Clipper Cove – Our Platform for Smiles and Self-Confidence

TISC teaches life lessons and builds self-confidence in under-served youth and new sailors. Best wishes for 2015 as we give credit where credit is due, to Clipper Cove – our platform for smiles, volunteer hours, goal-setting, teamwork, communications and leadership.

Clipper Cove from the EastTreasure Island Sailing Center is fortunate to be located on arguably one of the best venues in the US if not the World for teaching life lessons to under-served children and youth while providing access to water sports for our entire community.  Clipper Cove is unique in its central location, protected waters, predictable winds, minimum effect of the tidal currents and access to San Francisco Bay for sailing year around.

views IMG_1078Below are favorite pictures taken on Clipper Cove since we started photo-blogging three years ago.  No particular order, simply a collection of groups and activities with two commonalities – smiles and Clipper Cove.

TISC provides community outreach so kids can learn about the bay after school and during the summer.  And adults come here to access SF Bay for many reasons including lessons, community sailing, and organized racing.outreach IMG_0314_resize (2)

outreach IMG_1831 outreach IMG_9962community IMG_0435More and more today youth and adults are realizing sailing is not just about racing; they’re using the wind as a free source of propulsion to simply have fun and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.  And the Bay’s shoreline provides a nice alternative path to exercise.community_GGY1751

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Clipper Cove is generally gentle most mornings.  Ideal time of day for new sailors to learn the basics of sailing.gentle IMG_2938 enjoy and respect IMG_1507 gentle  IMG_0056_resize (2) gentle IMG_0048_resize (2)

Of course sailors love wind and even our novice sailors soon progress to a point where flying spray and feet dragging in the water makes for a fun time.  North west summer arrive predictably around 11 am most days and build until 6pm.windy TISC-homeward bound

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windy optis onclippercoveAs counter-intuitive as it may seem to non-sailors, capsize drills seem to be at the top of the list with many TISC students.  Could be their confidence and self-esteem showing through, or the chance to jump in, or simply a way to remind themselves and others that they’re in charge.  Clipper Cove is a safe, ideal place for such drills, well away from the currents prevalent in nearly all other bay locations.

safety and more safety IMG_0113_resize (2) safety righting a bug - 4533

IMG_1886smiling capsize onclippercoveAnd along with the basics of sailing come the life lessons we speak of so often such as goal setting which is a pathway to self-confidence, communications which must be a way of life on the water and teamwork which is pretty much an integral part of any sailing program – it’s just plain natural for kids to help each other in almost any aspect of the sport from launching to sailing to putting away at the end of the building IMG_9895 IMG_1882 teamworkteamwork TISC-on the board

team racing IMG_2406-crFriday afternoons offer a chance for our sailing classes to kick back and have fun on the beach.  Many days outreach classes, PE classes from local schools and youngsters from our young “Harbor Seals” can be found on protected beach at the western end of Clipper Cove.relaxing IMG_1460 team building IMG_1536 relaxing  IMG_0290_resize (2)

IMG_1833-young smiles onclippercoveAs students progress, our lessons introduce leadership for those interested in taking their skills further – into teaching, coaching, on to college and beyond.  TISC provides internships and scholarships for these talented youth, many of whom represent our next generation of Bay Stewards.   IMG_1907-JI smiling

IMG_1764 JI coachingIMG_1782 ji and kids smilesClipper Cove is home port for the Cal Berkeley Sailing Team in the fall and SF Bay Laser and V15 fleets in the summer.  Winter brings out the BAYS high school regatta.IMG_9536-calsailing-onclippercove

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Since TISC launched Set Sail Learn in the fall of 2013 over 1,600 fourth graders from 33 schools have sailed on Clipper Cove.  These newest visitors to Clipper Cove have come from 59 San Francisco fourth grade classes. crab watching_resize JYC Seaweed Discovery JYC Crab Lab at TISCSSL IMG_0031_resize (2) SSL  Rommel framed by TransamericaRegards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

The Treasure Island Sailing Center Foundation raises money so no child or youth who wants to take lessons or join in our outreach program is ever refused for their inability to pay. Last year our summer and outreach programs  hosted 968 youth.  Our community sailing events, always open to the public, and adaptive sailing and Co-Able Youth lessons provided access to the bay for another 1,000+ participants.  Here are a few more of the many smiling faces from 2014:pointing and smiles IMG_9633 IMG_0449 IMG_4130 IMG_1787 co-able smiles with MMIMG_1748 IMG_1683 IMG_1641 IMG_1637 IMG_1073 IMG_0904 IMG_0701 smiles framed by bay bridge IMG_0649 IMG_0559

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Year End Smiles – On the Cove

As we enter the holiday Season I wanted to share twelve smiles from Treasure Island Sailing Center.  And a few suggestions on how to deal with a very unusual SF Bay Condition: lack of wind.

It was smiles all around for the Treasure Island Sailing Center Fall Race Day held on October 27th.

Our staff and instructors closed the fall racing season with an awards ceremony and race day.   All youth participants received a TISC T-shirt for their awesome performances.  Trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places were handed out, along with trophies in two categories we consider even more important: Sportsmanship Awards and Most Improved Sailor.

The two Sportsmanship Awards:

Philip, on left, received one of two Sportsmanship Awards at the TISC Fall Race Day

Philip, sailing in one of our new BUGs, was paired with a sailor who had only briefly been at TISC and who was struggling with remembering how to trim the sail. Instead of being frustrated, he taught the new student how to trim the sail and ensured that he was paying attention with positive communication and teamwork.

Drew, an Opti Fleet sailor, was willing to sail with a younger participant who was struggling in the “Everything Goes Race”. When thanked, he simply said, “It was no problem. I sailed with him over the summer, I do not mind helping. Man was that race fun!”

Most Improved Sailor Awards:

Leslie was sailing in her first Opti Regatta by herself. She struggled at first but stuck with it and consistently improved each race and sailed herself to a tie for second place (bummer- lost the tiebreaker but still finished 3rd).She showed great attitude and kept working!

Roman received one of the two Most Improved Sailor awards at the TISC Fall Race Day

Roman was paired with another Opti sailor with whom he had never sailed. Although he and his partner sailed very consistently, Roman struggled with being stuck in irons when it was his turn to drive. But he never gave up! His persistence, along with some helpful tips from an instructor, allowed him to work on “Sailing in the Groove.”  He sailed an excellent final race, beating many Opti sailors and coming in second! Without any prompting from his mother, Roman said to her: “When I grow up, I want to go to a college that has a sailing team.”  Roman is currently in 3rd grade.

OK, now the sailing tips I promised for navigating the waters of Clipper Cove and San Francisco Bay in light air (doesn’t happen very often!) .  If suddenly becalmed you can: skull, paddle with your hand or kick with your feet, “ooch”, get in the water and swim the boat forward, use the centerboard as a paddle, or rock ‘n roll.  Here are a few pictures to demonstrate:

Skulling, paddling with the centerboard and ooching were all permited in the windless “anything goes” races held during Treasure Island Sailing Center’s Fall Race Day.

Swimming the boat forward, padling and skulling are demonstrated by youth sailors during the Fall Race Days “anything goes” race at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

Sometimes the best technique in light air racing is a calm steady hand on the tiller.

As our students and parents know, Treasure Island Sailing Center teaches much more than just sailing skills.  Every class outline includes life skills such as independent thinking, self confidence, communications, leadership and teamwork.  The pictures above are a good example of how kids can improvise when given the opportunity and encouragement to do so.

There was no lack of enthusiasm or smiles during the Fall Race Days held at Treasure Island Sailing Center.

Oh, I should mention that all students are also provided with ample opportunities to share their excitement and enthusiasm for our programs, as Vanessa clearly demonstrated!

Best holiday wishes from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:  As you plan your year-end giving, please consider helping us get more kids in boats next summer.  Please go HERE to donate quickly and easily and to see how your donation will be used.


Photos courtesy of Kirill Khrushchinskiy.