Two Days, Two Bays, Kids Smiles

We spent yesterday with our kids on the bay with AC72s, O’pen BICs and Emirates Simulators.  Thursday was photo day on Clipper Cove for the last TISC summer session. Hiking, gybing and capsizing with kids smiles all around.

Last things first. On Sunday we watched race two of the LVC series with our kids.  Our favorite viewing spot is just east of Golden Gate Yacht Club.  The stands west of St. Francis Yacht Club also offer great views, as do the stands and breakwall at Marina Green.

The Americas Cup Event Authority created a packed schedule of events on and off the water at Marina Green and AC Village.  This weekend BIC Sports hosted 20 kids aged 10-14 from the US, New Zealand, Hawaii and Bermuda to sail O’pen BICs right in front of the Marina Green grandstand. The course was a zig-zag with final upwind.  Check out this video for some of the action from Sunday.bic-slalom

The rules for this event include required sailing maneuvers called for in real-time by on-course judges.  As the kids rounded a mark the may be told “stand up”, “gybe”, or “capsize”.bic-stand upbic - alcatraz bic-capsize

Following the AC72 and O’Pen BIC sailing we visited AC park where we enjoyed the Kids Zone and racing the Emirates sailing simulators. Would have been nice to have time for a nap on the bean bag chairs!

We often talk about the many life lessons included in the TISC sailing curriculum such as self confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership.  Of course a key objective of our programs is to train junior sailors to continue with their life on the bay be it through racing, instructing or simply enjoying.  This means seamanship, boathandling and safety drills.

Last Thursday’s lessons during the final summer sailing session of the year, were typical of a day on Clipper Cove.  Some kids were challenged with mark rounding rules while racing FJs while others in Bugs played follow the leader.TISC - sorting it out TISC - upwind

As was the case with the O’pen BIC races, our instructors also required sailors to capsize “on demand” while racing.  Winds were on the light side Thursday morning so some capsizes had to be helped along by shifting weight to leeward.TISC- fj righting TISC - team practice TISC - going over

The bugs also got in the act with capsize drills.TISC-bug righting

Just like on SF Bay, the winds pick up in the afternoon at TISC as well.  A favorite part of the day is the downwind sail home.TISC-homeward bound TISC - downwind

Above all else, safety is the #1 Priority at Treasure Island Sailing Center.  Lifejackets are worn at all times and instructors watch over the capsize drills.TISC-Lifejackets TISC-rigging and safety

TISC-safety boat

While most of our instructors have returned to school or jobs, others are looking forward to the Fall.  You can find information on our Fall Programs HERE.

Regards from on the Bay and on the Cove,

Dave G


In the Wake:

If you are a parent with a child who took lessons at TISC and would like to view more pictures let me know via email ( and I will provide a link to high quality, password-protected JPEGs you can view or download.  Be sure to include your name, your child’s name, the session attended and a memory your student shared with you about sailing at TISC.

Even better, if you would like to help our team create a 2-3 minute slide show about TISC  SMILES please contact Madison in the TISC office.

ACEA Community Outreach Programs Benefit TISC

Twenty three TISC students had front-row seats for Race 3 of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi-finals courtesy of the America’s Cup Event Authority.  Our team used public transportation and boats to get everyone to Marina Green. Some made it back.

Thank you Kelly Cowden for providing tickets to last Friday’s LVC race between Artemis and Luna Rosa. Thanks also to Chris Childers and Madison Gattis for figuring out the logistics of getting kids, staff, guests and parents to the venue before the event and re-connected after the event.  Even real-time glitches in the public transportation system did not prevent our team from pulling off a fun and educational day for all.

The pre-race events included youth racing right in front of the Marina Green bleachers.  Following the races the teams were interviewed live – more good training for these young sailors who handled questions on strategy and tactics as easily as a C420 gybe.

Close finishes were the norm during LVC pre-race program

Close finishes were the norm during LVC pre-race program

Marina Green provides awesome viewing.  The “defender access” period (have you been watching “No Second Place“) before races ensures lots of action well in advance of the races.

Marina Green provides great "head on" view of Oracle team practicing their starts

Marina Green provides great “head on” view of Oracle team practicing their starts

Prada practice start prior to LVC Race #3

Prada practice start prior to LVC Race #3

While our RS Ventures provide exciting planning experience and flying water, there is nothing like seeing AC72s foiling close by.  Pictures below are two more examples of the excellent non-stop viewing from Marina Green.

Prada foils past Marina Green during LVC Race #3

Prada foils past Marina Green during LVC Race #3

Artemis crew foils during LVC semifinal race #3

Artemis crew foils during LVC semifinal race #3

Our kids, staff and guests were glued to the action during the race. The large TV screens on both sides of the Marina Green bleachers give the feeling of being on the boats at all times.  Easy access and ring-side seats make this an excellent location for taking in America’s Cup action.

Action all around engaged TISC student sailors at LVC semifinal race #3

Action all around engaged TISC student sailors at LVC semifinal race #3

Jumbo screens bring AC excitement to the Marina Green bleachers

Jumbo screens bring AC excitement to the Marina Green bleachers

ACEA’s Community Outreach Program managed by Kelly Cowden is focused on exposing as many people in the Bay Area as possible to sailing, especially kids. One of our parent volunteers and a junior instructor took in the Friday race from course-side on the San Francisco Fire Department “Guardian”, also courtesy of  Kelly and her team.

SF Fire Boat Guardian Hosted Community Service Volunteers During the Race

SF Fire Boat Guardian Hosted Community Service Volunteers During the Race

Students, instructors and staff gather for a quick “Hi and thank you Americas Cup Community Outreach Program” after Friday’s races at Marina Green.  Our team is also very appreciative of the financial support received from ACEA through their generous donation from the rockin’ Sublime concert on August 4th.

TISC Kids at LVC

As the afternoon came to an end, some kids met parents in San Francisco after the races.  Others did make it back to TISC in two of our safety boats. AC72 viewing continued as Oracle Team USA boats continued their practice session.

Oracle AC72s dwarf CFD's during practice run following LVC Race #3

Oracle AC72s dwarf CFD’s during practice run following LVC Race #3

TISC students head back to Clipper Cove following LVC semi-final Race #3

TISC students head back to Clipper Cove following LVC semi-final Race #3

Treasure Island Sailing Center is working with thirty plus outreach partners to provide positive life experiences on the bay for kids in the Bay Area.  The support from the America’s Cup Community Outreach program is greatly appreciated.

Regards from Marina Green, Dave G




Bay Safety and Always Being Prepared

Safety and preparedness are key components of TISC programs. Our kids learn importance of teamwork, and sailing safe. Tuesday night’s return sail reminded us how fast San Francisco Bay can turn dangerous from gorgeous and to always be prepared.

safety logisticsTISC summer programs are now under full sail on Clipper Cove.  Our instructors work with small groups of students to provide safety orientation first thing as part of each class.  Lifejackets are of course required at all times on and off the water.  Students are never without a partner or close-by safety boat.

single handed sailingDepending on the level of sailing skills and lessons being taught students may sail solo or in teams of two.  Solo sailing stresses independence and goal setting.  Sailing with a partner requires communications and teamwork.  double handed sailing


Safety boats on the water keep a watchful eye over students as they head out to the cove where they work on sailing skills.fleet prep


Whether its folding sails on a J/24 or putting Optis and Bugs back on the racks, kids learn the importance of team work (have you ever tried to roll up a sail by yourself ?).teamwork

Just back from a week on Nantucket Sound with family last week, we took friends sailing for the day leaving TI just before noon.   The Louis Vuitton series opens July 4th with racing scheduled to start July 7th and the AC72s were out as we sailed past Alcatraz toward Tiburon. Seeing these 13,000 pound boats up on foil is always a thrill.Oracle Foiling 130611After late lunch and walk about Tiburon, we headed back to TI around 5pm.  As we crossed through “windy alley” between Angel Island and Treasure Island around six thirty the wind was its typical 15-20 with higher gusts.  The tide was ebbing which created a moderate chop.  Fun sailing down the waves.

As we were capturing pictures of a gorgeous day on the bay we saw a lone wave-rider bite the dust followed by a huge splash. While not an unusual occurrence, it was late with waves building and the Bay empty so we watched carefully.

jet ski hits wave

At first the rider started to slowly catch up to his now-drifting craft.  Then the distance settled and started to increase.  With one set of eyes on the person in the water we came about and headed over to investigate.  As the distance between driver and wave-rider continued to increase, we deployed our life ring on a line and dropped the jib.

After circling around, we snagged the driver and with him hanging on the back of Skippers’ Gift ran downwind to the wave-rider, now four boat lengths to leeward.  He climbed aboard his craft and continued on his way to Emeryville.

Continuing on our way to Clipper Cove we discussed several “what ifs” and pondered the drivers fate if we had not been there.  A rather sobering experience and another reminder of the importance of life vests, sailing in pairs, staying aware and always being prepared.

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

I’ve heard a number of “50/50/50 rules”, including “An average adult has a 50% chance of surviving a 50 yd swim in 50o water”, “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% better chance of survival if wearing a life jacket”, and “a person in 50o water for 50 minutes has a 50% chance of survival”.

Without our help this hapless driver would have been in a tough, perhaps fatal, situation.