July Smiles On Clipper Cove

July is a great month for smile creation on Clipper Cove.  School is still over the horizon, the skies are bright blue, and afternoon winds fill sails and create smiles.IMG_7028

With three weeks of summer classes to go kids are charged. IMG_6905

And TISC instructors are leading the enthusiastic parade. Mother Nature has been on best behavior (for the most part).IMG_7557Our younger sailors start in Bugs.  Classes are structured to focus on goal setting and building confidence from day one.  Many kids think capsizing drills are “just the best”.IMG_7487

Classes progress into Opti’s.  This is where kids begin to really figure out the winds on Clipper Cove.  IMG_6895

Those who have mastered all points of sailing are allowed to venture past the eastern end of the cove between Pier 1 and the new Bay Bridge Tower. Advanced students who sail here benefit from stronger winds and the ability to recognize “tide lines” and learn more about the currents which can be very strong in the deeper water in this area.IMG_6882 IMG_6900

Youth sailors utilize our FJ fleet to prepare for regional regattas. This class is also popular with many colleges and we use them for our Envision Academy Sailing Team (E*A*S*T).IMG_7022

No surprise to anyone familiar with youth sailing that fun Friday’s are a big hit with all ages.  This is when skills learned during the week get parlayed into games of all types.

As our sailors “mix it up” with each other and in different craft on these free-form Friday afternoons, it’s clear their skills have progressed over the course of their one or two-week sessions.  They test the limits of the boats, weave in/around each other with ease and display advanced helmsman-ship.IMG_7481

Self-esteem runs high with confidence not only on the boats but also in and around the water.IMG_7170-cr

Teamwork abounds.  As skipper and crew on boats. IMG_7134

During water play on stand-up paddle boards (SUPs to some). IMG_7183 IMG_7184Here is a 17 second video of energetic “TISC SUP Dancing on Clipper Cove“.  And another of “TISC Kids Dancing on the Beach in their PFDs“.

And working together providing taxi service around Clipper Cove.IMG_7442

Or just figuring out the best way from water to J/24 jumping spot.IMG_7574

Which of course is where one jumps !IMG_7575

The safety and serenity of Clipper Cove is hard to beat no matter how you are paddling around. Even if you flew in for the day.IMG_7212IMG_7209

Blue-sky sunny days also make for fun times in our RS Ventures when powered up with asymmetrical spinnakers.  More “high speed” bonding opportunities for instructors and youth.IMG_7619 IMG_7623

The new Treasure Island Sailing Center registration page is now on-line.  Plenty of time left to sign up for one or more sessions that run through the middle of August.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Clipper Cove is not just for kids ! Tuesdays and Thursdays are V15 racing nights on the cove. Anyone wishing to try their hand at more advanced levels of sailing can do so here on Clipper Cove.IMG_7338

SUP and kayakAnd there are plenty of opportunities for everyone in the community to enjoy water-play of all kinds here on Clipper Cove. Register here for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Clipper Cove can also be a place to relax especially in the morning when the beach is quite and the winds still sleeping.Clipper Cove from above Western Beach_resize

 

Hanson Bridgett, PG&E Teamwork Benefits TISC Youth Programs

IMG_3452_resizeMother Nature delivered breezy blue skies. Hanson Bridgett and PG&E delivered agile crew. Youth and adaptive sailors who call Clipper Cove home port were the real winners in TISC’s Big Team Regatta thanks to OCSC’s fast boats and excellent coaches.

IMG_3175Friday was all about teamwork. Following a safety briefing from our regatta PRO Tim Han crews from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E boarded sleek OCSC J/105’s then headed out to Berkeley Circle to battle the clock as they learned all about apparent wind, tacking angles, winch handles and the physics of sailing.

The objective: sail a triangular shaped slalom course faster than the other team.IMG_3195

Conclusions: practices pays off, working as a team is key and boats sail faster as the wind builds. Oh – and sailing J/105’s on San Francisco Bay is wicked awesome fun ! Especially when you have expert OCSC coaches trained in teambuilding on your boat to guide you around the course.

Peet’s Coffee in Berkeley once again contributed the morning Java for BTR.  Thanks to 49 Square Catering the contestants were well fed prior to Tim Han’s pre-race briefing.IMG_3169

The Hanson Bridgett team after the safety briefing. You can read more about Hanson Bridgett and their community involvement HERE.IMG_3209The PG&E team gets psyched for the day of racing.  The PG&E Community Service page is HERE.IMG_3218

The early morning breezes provided a good warm up to the boats and provided the crews time to work out optimum positions and responsibilities.  Once on the water the OCSC instructors took charge of converting the newbie crews into racing teams.  Ashley Tobin and Jim Watters coached the Hanson Bridget team; Rich Jepsen and Trevor Steel teamed up to train the team from PG&E.

Early sailing was framed by light breezes and fluffy blue clouds.

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Around noon the westerly filled in and continued to build into a 10-15knot breeze by 2pm.The two crews were soon actively engaged in all aspects of boat handling from grinding genoas to trimming the mains to holding a proper course while beating upwind and reaching off the wind.IMG_3450_resize IMG_3418_resize

As the racing progressed the J/105’s really came to life, especially on the upwind legs. Teamwork was the only way to complete the tacking needed to navigate the windward slalom course.  Off the wind sail trim and straight courses were the way to beat the clock.IMG_3501_resize IMG_3473 IMG_3469

The races were held on the Berkeley Circle. Backdrops were provided by the Golden Gate Bridge and the loading cranes on The Alameda just south of the Bay Bridge. IMG_3420

IMG_3409The old eastern section of the Bay Bridge is still be dismantled. In less than two years the bike path – now open from Oakland to the Bay Bridge Summit – will lead to a drop-down path to Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.

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By the last time trial both teams had dropped their times from 12+ minutes to just over 9 minutes. While the fastest time was turned in by PG&E the records will show the margin of victory was around 3% and the Hanson Bridgett team left the course believing they would have knocked another 15 seconds off their time had they been able to run one more trial in the ever-building wind.

After the racing the team from 49 Square Catering served up a hearty lunch with massive sandwiches, salads and more fresh fruit. BIG THANKS to Bay Ship and Yacht for sponsoring the lunch for crew, race committee and coaches. Your support of our programs is greatly appreciated.

Lots of behind-the-scene planning went into Friday’s event – our Tenth Annual BTR – which was led by our shore team: Annie Butts, Chris Childers, Travis Lund and Luxine Smith.

Huge thanks go out to Tim Han for taking charge of the planning at OCSC. He was ably assisted by John Mellen as they kept track of two sets of times as both racing teams were on the course nearly non-stop for two hours.IMG_3326

Our special guests for the day were a number of kids from Envision Academy who joined us for the awards ceremony and presentation of the check from Hanson Bridgett and PG&E to Treasure Island Sailing Center.

The $12,000 raised goes directly to the youth and adaptive programs at TISC. Many Envision youth attended summer sailing camps and orientation. IMG_3517_resize

They have formed a racing team – EAST for Envision Academy Sailing Team – and are developing their skills in sailing, communications, teamwork and racing techniques. You may have read our previous blog on teamwork – one of the many life lessons taught by TISC using sailing as a fun classroom.IMG_3527_resize

Thanks again to Hanson Bridget and PG&E for their donations support of this 10th annual Big Team Regatta. These two companies have been on the BTR circuit supporting TISC since the regatta’s inception in 2005. And without the support of OCSC, the excitement, teamwork, camaraderie and benefits to Bay Area Youths would simply not be possible.

If your company is interested in participating in the TISC 2015 Big Team Regatta, here are a few slides in PDF format with additional information on the September 25, 2015 Event: TISC-BTR-2015 Overview  And here is the TISC 2015 BTR Team Entry Form.

Regards from OCSC – on the Berkeley Circle, Dave G

In the wake:

Hope you enjoyed the pictures above. These are a subset of the pictures taken during the event.  If you were on one of the boats, own one of the boats orare involved with our sponsors and would like to see the entire album send an email to daveg @ onclippercove . com.

Picture Perfect Monday

Monday’s plan was simple: check email, drive to TI, apply penetrating oil to the electric hoist cover bolts, lead a noon conference call, loosen up the pesky bolts, fix a balky trailer hitch and head home before the 5pm traffic.

Skipper’s Gift made a great work platform, however if you’re a sailor, you won’t be surprised to hear that stubborn bolts don’t always free up as easily as hoped, so “beating rush hour traffic” was not in the cards.

My delayed departure provided an opportunity to wave to Oracle 5 team on their way “home from the office”, connect with a few members of the California Golden Bears Sailing Team and take a couple hundred pictures of FJ’s in Clipper Cove with Bay Bridge and Oakland as a backdrop. 

The collegiate season has started, and the Cal team practices here M/W/F (next year I promise to visit “Team Racing Tuesday” so I’ve covered all the daily race events). 

On Monday I was able to combine both “f8 and be there” with “f28 and hold it steady” using the awesome camera I received from the PrimeTime team when I retired from Synopsys.  Here are 58 pictures of Cal Sailing Team On Clipper Cove.  NOTE: password to view these pictures is “GoBears”.

The Cal students are great team players on and off the water. Their volunteer work at Treasure Island Sailing Center is greatly appreciated –

Thanks for all you do for TISC and the Sailing Community!

 

 

 

From On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Many folks have asked about the huge floating dry dock around the corner from TISC.  Here are two links with additional information:

Declassified $170million Cold War Stealth boat called the Sea Shadow is snapped  up for $2.5million… but you can’t take it for a spin round the bay
Read more

Well That’s It: The Bay Area’s Formerly-Secret U.S. Navy “Sea Shadow” Stealth Ship Auctioned for Scrap Today

 

Thursday Night On Clipper Cove

Watching 11 Vanguard 15s and 6 Lasers enjoying gusty winds on Clipper Cove brought back memories from our 470 days on Pontoosuc Lake in Western Mass.  Both have tall, unique postcard settings.  Bay Bridge towers and Alameda loading cranes backstop the cove; Mt. Greylock provides a postcard setting for Pontoosuc.

The loading cranes inspired George Lucas to design the Star Wars Battle Bots. The Pontoosuc story can be as simple as the Indian name “falls on the brook” or can lead you to an old Indian Legend.

We ran a regatta for forty seven 470s on that tiny lake half the size of Angel Island – complete with a gear-buster lightning storm one day and fluky mountain winds the next.  Nothing like our predictable San Francisco Bay breezes!

I signed on as Thursday’s “grillmeister” to connect with the Vanguard 15 and Laser sailors to get their views and suggestions about sailing at TISC.  Nick Adamson also stopped by – a bonus to those who know him and those newer sailors who met him for the first time.  He was one of the TISC and Vanguard 15 Fleet 53 founders.

Hearing about the origins of the center firsthand was a good reminder that we’re fortunate to have such great racing just 5 minutes off the Treasure Island Sailing Center dock in a safe harbor ideal for introducing kids to sailing and life lessons.  What a great place for launching new horizons!

From the cove, Dave G.

In the wake:

Clipper Cove offers close-up race viewing right from the shore. Before cranking up the grill I took photos of all the racers.  They’re here:  Dave G photos from Svendsen’s Thursday Night Vanguard 15 and Laser series