V15 Nationals-Good Times on Clipper Cove

Clipper Cove and the Treasure Island Sailing Center served up a grand August 25-26 weekend of racing for 50+ Vanguard-15 sailors. Fourteen races – thanks to our experienced PRO – in near-perfect westerly breezes just minutes from shore. Major Good Times.

Twenty-six V15 teams from around the country traveled to Treasure Island from Tennessee, Texas, and Southern California to compete with local sailors from the Bay Area. For the event, the class National Championship, all enjoyed a solid weekend of racing thanks in large part to TISC and PRO Ian McClelland, as well as a host of Vanguard 15 Fleet 53 volunteers.

The racers made good use of the entire cove, from the mouth up to the north west end.


While Saturday’s light morning breeze triggered a short postponement, 6 races were completed in excellent conditions. On Sunday, the breeze started strong and built throughout the day, allowing the race committee to serve up 8 more races.

Up and down the fleet, the racing was close and competitive and the score lines reflect this. By the end of the weekend, however, it was clear one team in particular maintained an unmatched level of consistency. Matthew Sessions and Avery Whitmarsh (1629 in the photo below) from San Francisco Yacht Club won the 2018 Vanguard 15 National Championship.

Complete results are HERE.

 

 

Of course no V15 regatta would be complete without an active social schedule.The Saturday dinner was held downtown at the Bay View Boat Club.    Following the award ceremony Sunday afternoon the sailors gathered at the Woods Island Club adjacent to TISC on Treasure Island.

A special “thanks and a tip of the hat” to Vinay Vijayakumar for the excellent Saturday photos. You can see more of his work HERE.

And a shout-out to Mike Deady for writing and Sam Wheeler for editing this blog.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Clipper Cove continues to provide public access to San Francisco Bay for kids, youth and adults.  Sailing, kayaking paddle boarding; recreational sailing, lessons and racing. The Cove’s rich history – read more HERE – continues to grow as public use expands in this unique Bay Area Gem.

 

TISC Opens 2018 Fun Season with 432 Smiles

Mix 51 loyal volunteers with 258 excited visitors.  Add J/24’s, kayaks and SUPs.  Say “Coast Guard, DBW, Life Jacket, Ready About, Hard-alee.”   Blow gently, add brilliant glitter and Adam’s Grub Truck. The result: smiling faces shining over Clipper Cove.

So many highlights, where to start? -Actually, that’s easy. Again this year many thanks to Brian Hill for the great photos and helpful “play by play”.

So, on to the 432 smiles (270 from J/24 sailors, 108 from kayakers and 54 from the stand-up paddle boarders).

Enthusiastic Volunteers and Staff Creates Opening Day 2018:

Setup at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Tent:

Luxine Smith, Program Coordinator, briefs skippers:

Josh readies a chase boat:

Travis Lund, announces from the PA system:

Skippers discussing procedures:

Boat handler and skipper at the ready:

Charlotte at the TISC table studying the course offerings – – –

– – – and ready to discuss TISC with visitors:

Adam’s Grub Truck is ready for hungry people:

Jamie is ready with oars and life jackets:

People arriving and getting briefed on National Safe Boating Week:

A hypothermia demonstration from the Coast Guard Auxiliary:

Heading down to the docks:

Setting up on kayaks and paddle boards:

Heading out in a two-seater kayak:

Kayaker and paddle-boarder rendezvous on the water:

Gabe and Sam have a chase boat rendezvous in front of the Bay Bridge:

Gabe and Alana, piloting one of the chase boats:

Meanwhile back on land, Glitter in the City gives people fabulous freckles:

Two face-painting prospects exam design ideas:

A patient boy gets to see the finished result:

Cal Sailing team members operate their wind indicator (a bubble machine!):

A Giants fan and her Harley-loving daschund get ready to go out:

And her grand-daughter pauses to show off her glitter:

The two of them occupy the pulpit on a J-24:

Three more J-24s await cast-off:

Boarding the boats with careful direction from the boat handlers:

Another cast-off:
And another:

Boat handler gives the special all-clear sign:

Bon voyage!

TISC-1 against the new Bay Bridge:

TISC-1 and TISC-2 heading out:

TISC-2 with Bob Flores at the helm:

TISC-2 again!

TISC-5 on a fly-by:

TISC-1 at the head of Clipper Cove:

TISC-3 coming home:

Travis hands out some nice schwag from Oracle and the America’s Cup:

And a gift of wine-tasting for eight from one of our sponsors:

As the afternoon continues, people are still enjoying the varied fun:

Relocating a National Safe Boating Week Sign from the clubhouse to the docks:

Event photographer Brian Hill hands his camera over for a selfie:

One last panorama shot of the facility and the volunteers (scroll across to see it all!):
Our enablers, those great teams who make eventsl like this possible – the 51 volunteers from the Cal Sailing Team,  V15 racers, SFSU, our tenants, program partners and an SSL teacher. Generous donors including Winemaker Studios here on TI, East Bay Costco and Aracely Cafe at 401 13th in San Francisco, California Division of Boating and Waterways. Informative exhibitors including the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Re-cology Golden Gate and the SF Environmental Department. And what about those glittering faces thanks to Glitter in the City and lunch with Adam’s Grub Truck !

Regards from The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Events like this don’t just happen – they are planned in advance, volunteers are recruited, details are checked and re-checked and then the (fun) job starts on “Game Day”.  While our entire staff was on hand for opening day, Luxine Smith was ultimately responsible for the myrad details, volunteers, contributors and more to deliver such a positive event ( water side summary: 270 J/24 boat rides, 108 kayakers and 54 SUP riders) here On Clipper Cove. THANK YOU LUXINE!

 

TISC Launches Low-Cost Sailing Initiative for Bay Area

According to Statista, US Sailing participation grew to over 4 million participants in 2016 including 811,000 youth. The Treasure Island Sailing Center Volunteers Reward Program provides low-cost or no-cost access to training, boats and facilities for Bay Area families.2017 Opening Day Volunteers

We recognize the importance of giving back to our communities. Some people get involved with TISC to meet new friends, others to sharpen their skills.  Some sailors are passionate for “the cause” while non-sailors often volunteer to learn how to sail.

TISC’s new Volunteer Rewards Program serves all of these people. Whatever their motivation, all are welcome!

Key elements of the TISC Volunteer Rewards Program:

  • The program is available to TISC Volunteers with a minimum of 16 hours of service.
  • Volunteers may utilize credit for hours previously accumulated for equal hours of instruction for any TISC course, or toward use of TISCs fleet of sailboats.
  • Adherence to TISC’s progression of courses and boat usage policies must be followed at all times.
  • Volunteer Rewards are non-transferrable unless in the case of a minor to whom the volunteer is a legal guardian
  • TISC will reserve 25% of its courses for volunteers per availability.

If you have any questions about the Volunteer Rewards Program or volunteer opportunities, please email programs@tisailing.org or call us at 415 421-2225. You can also click HERE to see the complete list of volunteer opportunities available at TISC.

By the way, heads up to parents: Spring sailing classes begin  Sunday, April 8th at TISC and Summer classes begin Monday, June 11th (you can REGISTER HERE).  No child is ever turned away from TISC for financial reasons.

Also, if you are considering sailing classes for your kids, you should read the informative blog post from US Sailing: Thoughts on Choosing a Sailing School.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

Here are a few upcoming On-The-Water and On-Land volunteer openings that are available to be filled.

Opening Day:  Saturday, April 21, 2018P4220037-skipper on j24

This one day event kicks off our sailing season while promoting the sport of sailing and National Safe Boating Week.  We are looking for volunteers to help with the water activities on the Bay and with on land activities on shore.

Visually Impaired Sailing Programvisually impaired sailors

Volunteer Opportunities to assist sailors who are blind or visually impaired is a one-Saturday or Sunday-a-month event hosted at TISC in partnership with BlindSail SF Bay. TISC is seeking experienced sailors to participate in these events either as instructors or as crew members on a J24. Some training will be required and will be provided by instructors experienced in teaching people who are blind and visually impaired.

Boat Work Daysalex fixing boats

We need your help keeping TISC’s boats clean and ready to sail. Our boats have made it through the Winter, and now it’s time to get them bright and shiny for another season of sailing!  Whether you are working part or full-time or are retired, you can choose a that suits you.

Group Sailkids smiling on j24 bow

Come sail a J24 around Clipper Cove for a couple of hours! Volunteers take a small group of people sailing around the cove and teach them to the basics of sailing. Volunteers need to pass TISC’s J24 checkout and are required to do a background check if they are going to be working with youths.

Summer Camp Support – starting June 11thsand castle

We are looking for volunteers (18+) to help supervise children during their lunch hour and assist the sailing Instructors on the beach after lunch.  One week commitment preferable

Regatta SupportBAYS-Oct-2017_in-action_3-min

No sailing program is complete without the racing aspect.  TISC host several Youth Regattas each year and each of these regattas could use your support on land.  This is a fun way to watch the competition and help the youth enjoy the sport of sailing.

TISC SSL Fall 2017- 5,500 Smiles and Counting !

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.

SSL Final Numbers-min

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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Wind-car-racing-min

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.

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.

 

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 !

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:

 

Kids Smiles Fill Clipper Cove – TISC Instructors Rock !

IMG_4276 School’s Over. Kids are Smiling. Clipper Cove is doing its thing: developing self confidence, building life skills, creating friendships and introducing Mother Nature to kids from all over the Bay Area. TISC instructors are the catalyst for these magic moments.

June is such a great time on Clipper Cove.  And this year there’s so much happening one blog can’t even come close to covering all the action.  So we’ll tack away from adaptive and visually impaired sailing, adult keel boat lessons, the SF Social Sailing League and more, to focus on kids smiles. Check out the many ways our instructors interact, support, lead, protect, and encourage.  All ingredients for developing self-confidence, self-esteem and SMILES! IMG_4520-cr-smallMost of these photos were taken weeks 2 and 4 – the end of a two week sailing session.  Kids are tired, morning winds are often light.  Then the afternoon westerly kicks in.

Sun screen is getting lathered on. Boats are getting rigged. Many lessons start with chalk talks.IMG_3898IMG_3912

IMG_3910 Then word gets out – Time to Sail ! No more tired kids.IMG_3915

Oooppsss – not much wind.  Great – let’s just continue to hang out.  Or should I say Raft Up (some day these kids may be the ones who are Hooked on Clipper Cove).IMG_4022 IMG_4154

In addition to our youth sailing program we also sponsor outreach programs to get kids out on (and in) the water.  Up on Top kids were at TICS also enjoying all that Clipper Cove has to offer.IMG_4168 IMG_4311-EN

We tell visitors that you will always see something new when you sail on SF Bay.  We can’t predict what it will be, but you WILL see it.  Same way with photographing these kids – I never know how they will help us tell our story – teaching life lessons like respect, goal setting, communications & teamwork, self-reliance and leadership through sailing – however they’ve never let me down so far.

Respect is an element of all programs starting with orientation and continuing through 5-step progression program to level V. Goal setting also starts early because kids relate to short-term challenges like “learning to sail backwards” or “recovering from a capsize”.IMG_4187

Communications and teamwork go together on and between sailboats.  And paddle boards.IMG_3764 IMG_4109-cr IMG_4411-EN

And teamwork is always an easy story to “shoot” because kids just naturally help other kids out on the water. Age, gender, family background just doesn’t seem to matter to happy, often waterlogged, kids.IMG_4143 IMG_4145

Many urban sailing centers are located in busy harbors or on open, unprotected waters. Clipper Cove is a unique gem in all of SF Bay (some would say in the world) for learning life lessons through sailing because of its protected location with great winds and little current.  At TISC we give kids their own boat, teach them the skills needed to sail it, and let them go.IMG_3730 IMG_4208 IMG_4527

Yes, it blows hard here most afternoons. We view these as the best learning times for the kids and teaching time for the instructors.IMG_4362 IMG_4435

IMG_4520 IMG_4553And there are many learning opportunities, often ending in situations where kids “crash and burn”. And then self-rescue themselves –  –  –  IMG_3789-cr IMG_3790-cr1 IMG_3791-cr1

IMG_3736 IMG_3738 IMG_3739 IMG_3741–  –  –   all under the careful watch of TISC instructors, many who learned to sail here on Clipper Cove.  And often at the end of the day instructors lend a hand to tired sailors.IMG_3789-cr2

IMG_3806Kids love the independence and empowerment offered by sailing their own boat.  They build self-reliance and “figure it out”.  These skills last a lifetime.

And the combination of protected waters, minimal current and always-close-by instructors provides an ideal learning and confidence-building environment.IMG_4229 IMG_3746IMG_4462

Photographing leadership is not so easy.  I joked with the instructors about this photo as the more experience sailor “bailed out” then demonstrated goal setting, communications, teamwork and leadership to get cranked up for more sailing. All captured in one visual image.IMG_4157

No way to share the hundreds of Clipper Cove June smiles. Here are a few more.  If you are a parent or one of our program associates and would like to see more pictures, please contact the TISC office and they can provide access to password-protected photo folders from two June photo-shoots.

Our 5-level progression program leverages the development of sailing skills along with life skills. You can see the self-confidence shining brightly on Clipper Cove as the breeze picks up and lesson plans move from chalk talks to flat sailing.IMG_4320 IMG_4431

IMG_4212 IMG_4215 IMG_4222 More 1:1 time with our instructors.IMG_3810 IMG_3824 IMG_3841

Here are a few more Up On Top smiles, and an interesting stat why summer programs are so important.  Did you know that by high school, 67% of the cumulative achievement gap between middle-class and disadvantaged children can be explained by summer learning loss? Another reason Clipper Cove is such an important San Francisco Gem – the connection between learning to drive an RS Venture and brushing up on math and reading skills during the summer break. IMG_4123 IMG_4311-EN IMG_4356 And beach time is FUN time!IMG_4396

IMG_4404 IMG_4416Blogs have to wrap up just like fun days on Clipper Cove. More teamwork, then time to put our keyboards and rudders away.IMG_4541IMG_4567IMG_3827 IMG_3831

And a quick debrief.IMG_4570

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The photos in this blog plus many more are available on line – check with the TISC office for links to password-protected photo folders.

And one final THANK YOU to our rock-star instructor team.  Keep smiling, and creating smiles.  Your classroom changes every few minutes. Mother Nature is awesome, even when she puffs too hard or not enough.  And remember – the kids are always learning and benefiting, even when they’re having too much fun to listen or having a “bad tack” day.  You Rock !IMG_4576-EN-faces

TISC Marks Milestone: 3,566 4th Graders on Clipper Cove

Tenderloin Elementary Class Marks 3566 SSL Students at TISC-IMG_2949-cr

Tenderloin Elementary 4th Graders Mark 3,566 SSL Students at TISC Since 2013 Launch

Treasure Island Sailing Center’s STEM Program for San Francisco elementary students reached a major milestone in May: Over 3,500 Fourth Graders have now learned, explored and sailed on Clipper Cove. The St. Francis Sailing Foundation was a major donor.

IMG_2378-cr-enIn 2013 TISC launched the pilot for a unique, STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) experiential learning program called Set Sail Learn.  This program, designed to meet 4th grade California core standards, is a one-day exploration trip incorporating curriculum-aligned science and math learning, together with sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Last October the St. Francis Sailing Foundation announced a partnership with TISC to continue the program, providing San Francisco fourth graders with the opportunity for STEM learning while opening the door to San Francisco Bay, sailing and environmental stewardship at no cost to the schools. This StFSF Fall 2015 grant was a major milestone in reaching our Spring 2016 milestone of 3,566 kids through the SSL Program.

While referred to as a “hand on” experience, Set Sail Learn is really a “hands-in” program as you can see from these photos of 4th graders from Tenderloin Elementary School.IMG_3051IMG_2818 IMG_2825 IMG_3027 IMG_3071 IMG_3157The sailing part of the program is what makes it unique.  And connects the kids to Mother Nature while establishing them as stewards of “their”  bay.  The action in and around the activity center, however,  is also a big part of the lessons. Because no chairs, plenty of physical activity and a highly interactive curriculum makes for fun, memorable learning.class IMG_2437

class IMG_2365 class IMG_2434-en-crclass IMG_2769

And the lab just outside the door to the activity center is like nothing most of the kids have ever seen or experienced. A true window onto life in, around and below the waters of San Francisco Bay.class IMG_2556

IMG_3173It’s no wonder this program has been a huge win for teachers –   –   -:

  • “Set Sail Learn engages the different learning modalities of the kids, visual, kinetic, song, dance and sailing.”
  • “I saw this program touch every part of each of my children. Thank you so much for allowing my native San Franciscans to really experience the Bay.”

IMG_2989–  –  –  and a favorite for kids:

  • “The best day of my life.”
  • “I got to steer the boat.”
  • “I’m crabby, day had to end.”

Another star of the program is Clipper Cove itself.  Same rule applies here as with all sailing on SF Bay: “you can never be sure what you’ll see, however you WILL see something swimming, floating or flying that’s a keeper for your memory banks”.IMG_2536-cr

Along with the fish and wildlife, Clipper Cove also serves up curiosity-building views of San Francisco, Yerba Buena Island (its long-time-ago name is HERE), and the new Bay Bridge super-structure.IMG_2940IMG_2440-cr IMG_2799

And boatloads of smiles are always present whenever kids are on Clipper Cove.
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IMG_2544-crOf course a bit of excitement aboard an RS Venture sailboat always goes a long way to score big with 4th graders.  In fact a number of SSL graduates have signed up for summer sailing lessons at TISC.  Interested?  You can find out more and register here.IMG_3191IMG_2968Set Sail Learn Session 5, Spring of 2016, is in the log books; our focus has now turned to summer programs.  Teachers interested in registering for the next SSL session can use this Fall 2016 SSL Registration Form.

I’ll wrap up this blog with a few statistics on our Set Sail Learn program and the number of Bay Area residents who sail, kayak and paddle board at TISC on Clipper Cove.

  • 3,566 elementary kids from 31 San Francisco public schools have attended 135 SSL classes since the program was launched in the Fall of 2013. These kids came from all 11 SF school districts.
  • Last year TISC served approximately 3,800 sailors, kayakers and paddlers.  Most from San Francisco, others from all parts of the Bay Area. All walks of life.  Nearly 15,000 over last 5 years.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Here are links to previous Set Sail Learn blogs with more smiles from San Francisco Public School kids.

 

TISC Opening Day 2016 Packs Clipper Cove

TISC Opening Day and Safe Boating Day packed Clipper Cove with 723 excited attendees.  Thank you staff, sponsors, volunteers and Mother Nature for providing free sailboat rides & paddling on protected waters, fun, games and free life jackets.IMG_1958

IMG_2133Next week is National Safe Boating week. The Treasure Island Sailing Center hosted its combined Opening Day / Safe Boating Day on April 30th to kick off our season and get a head start on summer safety. And to pass out 140 life jackets plus water safety and boating guides courtesy of California Division of Boating and Waterways

Group 3 - enhancedPlanning and promotion starts months in advance. Then our trusty army of 50-plus volunteers starts arriving Friday afternoon, early Saturday morning and stay well past closing.  Opening day would not be possible without volunteers from the Cal Boating team, the Vanguard 15 racers, Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T), TISC tenants who helped with set-up & boat driving, and the local Treasure Island community.

Sperry LineUpVisitors from all over the Bay Area lined up for the free sailboat, kayak and paddle board rides.

Our fleet of J/24’s, RS Ventures, kayaks and stand up paddle boards were all voted MVP’s of the day.IMG_2212

Safe in CCove6-crcr Safe in CCove7IMG_9526CG AuxUS Coast Guard Auxiliary answered questions and further stressed safe boating. And passed out the free DBW life jackets.

IMG_9460Talented supporting cast from Glitter in the City and TISC volunteers kept kids of all ages psyched and occupied during the day.  Needless to say Peets Coffee in Berkeley and Beauty’s Bagels in Oakland were morning favorites, while  Adam’s Grub Truck was the preferred afternoon stop for many hungry sailors.

Clipper Cove is the only venue in San Francisco Bay that can host events like this because of the steady winds, protected space, lack of current and easy water access via docks and ramps. IMG_2178IMG_2227IMG_1992 IMG_2149

It’s no wonder nearly 4,000 children, youth and adults sailed or paddled on Clipper Cove last year.  This number 1,338 San Francisco 4th graders who took part in 51 TISC-sponsored hands-on STEM classes plus sailing in RS Ventures during 2015 (since Fall, 2013 SSL inception, TISC has sponsored 3,566 students in 135 classes from 31 SFUSD elementary schools).

On this picture perfect day all areas of the cove provided a fun, safe and protected place to sail and paddle. IMG_2027 Kayak Dad2 kayaker 6IMG_1916As ideal and safe as Clipper Cove is for our opening day festivities we still had several safety boats on duty.  In a few cases even the light winds lead to a few paddlers “calling for a taxi”.Rescue 1 Rescue 5

I didn’t see much traffic to and from the marina, however the boats I did see were careful and respectful of the smaller craft that dotted the cove.
Safe in CCove5IMG_2204

Not everyone was ready for getting out on the Cove, and our team had plenty of fun and games lined up for the future sailors.Dad & boy at bubbles

Which is not to say kids were left ashore. To the contrary they were focused and engaged in all points of sail (including the very active 2 year-old who triggered our man-overboard drill when he threw his dad’s new hat overboard).
IMG_2148 RS Venture at dockIMG_2135

Based on the many phones and cameras I saw, I’m guessing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had plenty of action from our visitors.IMG_1941

Kayak selfies1Clipper Cove is a great place to admire the new Bay Bridge. IMG_9530

Hard to see in the above photo, however the eastern area of the cove is very shallow before getting much deeper as you depart the cove and head to the flats. And this bottom bathymetry is exactly what keeps the high currents out of the cove.

So another TISC Opening Day is on the books.  Now YOUR family’s fun can begin.  Here’s the link with an overview of the many classes offered by Treasure Island Sailing Center:  http://tisailing.org/basics.

And as you head out onto California waters this summer, WEAR YOUR LIFEJACKET.wear-it-calif-web

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

PS – A special tip-of-the-hat to Valerie Santori and Andrew Shaw for many of the photos in this blog post.

In the wake:

Here are a few more links to the California Division of Boating and Waterway website: