollar for dollar. You can DONATE HERE.

 

TISC and its Finest Hour

In the words of the brilliant Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Or for a sailor, a single tack. A similar transformation occurs for the youth that choose to partake in the sailing education programs provided by Treasure Island Sailing Center. Whether it is the spring, fall, or summer, the root of the sailing center presents the spectacular sport of sailing and its related positive attributes to all those interested. In the spring and fall, the lessons are comprised of seven or eight sequential Sundays, with the program lasting three hours each weekend. During the summer, one or two-week programs occurring all day long are the norm. And along with the set schedules, private lessons are sprinkled in whenever requested or needed. All in all, the sailing never stops for the insatiable desire of our sailors.

Resulting from the easy accessibility of the sailing lessons, student’s improvement becomes very apparent as the children progress through the program. Moreover, this sailing center focuses primarily on the sport itself. As a community sailing center, students sail here and continue to do so for the same reason that all mariners began in the first place: for the love of sailing. Furthermore, TISC constantly does its best to break down the barriers to entry that exist in the expensive sport. For example, scholarships are offered to any that need them, with the goal of more individuals out on the water. At Treasure Island Sailing Center, if the desire to sail is there, money should not be a concern.

In line with the metamorphosis of our children, an ideal example would be our very own Team TISC. After the success of our students at the regatta over Labor Day Weekend, Team TISC traveled to St. Francis Yacht Club for an event as part of the Northern California BAYS Winter Series. The weekend of October 21-22, the regatta was a culmination of the Advanced Youth and Learn to Race classes of our Fall Program. With five weeks of sailing practices under their belts, they tackled the challenge of Team TISC’s first ever travel regatta. Even more incredible, for numerous racers the sailing competition was the final test after months of practice via courses in the spring and summer.

Contrary to many sports, the competitors could not just show up on game day. The Thursday before the event, four Flying Juniors and two Optimists were towed across the San Francisco Bay. On Friday, the coach boat was loaded up with supplies. On Saturday, the coach and sailors showed up at St. Francis Yacht Club at 7:30 AM, with the whole day of rigging, racing, and derigging lasting until 3:30 PM. On Sunday, the same process occurred as the day before, along with the added job of towing the boats back to Treasure Island. When everything was said and done, the final hard workers returned home around 8:00 PM Sunday evening. To anyone that says sailing is an easy sport, Team TISC will tell you otherwise.

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Overall though, the weekend was a fantastic learning experience! Team TISC’s FJ pairs consisted of Declan Donovan and Felix Quinteiro, Alexa Soucy and Alex VanScoy, Rowan Clinch and Grady Florance, and Raffy Weiner and Cal Stewart, with the skippers being the first name listed and the crew the second. Our Opti sailors of the Green Fleet were Ben O’Neill and Zach Gordon. Dealing with cancelled races, repeated postponements, strong currents, and light wind gently rolling through the Golden Gate, our sailors had to quickly learn to live outside of Clipper Cove. While frustrated at times, the initial irritation rapidly dissolved to new-found understanding and strategy. The sailors improved with each race.

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By the completion of the regatta and a limited number of races, Team TISC displayed a strong finish. For the FJs, Declan and Felix came in at 7th out of 15 boats, Alexa and Alex at 9th, Rowan and Grady at 10th, and Raffy and Cal at 13th. For the Optis of the Green Fleet, Ben came in at 6th out of 17 boats and Zach at 7th. All of the results were outstanding, especially given that this was only the first or second regatta for our racers! As the committed sailors continue the transformative experience of the program, the results will do nothing but improve.

At TISC, we center ourselves around sailing and the lessons it presents. Entering like a fresh piece of clay, untouched and ready to be molded, our sailors leave with a better understanding of teamwork, hard work, patience, and most importantly, respect. Consequently, the success effortlessly follows. In the words of our very own Ben O’Neill, “TISC is like the underdog in all of the stories. We always win.”

Regards from On the cove,

Smitty & Alec

In the wake: While the Fall Program is coming to a close, begin considering the start of your own journey of a thousand miles: The Spring Program. We would love to have you! The link will be accessible shortly on the main page of the website. For information about the next youth programs as well as regattas in the Northern California BAYS Series or Team TISC, send an email to the Program Manager, Alec Liguori, at alexandra.liguori@tisailing.org.

 

TISC Set Sail Learn STEM Program Tops 5,000 SFUSD 4th Graders

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DSC_0552Dianne Feinstein Elementary is no stranger to learning STEM at Treasure Island Sailing Center on Clipper Cove.  They’ve participated every year since the program’s 2013 inception. This week their class brought the 4-year total SSL smiles to over 5,000.

Just like many classes before them, these kids had a “crabby” day studying ecology of the bay.  Games featuring the food, shelter and oxygen needs of undersea creatures lead to a better understanding of what it takes to sustain life in the sea.

Learning about math, statistics and graphing always seems so much more in the TISC Activity Center !DSC_0422

DSC_0438Of course time on the docks checking out what’s in the water adds to the fun.DSC_0404DSC_0408

Set Sail Learn classes also provide every student with an opportunity to get out on Clipper Cove to experience the wind and water in a safe, protected environment away from the commercial traffic, high currents and large waves of San Francisco Bay.DSC_0535

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The Dianne Feinstein School  supplements a standards-based education by using hands-on practices and games to reinforce skills and make learning fun, differentiation to meet students’ needs, and enrichment programs that include science and arts.  The TISC SSL experiential learning approach is an ideal match for their kids.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Along with the Growth in our Set Sail Learn program, other TISC programs or activities sponsored by TISC have also grown.  The graph below shows the usage of Clipper Cove by TISC students and sailors, kayakers and paddlers who use TISC as a Launching Point for New Horizons.

TISC Users on Clipper Cove

You can check out more of the 5,000 Set Sail Learn smiles in the posts below.

Nothing Can Stop a Sailor

52, 65, 106, and 2. Those are the numbers that you need to know for the BAYS #5 Regatta held at Treasure Island Sailing Center this past Labor Day weekend. 52 boats of a variety of shapes and sizes, 65 eager sailors, 106 degrees blazing down upon San Francisco, and a 2 o’clock race start that almost did not happen. What an interesting and fun regatta it definitely was!

The kites fly as the sailors cruise in front of the Port of Oakland.

The kites fly as the sailors cruise in front of the Port of Oakland.

Numerous sailors came out to TISC on September 2 and 3 for the fifth regatta in the Northern California BAYS Summer Series. Two race courses on display, spectators were provided the viewing pleasure of C420s, CFJs, Optimists, RS Teras, and even one Laser all competing together in magnificent harmony in the idyllic Clipper Cove. The sailors varied as well in club representation, including dinghies from the San Francisco Yacht Club, Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, Encinal Yacht Club, Santa Cruz Yacht Club, South Beach Yacht Club, Sausalito Yacht Club, Richmond Yacht Club, Sequoia Yacht Club, and our very own Treasure Island Sailing Center.

Rowan Clinch spots the layline for his skipper, Raffy Weiner.

Rowan Clinch spots the layline for his skipper, Raffy Weiner.

The regatta nearly began on a sour note, with the first day half an hour away from being cancelled. No breeze, an unbearable heat, and antsy and restless sailors formed a dangerous combination that was thankfully resolved when the wind picked up and the race committee dropped the postponement flag around 2:00 PM on Saturday. The determined youth sailors, ready and raring to go, immediately launched their boats in the water. As the wind increased, the committee was able to complete about six races for every fleet. The following day, the good fortune continued. Blowing at about eight knots and not ceasing, the wind permitted a double-digit amount of races for nearly all of the classes. The beautiful Sunday weather truly made up for the time lost the day before.

The determined Opti racers make their way to the windward mark.

The determined Opti racers make their way to the windward mark.

Presenting the due praise for the champions of the event, the first-place finishers were as follows: Andrew Fisher and Sebastian Natale (C420), Kyle Hoffman and Sean Tolan (CFJ), Dylan Wondolleck (Opti Championship), Zach Gordon (Opti Green), Finnagh Hanrahan (RS Tera), and Casey Tolan (Laser Radial). For the full results, please click HERE. Additionally, for our TISC sailors, we strongly encourage students to participate in the future. We had five sailors carrying the torch for the program, with Zach Gordon actually championing his fleet. (Well done, Zach!) Please stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Northern California BAYS Winter Series.

Zach Gordon (17) and Felix Ho (18) battle for position on the starting line.

Zach Gordon (17) and Felix Ho (18) battle with the other boats for position on the starting line.

Much love from On the Cove,

Smitty

In the wake: Consider signing up for the FALL PROGRAM. We still have open spots, and the cove is calling your name!

Dolphin and Friends Join TISC Kids on Clipper Cove

650 4th graders attended TISC Spring Set Sail Learn sessions. Another 800 kids sailed and paddled here this summer. What better place for a fun-loving Dolphin and 3 seals to hang out with TISC kids than on Clipper Cove ?

On Friday, August 11th “Clippy” the dolphin showed up to hang out with our Friday sailors.  Our students were thrilled to see him.2017-08-11 00.42.27-cr

And his friendly, inquisitive seal playmates. Seal 2-cr-eyes

We can’t guarantee our Fall session sailors a chance to hang out with a dolphin, however we can offer a great opportunity to learn more about sailing, teamwork, and life on Clipper Cove.  To register CLICK HERE.

Here’s what Cazzie and Cassidy had to report: “This week at Clipper Cove, the highlight has been a ton of wildlife activity! From beautiful blue herons to roaming packs of friendly seals, the cove is teeming with wildlife. But the most incredible highlight has been the sighting of the first harbor porpoise in the Cove for years! All of these are promising signs for a recovering cove under the stewardship of TISC and TISC sailors.”

Here are a few more photos courtesy of our Executive Director Travis Lund who captured the fun had by Clippy and his friends.
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Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake: Don’t forget – you can STILL REGISTER for spaces still available for the Fall Sessions.

 

 

TISC Set Sail Learn Nears 5K Milestone as Ships Sink

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASet Sail Learn, our experiential STEM program for San Francisco 4th graders, passed the 4,800 “smiles” milestone during the Spring 2017 Session.  Students learned about history, ecology and renewable energy. And buoyancy (some ships floated, some sank) !

725 4th grade students attended one of the 28 Set Sail Learn classes at Treasure Island Sailing Center during our just-completed Spring 2017 session. These youngsters came from 19 San Francisco Unified School District schools.

Each class had the option of studying Ecology of the Bay, Renewable energy or Maritime History of SF Bay.  Along with each class students sailed in RS Venture sailboats.

Students from the McKinley Elementary School connected with crabs as a way to learn about the Ecology of SF Bay.IMG_1345 (2) IMG_1346

A class from the Paul Revere Elementary School built “land yachts” as part of their study of Wind Power.  IMG_1226 IMG_1332 (3) Racing was the most fun !IMG_1341IMG_1330

Argonne elementary school studied buoyancy then put their knowledge to a test when they experimented with “ships” that supported the weight of light (they floated) and heavier (those ships sank) objects.
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Class discussions on buoyancy discussed terms like “positive”, “neutral” and “negative”.  Lots of help here from Archimides and Newton.IMG_1360Then came the testing.

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Set Sail Learn classes alternate interactive discussions and study in the activity center with sailing on Clipper Cove.IMG_2536-crBig smiles from “hands in” (the bay) study as well as “hands on” (the tiller) experience driving RS Ventures.IMG_3051 IMG_8537Discussing the history of the Bay is more fun when sailing ON the Bay with the huge cranes from Oakland in the background.
IMG_8552 IMG_8656As the Spring 2017 Set Sail Learn session comes to an end, the focus at TISC and on The Cove turns to our summer programs. Registration is still open for selected summer sessions.  Check out the schedule and register HERE. Fun times are ahead, and scholarships are available.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

You can check out the smiles from last summer’s programs HERE.

Or see more of the nearly 5,000 Set Sail Learn smiles in the posts below.

 

TISC Opening Day 2017 a Glittering Success

Start with J/24’s, kayaks, SUPs and Clipper Cove sunny skies. Add attendees of all ages and dedicated volunteers. Mix with paddles, sails, food and free life jackets. Sprinkle with glitter and a gentle breeze.  Wala!  TISC 2017 opening day smiles.

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Our “shore team” played a critical role in the success of Opening Day / Safe Boating Day at the Treasure Island Sailing Center. Staffing the many exhibits and activities is a non-stop job the minute our gates open.   Ditto for managing the check-in, scheduling, and successful “dock-in” and “dock-out” of all the water craft.  No way all this could happen without the many TISC parents and the CAL Berkeley Sailing Team.  TISCOpeningDay2017-101TISCOpeningDay2017-102 TISCOpeningDay2017-103

The guys on the docks making it happen strike a pose.Boat Handlers Strike a Pose TISCOpeningDay2017-104Pushing OffSeveral years back we combined our Opening Day with Safe Boating Day because TISC promotes safety in all we do.  The US Coast Guard Auxiliary District 11 (Northern Region) handed out 100 life jackets provided by the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). Many of the programs provided to children and adults would not be possible without the on-going financial support of DBW.Coast Guard AuxiliaryTISCOpeningDay2017-115Back again for a second time was Glitter in the City.  Lots of sparkles on many cute faces. The face painter and her models steal the show:TISCOpeningDay2017-121 TISCOpeningDay2017-123 TISCOpeningDay2017-124 TISCOpeningDay2017-126Water action included rides in kayaks, stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) and J/24s.  Our J/24 fleet skippered by TISC supporters and Vanguard 15 racers provided rides to over 200.  TISCOpeningDay2017-130TISCOpeningDay2017-132Another 70 happy kayakers and 40 adventurous SUP “drivers” enjoyed time on Clipper Cove. TISCOpeningDay2017-133 TISCOpeningDay2017-134 TISCOpeningDay2017-135TISCOpeningDay2017-136And more happy J/24 drivers and crew.TISCOpeningDay2017-139TISCOpeningDay2017-140 TISCOpeningDay2017-141 TISCOpeningDay2017-142 TISCOpeningDay2017-143TISCOpeningDay2017-145Bruce Holaday also joined us along with his hand-made Petie Bateau, a Shellback Dinghy designed by Joel White.  For a great children’s book (kids from 8-80 will love it!) you can order “A Boy’s Boat” directly from Amazon.TISCOpeningDay2017-146Other exhibitors also participated to help provide a fun day.  And an educational one, with Recology Golden Gate passing out flyers and information to help educate attendees on what goes in which bin.TISCOpeningDay2017-147This year Adams Grub Truck joined us.   They promised “explosions of flavor, magnitude of size, served with a smile” and did not disappoint.  Their upcoming schedules are HERE.TISCOpeningDay2017-117TISCOpeningDay2017-149The next generation gets some time on the Bay too.TISCOpeningDay2017-150Over 50 volunteers supported this successful day. Here’s a few more photos from the shore-side fun and games.TISCOpeningDay2017-137 TISCOpeningDay2017-127 TISCOpeningDay2017-119 Luxine Smith wears many hats at TISC.  As our volunteer coordinator she is responsible for sorting out the many jobs needed for Opening Day and filling them with volunteers. Way to Go ! on another great turnout of volunteers and attendees.TISCOpeningDay2017-148PLEASE don’t forget out sponsors.  Next time you’re in Berkeley stop by the Peets Coffee at 2916 Domingo Ave and THANK THEM for their support of the Treasure Island Sailing Center.  Ditto for the Costco on 2400 Monument Blvd. in Concord.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to Brian Hill for the opening day photographs. Great shots, nice framing and well organized to share the fun times had by all on Clipper Cove !

TISC Outreach & Inclusion – Best in the Nation

TISC received a HUGE recognition from US Sailing at their National Symposium held in Austin, TX last month.  Our team was recognized for “their significant efforts in creating access to the water for thousands of SF Bay youth and adults”.

Travis Lund with Trice Kilroy Receiving USS AwardThis year’s award was extra special as it was recently renamed in honor of Mr. John B. “Jim” Kilroy, Sr. While Mr. Kilroy had much success in his life – a prominent California real estate developer who was also a champion yachtsman and renowned philanthropist – the success he most cherished was sharing the sport he loved with youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to sail. He lived by his mother’s philosophy, “If successful, you carry others with you for the benefit of mankind.”

At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, this is a BIG DEAL!  And while I admit to being completely non-objective, this award was WELL DESERVED. TISC was singled out for makingnotable contributions in promoting public access sailing by identifying and actively including people who would normally have no access to sailing.  In 2016 alone, 3,600 children, youth and adults sailed, paddled or kayaked on Clipper Cove in San Francisco Bay through TISC programs.”

TISC-EAST-Women_Hiking-crvTwo recent TISC initiatives, both enabled by generous grants from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, were highlighted for special attention.  The development of a high school racing team for Oakland’s Envision Academy was launched in partnership with OCSC Sailing School.

And Set Sail Learn, a one-day exploration trip for San Francisco fourth graders that incorporates sailing into a hands-on STEM curriculum, fosters learning and a love for San Francisco Bay.TISC-SSL_ActivityCenter

2-IMG_3051So “thumbs up” for our full-time staff, summer instructors, volunteers, and tenants.  And especially to our sponsors, grantors and many individual donors.  6-IMG_2989Without YOUR time, effort and financial support we would never have been able to provide these sailors, kayakers and paddlers with life changing opportunities.  YOU have enabled so many to touch the Bay, grab seaweed in their hands, learn about the history and power of the wind and become nature advocates and caretakers for decades to come. Many with TISC-provided scholarships.

YOU should feel part ownership in the 2016 US Sailing “Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion Award.

If TISC had not “reached out and brought in” over the last six years, many of the 16,000 smiles that lit up Clipper Cove would not have happened.  And speaking of Clipper Cove, none of these smiles would be possible without the star of our show- Clipper Cove.  Here’s a bit of history plus additional photos of “The Cove”.TISC-SSL-OnClipperCove

Below we’ve captured the wide range of Bay Area residents TISC reached out to and the 2016 programs that drew them in.

IMG_30271,317 Fourth graders from 35 San Francisco Public Schools attended one of the 161 Set Sail Learn STEM experiential learning classes provided at no charge by TISC.  This unique and innovative program, designed to meet California Core standards, is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning, together with sailing on San Francisco Bay.

2-John Yehall Chin Elementary School Marks 4,244 SSL Students at TISCOver 4,200 students from 35 SFUSD schools attended one of 161 classes since the first class in 2013.

432 youth and teens participated in spring, summer and fall sailing / adaptive lessons. TISC uses a 5-level progression to teach life lessons including goal setting, communications teamwork and leadership while instilling feelings of respect, self-esteem and self-reliance in its students.2-IMG_4143

Over half of these students received scholarships to enable them to participate in these week-long programs. Ages range from 6 year-old “harbor seals” to youth racers and on to junior instructors who return to TISC as full instructors.7-IMG_4864IMG_4896

Their “Co-Able” sailing lessons, run in partnership with the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, team youth with physical or emotional disabilities with partners with complimentary or no disabilities; together both can learn the joys of independent sailing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

3-IMG_0729-cr431 youth participated in orientation and after-school “first sails”.  TISC has reached out to nearly 60 San Francisco organizations who work with at-risk youth to provide them with outdoor activities, role models and an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the bay.  Most participants are on scholarship, and many students return for additional classes.

884 adults, many with their families, attended one or more Community Sailing activity hosted by TISC. Opening day in the spring, offering free sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding, as well as land-based games, crafts and life jackets, is by far the largest single event sponsored by TISCIMG_0680

IMG_4799The local V15 fleet races on Clipper Cove as well and promote “last to first” races that encourage youth to crew with experienced racers who are then awarded bonus points for providing budding racers the opportunity to participate in Thursday night racing on Clipper Cove. Adult keelboat classes, the newly formed Social Sailing League and the recently launched adult dinghy racing classes round out the TISC adult programs.

495 high school and college racers, coaches and parents practiced or raced on Clipper Cove which provides a unique combination of protected, current-free water with good winds and access to docks. 2016-02-21-13-10-41

 

Most notably TISC teamed with OCSC in 2014 to launch a high school racing team which provided students from Envision Academy, in Oakland, with the 2-IMG_1526-enopportunity to learn to swim, sail and race.  The Academy has a tremendous track record for placing their seniors in college.  The Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) provides not only life skills, but also an extra boost and racing experience these young sailors can take with them to college – a big plus for making new friends and expanding their secondary school experience. And to provide these students with additional incentive as well as social connections to stay in school.

The photos above are just a few of the many ways TISC creates ambassadors for Mother Nature and advocates for clean oceans and a sustainable environment. Our outreach to Bay area youth and adults extends well beyond the over-18,000 of smiles we’ve generated in just the last six years alone.

Regards from On The Cove,  Dave G

In the wake:

  • The TISC News Release with additional details is HERE.
  • You can Read the St. Francis Sailing Foundation News Release.
  • Jim Kilroy was remembered by Scuttlebutt Sailing News
  • Jim Kilroy’s obituary in the New York Times included many unique and inspiring philosophies taken from his decades of successful sailing as well as his business successes.  The one facet of his philosophy that really struck home with me was:  “Mr. Kilroy was known for carrying an all-amateur crew that, at his insistence, would sail with him full-time for no more than three years.  Afterward, the young sailors, numbering more than 600 over the years, were meant to pursue their own careers”.

JYC Elementary Smiles Set SSL Milestone On Clipper Cove

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John Yehall Chin Elementary School Students Mark the 4,244 SSL Milestone at TISC

Combine wind, water, sailboats, hands, straws, paper, tape and life-savers with 33 John Yehall Chin Elementary School students.  Add seaweed, mix well. Check out the results – smiles, creative seaweed math, and a major SSL Milestone: the 4,244 4th grader on Clipper Cove.

The docks are out and the winds are cool on Clipper Cove these days. As we wind down a year filled with kids smiles and progress on preserving much of the Cove for future generations, we also wanted to share additional smiles and fun times that marked the seventh Set Sail Learn session since we first launched the pilot program for this unique STEM experiential learning program four years ago.

Designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, SSL is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning along with sailing on San Francisco Bay. Teachers can select lesson plans featuring Renewable Energy, Ecology of the Bay or Marine History.  The JYC day featured wind energy.

The activity center hosts half the kids for the morning session.  It combines a little bit of lecture, with most time spent on interactive discussion, design challenges and of course “finals”.img_7392

The challenge – build the fastest (or perhaps “stiffest” in sailing jargon) craft using only paper, life-savers, straws and tape.  A great time for thinking, creating, engineering and fun. img_3709-cr-cr

img_3707Unique wind cars waiting for the start of their first race.  And after the start.img_3728 img_3770

Some times the kids “crash and burn” in the activity center.  Not that different from learning life lessons (such as self confidence) in our summer session progression program.img_3735-cr img_3739-cr

Team work is stressed during the design build phase of the competition.  Another life skill also learned on the water as well.img_3701

stern horizontalSame goes for communications, goal setting and leadership – direct parallels between STEM lessons learned in the SSL activity center and life lessons learned on Clipper Cove.img_3716

water flyingimg_3742-crimg_1526-enWhile half the students are building wind cars, the other half head out to Clipper Cove. RS Venture sailboats are ideal for our “hands-on-the-bay” programs – stable, sporty and roomyimg_7599-crClipper Cove always serves up views, water and wildlife. Students, learn and experience directions, scale and mother nature.  Never sure who (or what) will swim past or fly by, but something will.img_7559 img_7456 img_7505

Smiles and “hands-in-the-water” experiences on Clipper Cove are the norm, if you’ve seen our previous SSL Blogs.  As a kid on the water, likely for the first time, how can that not be.img_7655img_7703 img_7479

This day, however, something new appeared on deck.  A “new math” based on seaweed. I didn’t have a chance to interview the creative team directly, so not sure the rules for this new system. Whatever they were, I did sense interest, attentiveness and focus.img_7509-cr

Other boats were also exploring this new math.img_7639img_7625

Here are a few more of the smiles that reflected off the Cove.img_7481

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And speaking of the cove, some

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

NASH BRIDGES, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Serena Scott Thomas, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Jamie Gomez, (Season 1), 1996-2001, © Rysher Entertainment

parents or grandparents may remember Nash Bridges – the detective show back in the day just before TISC was founded – mid-1990’s.  Remember these guys?

Even if you do, you may not have known their headquarters was atop the TI administration building. Overlooking both San Francisco Bay and Clipper Cove.img_7789

And what a view of the Cove !img_7740 img_7755-cr

pano-chen-img-7742At the conclusion of the Fall 2016 SSL session, 4,244 SFUSD students attended 161 Set Sail Learn classes at TISC on Clipper Cove. They represented  35 schools over the last four years. The grant received from St. Francis Sailing Foundation last fall was a game changer for TISC and SFUSD 4th graders. It officially launched the program; enabling the jump from pilot to a fully staffed program that delivers 50+ classes per year – at no charge to the schools.

The StFSF grant funds about half of the classes. TISC raises the other half through public and private grants along with individual donations.  Each SSL class costs approximately $1,500. If you are able and inclined to make an investment in the future of our children, please consider making a donation to the TISC annual fund – every donation helps no matter how much you are able to invest. If you act by December 31, 2016 your donations, up to $12,500, will be matched dollar for dollar. You can DONATE HERE.

Regards from On the cove,  Dave G

In the wake:

Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to the parent who took the excellent photos of the “wind racers” in the activity center – much appreciated.

Also – if you are a parent, relative or teacher of a child in Jonathan Cheung’s class and would like to see more photos of their SSL day at TISC on Clipper Cove let us know and we’ll send you a password-protected link to high-res photos with more kids’ smiles. Email:   daveg (at) onclippercove (dot) com

HS Sailing (and Chicken-in-Waffles) On Clipper Cove

School’s back in session, and Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) is getting an early start on Fall practice. Clipper Cove hosted hundreds of High Schoolers, coaches and parents in 2016. Chicken-in-Waffles anyone (they’re really good).

2016-09-07-16-29-08After dealing with a nearly-deflated trailer tire last week (tenants – check those valve stems !), I connected with two E*A*S*T students  getting an early start on Fall practice.  Seeing them out tuning up with their TISC coach reminded me to highlight great progress for their team, as well as a ton of smiles from hundreds of High School skippers, crew and parents that utilized Clipper Cove this year.

img_1498High school sailboat racing offers opportunities to learn all kinds of life skills – teamwork, socialization, decision making, integrity, fairness, focus, communication, leadership and more – while developing good stewards of our Bay.  Because of the steady winds, protected waters, and public access to boats and docks, Clipper Cove offers an ideal location for high school kids to learn sailing then progress to serious racing.

Oakland’s Envision Academy has a tremendous track record for placing their seniors in college.  Two years ago TISC teamed up with OCSC to start the Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) to provide not only life skills, but also an extra boost that provides these young sailors with experience they can take with them to college – a big plus for making new friends and expanding their secondary school experience. And to provide these students with additional incentive as well as social connections to stay in school.

You may have seen posts from Spring practices earlier this year.  It was a windy afternoon and the team used the breeze to their advantage for practice in BUGS (remember when Team New Zealand raced BUGS on Clipper Cove). Mock racing and re-capping rounded out much of the day’s practice.img_1526-en

And took advantage of those winds to get in some capsize drills as well – capsizing under supervision then righting and recovering.img_1519

 

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Earlier this year the team competed in their first regatta, PCISA Norcal #2, and are getting even more psyched for the Fall 2016 season.  What great progress since E*A*S*T started sailing in 2014.

Over 120 high school students from 30 schools enjoyed sailing on the cove at this regatta. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Steve Harris for sharing his photos from the February 2016 Golden Bear Regatta at TISC. Much Appreciated.east-1st-regatta-nor-cal-2-crAll toll this year 59 Teams from 43 schools competed at TISC, resulting in well over 350 sailors competing on Clipper Cove, as many teams brought multiple crews. Including coaches, chaperones and volunteers, the Cove hosted well over 500 High School students and parents in 2016.
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The unique characteristics (steady wind, protected waters, minimum current and safe access) served up by Clipper Cove make it unique in all the bay, and actually in Northern California.  That’s why hundreds of youth, coaches and parents descend to the Cove for races sponsored by the Pacific Coast Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (PCISA).

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High school sailing regattas use a format that maximizes participants and number of races.  TISC adds our own unique capabilities to these regattas – docks 5 minutes from the race course so teams can switch in/out quickly, and a venue where coaches and parents can view the races.  Faster turn-around close to the docks means more racing for the kids.

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And while it’s a “tight fit”, Clipper Cove delivers the space to just barely house a high school race course, as shown by a few photos from our 2015 High School Sailing on Clipper Cove blog (photos courtesy of Lyn Hines).IMG_6867 IMG_6461 IMG_6703 IMG_6383

To provide an adequate course for our normal rotation of 32 boats per fleet, the course need to be about 1/3 of a mile long, which is about the minimum viable first beat length for a fleet of 32 boats.  Even today, Clipper Cove is a VERY confined space already to run proper races like Pacific Coast high school regattas.

The starting line for High School races almost always ends up as far east and south as possible in order to have a square course with the weather mark in the NW corner of the cove.  There is a shoal that even FJs run aground on in that SE corner, so being down there is tide specific, although experienced race PROs such as those from San Francisco Yacht Club have often anchored just offshore of the building under the western section of the Bay Bridge.IMG_6729

According to Forrest Gay, Director of Sailing at The San Francisco Yacht Club, “For a viable high school race course, 2,000 feet is needed from top to bottom, plus an additional 400-500 feet above the weather mark.  This distance is not ideal, but provides a minimum workable space, and is what exists currently in Clipper Cove.”

“Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association could not survive without non-profit community sailing centers like Treasure Island Sailing Center. They provide the only low-cost public access for high school sailing available in many locations in California.  These organizations introduce thousands of people, children as well as high schoolers, to the joys of access to the water with safety and proper equipment use as a key ingredient of their programs.

PCISA has been holding regattas on Clipper Cove for 15 years.  These regattas enable 50-60 teams from 30-40 California schools to learn, compete, and develop their sailing skills as well as life skills. Clipper Cove is the ONLY venue in Northern California that provides safe protected waters, consistent winds, and key facilities including docks and staging areas adjacent to the sailing area. There really are no other options in the Bay Area.”

It was well past my dinner time when I left TI after changing tires, checking in with E*A*S*T team and catching a bit of the Cal Sailing practice.  Kinda hungry by then.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the new “Chicken in Waffles” food stand at the corner of California and Avenue of the Palms – just north of the traffic circle. This recent addition to TI serves up a tasty, unique and value-priced plate full of “hockey puck” sized waffles with grilled chicken tenders inside. Plus other items including ice cream of course !

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Chicken In Waffles Food Stand (Check back for photos of the new new lighted sign).

October Update – On a subsequent visit to TI I caught up with a few very happy customers.  And a brighter, sunny-day photo. img_7363-cr img_7359-cr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake: