High School Sailing on Clipper Cove

With 100 California High School Sailing teams no surprise 60 showed up at Clipper Cove for the February, 2015 PCISA Golden Bear Regatta.  600+ sailors, coaches, parents, chaperones and spectators participated over the course of the two-day, blue sky weekend.

Excuse me – last February? OK, Full disclosure: I plead “out of town without pictures” for that weekend.  Hence the big delay in writing this post.

IMG_8711Fall practice for the E*A*S*T Sailing Team started last week (April blog about E*A*S*T) and was a wake-up call to me to get on the favored tack and share the excitement of High School Sailing on Clipper Cove. We’ll check in with their team later this fall.

The real enablers for this blog were photos from Lyn Hines and Steve Harris, plus stories from Mike Segerblom. I now have pictures and can catch everyone up on the PCISA Golden Bear regatta.  Formerly The Cardinal Regatta, this event has been held at TISC since 2012.  Clipper Cove delivers a unique and perfect venue for High School Sailing with its combination of protected waters, minimal current, good winds and excellent viewing opportunities.

Early Saturday was calm on the water which provided time for preparation on the shore.2015-02-20 10.06.25 2015-02-20 10.12.38

Once the 60 teams from 50 schools arrived just about every square inch of space at TISC was filled with boats, sailors and parents. Landside and waterside were equally busy.2015-02-20 09.45.49 2015-02-20 10.03.15

IMG_64632015-02-21 11.02.52 IMG_6850Kudos to St. Francis Yacht Club for providing a staff of expert volunteers plus the safety boats needed to run Golden Bear.  They had their work cut out for them for sure.IMG_6729IMG_6583

IMG_6362The clockwork-like summer westerlies are “off duty” from November to February. They did show up (late) on Saturday, however Sunday the sailors found themselves racing “out” of the cove rather than “into” the cove – which made for great viewing and iconic photographing but challenging racing.  Thanks to the SFYC race committee, the teams raced until sunset.IMG_6703IMG_6461

IMG_6688Clipper Cove was jammed with HS sailors racing in two divisions each with two fleets. You can see the results of the two-day series here: http://pcisa.hssailing.org/schedule/2014-2015/schedule/pcisa-sIMG_6461IMG_6867IMG_6696IMG_6383

IMG_6461 IMG_6653The Treasure Island Sailing Center docks – minutes from the course- made for ideal launching and “shift changes” between the two divisions racing.IMG_6567IMG_6850IMG_6463

Clipper Cove’s long shoreline parallel to the course made for tremendous view platforms with opportunity for “Kodak Moments” taken in by hundreds of parents and spectators.2015-02-21 11.04.51-cr IMG_6404

IMG_6692Sailing is one of the few co-ed high school sports.  Great to see teamwork and communications skills developing in these young sailors.IMG_6433IMG_6380 IMG_6686

Mark roundings were hectic with frequent lead changes.IMG_6639

drone at windward markClipper Cove is unique not only in the sailing venue it provides but also in its iconic location.  From CC you can see the new Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Skyline and the loading docks in Alameda.IMG_6425 IMG_6464 IMG_6496 2015-02-21 11.23.44-crIMG_6686

At the end of the day Clipper Cove was back to its picture-perfect self.drone over clipper cove-en

The importance of High School sailing goes way beyond the friends made, seamanship skills, and even life lessons such as goal setting, communications teamwork & leadership.  For many students their sailing experience equates to sharing and bonding opportunities during their freshmen years at college.  We know firsthand these opportunities are the difference between fitting in and surviving that first tough year vs not making it to the sophomore year.

Regards (Courtesy of Lyn Hines, Steve Harris and Mike Segerblom) from On the Cove,

Dave G

In the Wake:

Here are a few additional links related to this post.

E*A*S*T on Clipper Cove

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.

Bay_Crossings-June--2014In 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.

life jacketsI 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.

attention to detailWith 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.

 

EAST Rigging
EAST Launching
PE-3

PE-2
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.

Raise your hand, zip up your foulies and head for Clipper Cove if you can do a pull-up wearing a wet suit and water-laden life jacket !PE-1-cr

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.righting-teamwork

Oh – and be sure to smile after the capsize drills. It helps to hide some of the inevitable angst and tends to build confidence in other students. smiles-1smiles-3

smiles-2

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.
sail flat

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.