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:

 

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.

 

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.

Lending Club 2 Bounces TISC Kids Around SF Bay

Seeing smiles of excitement on TISC kids faces hurtling across SF Bay on a trampoline skimming over the waves at 30 knots – no surprise.  Driving 105’ world-class trimaran speedster Lending Club 2 – an even bigger thrill for them.

IMG_0714-en_resizeOur June 12th Friday fun adventure at Treasure Island Sailing Center came courtesy of the Lending Club2 sailing teamTheir launch docked at 12:45 and a dozen Opti and FJ sailors were off on their afternoon adventure. The transit from Clipper Cove to Pier 27 was the fastest these TISC campers ever experience – by far. The adventure was repeated for a second group later in the afternoon.

IMG_6495_resizeWhat they thought was a cool ride (“I’ve never been on a boat this fast”) was just a warm-up.  After transferring to LC2 and listening to the safety talk the fun really began.

First thrill – seeing water just a few feet below going by very, very fast.IMG_6510_resizeIMG_6525_resize

Once our young sailors figured out port & starboard netting was like a trampoline, smiles emerged and energy burn commenced.  Non-stop running, bouncing and jumping between mid-boom and foredeck soon became comfortable and energizing.IMG_6713_resize

IMG_6700_resize IMG_6565_resizeEven the Golden Gate Bridge got into the trampoline action.IMG_6663-en_resize IMG_6653_resize

There’s more!  Once Captain Ryan offered up the helm to all interested, attention immediately shifted to the dual wheels as the kids lined up for their chance to steer. The thrills just kept building (along with respect for Mother Nature’s cool windy breath and the many wonders offered up by San Francisco Bay). IMG_6624_resize

IMG_6558_resize IMG_6591_resize By the way, that’s not a tide-line in the background.  It’s 30 knots of wake being left behind faster than you can imagine.IMG_6698_resizePlayful, bouncing giggling kids suddenly became thoughtful watchful kids. With smiles.IMG_6551_resize IMG_6575_resize IMG_6724_resize

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Fun Friday often features sails around Treasure Island, perhaps to Angel Island.  On this Friday, landscapes seen in the distance zoomed closer and closer – in no time at all.  Incredible how fast you can cross SF Bay cranking at 30+ knots.
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Alcatraz.  Golden Gate Bridge.  Belvedere.  St. Francis and Golden Gate Yacht Clubs.  Oh so close.IMG_6511_resizeIMG_6726_resize

IMG_6751-en_resize IMG_6691_resizeTISC’s mission is to create opportunities for the Bay Area community to learn and grow through sailing.  We use sailing as a platform to teach life lessons to underserved youth with a focus on self-esteem and respect for the Bay.

IMG_6622_resizeAboard Lending Club 2 our kids saw these life lessons for real.  They saw the LC2 team communicating, working together.  Goal setting and leadership all had their obvious place on the boat.

Self-esteem?  I think mentioning that you just finished driving a 105’ trimaran on SF Bay qualifies. Overheard as the kids departed: “Wow I never expected to be jumping on a trampoline in the middle of San Francisco Bay”.  For sure LC2 crew can add a check-mark next to “help create respect and love for Mother Nature.”

Many thanks to the Lending Club team for reaching out to TISC and to the Crew of Lending Club 2 for a not-to-be forgotten adventure.

Regards from Aboard Lending Club 2, just around the corner from Clipper Cove,

Dave G

In the wake:

dave-lending club 2Twenty five smiling kids (plus 3 fortunate chaperones), SF Bay, Mother Nature and the star of the day – Lending Club 2 – served up many more photos than can be included in a blog.

You can see additional TISC Week 2 Fun Friday photos from LC2 on our Facebook page HERE or download hi-res versions here: bit.ly/LC2-TISC

Jimmy to Kids: “Never Give Up”

On Clipper Cove is usually about kids’ smiles and volunteers’ hours. This one is different.  Today’s message is for our kids, not about them: “Never give up and always support your team”.

We watched 19 America’s Cup races on our iPad, from the spit in front of Marina Green or from The Bay. Our entire family was aboard Skipper’s Gift as we watched fateful race 8 from the windward mark when the Kiwis nearly tipped over. Yesterday we were fortunate to watch from the deck on  Golden Gate Yacht Club.

The media briefings following each day’s racing were as educational, insightful and motivational as the races were exciting.  Jimmy Spithill and Dean Barker both remained poised under the relentless barrage of questions from the media.

Jimmy was positive and “single-messaged” at all times. As the score started to heavily favor New Zealand and even when Oracle Team USA was down 1-8 his message remained the same: “Our design team, shore team and sailing team are all working together to make the boat faster and we will never give up”.

Building self-confidence can often be harder than teaching communications, goal setting and team work to young sailors. In fact, self confidence can only be gained, it can’t be taught.  Dedicated instructors and coaches, adults who really care, and role models like ALL the AC teams make a big difference in motivate kids to work toward self-confidence.

We have always taught our teams to play their best and have fun.  At the end of the day, winning is always more fun than loosing.

Here again, Jimmy’s final message was positive and encouraging.  He acknowledged the boat performance and boat handling leadership New Zealand provided to everyone.  When he said this was a tough fought match and unfortunate someone had to loose, it was clear he meant it.  Same with everyone from OTUSA I saw interviewed.

Were you able to fight back that small tear in your eye when the TV cameras showed the young kiwi on his father’s shoulders with the New Zealand flag in the background during the presentation of the Americas Cup ?  I was not.

Sailing programs around the world will benefit from the excitement generated by the 34th America’s Cup. The 19 races over 19 days on these amazing foiling 72′ cats delivered a historical event which has changed how people view sailing forever.

The material legacy from this event can already be seen around SF Bay with new docks and refurbished piers.  The Cup’s impact on fourth graders in the San Francisco Unified School District will start next week when students show up at TISC to attend the first “Set Sail Learn” classes we created in  partnership with the San Francisco America’s Cup Organizing Committee and ONESF: Celebrate the Cup.

Regards from On The Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

All the races and press briefings are located here: America’s Cup on Youtube

Jimmy’s “imagine what an upset this would be if we won out from here” is at the very end (21:05) of the September 14th media briefingThe snippet where Jimmy talks about that possibility is here: Imagine . . .

Links to the Redbull/Oracle “No Second Place” videos about the AC 72’s and SF bay.

Episode 1 – About the race
Episode 2 – Training
Episode 3 – AC72 Technology
Episode 4 – Foiling
Episode 5 – Sailing the Bay
Episode 6 – Defending the Cup

A few pictures from the final race:

Jimmy talked about “the old girl” and the increase in upwind speed obtained over the last two weeks. It was this upwind performance that turned the tide in favor of AC17.   AC17 Upwind

OTUSA AC17 and Aotearoa foil downwind during the last race.AC17 Foiling Downwind

AotearoaCrowds from all over the bay watch as Oracle Team USA head for the finish line after 19 hard-fought races.OTUSA Heads For Finish Line

StFYC Juniors Head Out As the crowds dissipated junior sailors from St. Francis Yacht Club head out for practice on what just hours ago was the greatest racetrack in America’s Cup History.StFYC Juniors on SF Bay

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Bears – Smiling Volunteers

on clipper cove FridayFriday was a blue sky day with warm breezes and sunny sparkles on Clipper Cove. Saturday, high school sailing teams competing in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association Golden Bear Regatta hosted by Bay Area Youth Sailing filled the cove.

PCISA and BAYS like Clipper Cove because of its unique setting protected waters and predictable winds.  Treasure Island Sailing Center was a sponsor and pleased to co-host this year’s Golden Bear regatta sponsored by from Encinal, Richmond, San Francisco and St. Francis Yacht Clubs and the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation.

Below are a few pictures from the two-day event, courtesy of Kevin Berry.clipper cove plus kids and parentsrace prepcompetitors meeting

SFYC "Victory" on Clipper Cove parents viewThe volunteer smiles below are from a picture captured during my visit to TISC for last Thursday’s dock install (Trailer, Docks, Smiles – CRASH).smiles on the dock

Many visitors ask: “Why take the docks out, Clipper Cove is so well protected?”  The answer is simple: The summer winds come from the north and west; winter storms with their high winds occasionally sneak in from the south and east which wreak havoc with the docks and dingy ramp.  So, the docks are normally out during the winter, and BAYS depends on local volunteers to put them in the water for the weekend Golden Bears Regatta.

And while we’re on the topic of volunteers, we often stress being flexible and available.  Treasure Island sea gulls can be tenacious in their pursuit of food.  Saturday night they raided our garbage and generally made a mess of the spectator area.  Many thanks to the parents of Point Loma High School and Alameda High School for the clean up Sunday morning.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the Wake: Additional informaton about Golden Bear Regatta is here:  List of Registrants from PCISA,   Results from San Francisco Yacht Club.

Tom Allen

Tom AllenI wish all our juniors could have attended the Memorial Celebration of Life held in Tom Allen’s honor at St. Francis Yacht Club last Saturday. Many take-aways relevant to young aspiring sailors like those in the TISC and StFYC junior programs.

My top three: big picture thinking; mentoring is one of life’s most important responsibilities; and leave your ego at home. If Tom read this he’d likely add a fourth: have fun following your passion!

WhitecapTom’s passion lead him on a course from sailor to racer in his beloved IOD “Whitecap” to judge; he progressed from participant to ”helmsman” at US Sailing, the San Francisco IOD Fleet, PICYA and the St Francis Yacht Club. He was well known and highly respected on all levels: local, national and international.

Tom attacked problems from the top. He worked with other sailing judges to train race committees and create a better environment for racers. Then he worked to improve judging.

To keep our sport growing Tom co-founded the St Francis Sailing Foundation 27 years ago and has worked tirelessly to encourage and support young aspiring sailors. He and the foundation have helped countless sailors develop  here on San Francisco Bay and around the world.

Tom helped launch the Treasure Island Sailing Center in 1999 and has been a board member ever since. He understood kids gained self-esteem sailing  while having a boat load of fun. More importantly, he believed every child should have this opportunity regardless of their socio-economic community.

His efforts had a dramatic effect on the growth and stability of TISC. He was instrumental in making sailing accessible to San Francisco youth of limited means. And now his generosity and vision will continue in perpetuity through his transformational gifts to each foundation.

AshleyLast year TISC honored two of our Junior Instructors with the first annual Tom V. Allen, Jr. Service and Leadership Award. The winners of the Award receive support for sailing classes, leadership training  and Junior Instructor stipends. Tom’s Award will help exceptional youth hone their skills as leaders as they continue to work with TISC.Ivan

Ashley and Ivan demonstrated a passion for sailing, a commitment to our community, and a clear intent of giving back. These junior instructors acted as role models for TISC youth. They are exceptional volunteers dedicating their time to their personal development as sailors and teachers and to the development of TISC’s youth as sailors and individuals. Like Tom, they understand the importance of growing our community of sailors.

Tom was a special guy. He will be missed by everyone in the sailing community  especially those who were fortunate to have worked with him.

Remembering Tom’s sailing legacy, from On The Cove,

Dave G

In the Wake:

If you knew Tom or have kids in a junior sailing program or simply want to help children learn life skills through sailing, please consider a gift in Tom’s memory to the St. Francis Sailing Foundation or the Treasure Island Sailing Center Foundation.

 

Tom Allen’s photo by Tom Moulin