Wednesday’s chilly swirling wind on Clipper Cove – not an ideal setting for Envision Academy Sailing Team’s first day back on the water. Tack, gibe and intentionally capsize they did, however, with bright smiles and cool determination.
In 2014 Treasure Island Sailing Center and OCSC Sailing teamed up to provide an opportunity for all students at Envision Academy to learn about the Bay, winds, tides and the physics behind sailing. And to get a jump start on life lessons from two of the best teaching teams on San Francisco Bay. You can read more about that partnership in the June ’14 “Bay Crossings” article featuring an interview with Anthony Sanberg and his new goal – to offer the experience of sailing to hundreds of Oakland teenagers.
I spent April Fools Day – no joke – with five members of the Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T) during their first on-the-water training session of 2015. Although our head instructor Annie Butts has been working with the kids at EA in Oakland on chalk talks and PE since their team training ended last fall, Wednesday was their first time on Clipper Cove this year.
With the temperature at 61 and gusty winds of 15+ the kids did not get a warm welcome from Mother Nature. Undeterred they rigged and launched.
Then with Annie standing by in the safety boat they executed the capsizing and righting drills so important in all our youth sailing classes. Whether 8 or 18, TISC kids must know how to self-rescue from any boat they sail – from Bugs to FJ’s to RS Ventures.
We’ve discussed life lessons in past blogs – like teamwork, for example. Righting a sailboat quickly and safely requires many of the same skills – goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership – stressed at Envision Academy and drilled in by instructors at TISC and OCSC on a daily basis.
Those of you who’ve raced on Clipper Cove know the wind gusts can be pretty squirrely as they blast east toward the Emmeryville Flats. I was impressed by the degree to which these EA students – remember they just started sailing last year – kept themselves and their boat flat and in good form (how may sit-ups can you pull off these days?) on this blustery day.
Anthony and his team are “all in” on getting teenagers sailing on SF Bay. His instructors are volunteering their time, owners are making their boats available, and OCSC members are donating time and money to support the program. TISC is underwriting the project and has launched a fundraising campaign to continue the E*A*S*T racing program. You can add your support here: Sponsor a Sailor.
Regards from On The Cove, Dave G
In the Wake:
Here’s a short video on Envision Academy’s philosophy and approach to raise the graduation and college matriculation rates: Envision Philosophy.