ETNZ and TISC Teams Race to Encourage Junior Sailors

New Zealand Starts Foiling

Picture from our vantage point on Marina Green taken 7/23

Aotearoa would never clear the shallow sandbar protecting Clipper Cove’s entrance. Fortunately several members of ETNZ used a land route to visit TISC on Wednesday, sharing high 5’s with our kids and challenging our instructors to a few informal races.

The excitement of this year’s Americas Cup is not lost on our students, especially those involved in weekend regattas California.  No surprise our students were all smiles to see four members of Emirates Team New Zealand show up at Pier 12 to watch them sail, answer their questions and get out in TISC BUGS for a few races with our instructors.

ETNZ with TISC Kids

ETNZ smiles with TISC kid’s smiles

Rigging an 8′ Opti or Bug is simple compared to readying a 13,500 pound carbon fiber winged catamaran to race (see “Preparing ETNZ for Racing“), however they share one common characteristic: there is a right and wrong way to rig any sailboat and to be successful during a race you better do it the right way.  Learning early on to rig their own boats helps build student self conficence.

The impact positive role models have on our students is even more valuable than the four-point “life skills” learning we teach here at TISC. When the role models are wearing black shirts, represent Emirates Team New Zealand and speak “with a way cool accent” ( according to the students I talked with at TISC today at lunch) then even better. Kids “get it” when adults are willing to share time with them – even if the the “thank you”s are not alway verbalized.

Clipper Cove provides a picturesqe venue for sailing and hosting a few races for our visitors from Down Under and TISC instructors provided everyone with an opportunity to do what we all like best -SAIL !  The pictures below are courtesy of our Program Director Chris Childers and Head Instructor Ann Butts.

Clean Start on Clipper Cove

Clean Start on Clipper Cove

Close quarters on Clipper Cove

Close quarters on Clipper Cove

Splitting Tacks on Clipper Cove

Splitting tacks on Clipper Cove

Crossing on Clipper Cove

Port – starboard on Clipper Cove

Friendly conversation on Clipper Cove framed by Oakland cranes

Friendly conversation on Clipper Cove framed by Oakland cranes

Racing Framed by new Bay Bridge

Racing onn Clipper Cove framed by new Bay Bridge

There are many opportunities for volunteers to support our programs here at Treasure Island Sailing Center.  The most fun are the on-the-water sailing and by far the most rewarding are seeing the smiles on the faces of kids of all ages when the light first goes and they’re able to sail solo around Clipper Cove.

Thanks again Emirates Team New Zealand for sharing your time and love of sailing with our team, much appreciated !

From On the Cove, Dave G

In the Wake:

If you are a friend, a regular volunteer or a tenant here at TISC looking for volunteer hours you may have received an email recently listing up-coming opportunities to spend time on the water sharing YOUR love of sailing with others.  In case you missed it, see below.  Please contact Chris Childers (, 415-421-2225) if you can help on one or more of these dates.

  • Saturday 7/27 Group Sail – 11am-2pm (2 volunteers)
  • Sunday 7/28 Community Sailing Day – 10am-1pm (1 volunteer)
  • Monday 7/29 Group Sail – 10am-1pm – (1 volunteer)
  • Tuesday 7/30 Group Sail – 10am-1pm – (1 volunteer)
  • Wednesday 7/31 Group Sail – 10am-1pm – (1 volunteer)
  • Thursday 8/1 Group Sail – 9am-12pm – (2 volunteers)
  • Saturday 8/3 Group Sail – 1pm-4pm (1 volunteer)
  • Saturday 8/3 Blind Sailing Day – 10am-3pm (5 volunteers) – This requires a training session on 7/31 in the afternoon
  • Wednesday 8/7 Group Sail – 10am-1pm – (1 volunteers)
  • Wednesday 8/7 Group Sail – 12pm-3pm – (5 volunteers)
  • Thursday 8/8 Group Sail – 10am-2pm – (7 volunteers)

Think Fast ! (gasp, gasp)

Tetons Frame Wedding VenueThe Tetons were breathtakingly beautiful and Yellowstone NP showcased Mother Nature in live-action color for a recent family wedding in Wyoming.  Saturday we watched Emirates Team New Zealand race Luna Rosa from Skipper’s Gift.  Also colorful and action packed.

The time seemed to fly by quickly between setting up chairs at 7:30 Saturday morning at Heart 6 Ranch and the first music from the string quartet at 10:30.  I can’t say our hearts were racing but I will admit to working up a deadline-driven sweat before the wedding.  The Tetons delivered a view unlike any other wedding we’ve attended.

A week later we were watching the pre-start action between Aotearoa and Prada  – the most strategically significant part of Saturday’s match race.  Seeing two foiling AC72’s was the most exciting part of the day.

Maneuvers were a highlight. Synchronizing the efforts of all eleven crew has to be one of the most demanding aspects of racing these boats. Watching the Emirates Team New Zealand boat round the leeward gate put a new perspective on dropping the chute on our J/24. Thanks to my friend Youssef Ismail for this shot taken as we passed south of Alcatraz.ETNZ at Leeward Gate

training to win leaderBack home I watched  “Training to Win”, the second episode in the Red Bull series “Inside the Americas Cup: No Second Place” and was impressed by the focus on decision making under great stress and elevated heart rate. Especially the scene where crew members were stopped in the middle of their grinding and running exercises to solve mind puzzles.

The America’s Cup presence here in the Bay provides exciting, even heart-throbbing, action whether you race sailboats, enjoy sailing, or have spent little time on the water.  We’re fortunate to be able to watch live from the bay, on land, via TV and over the internet.

TISC doesn’t claim to train our kids for sailing in the Americas Cup (well, not yet anyway!).  We do use sailing as a platform to teach goal setting, communications, teamwork and self-confidence to help them be successful now and later in life. We hope to peak kids’ interest in racing and we provide opportunities for racing individually and teamed with others.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G

In the wake:

Manufacturing and repair technology has progressed rapidly over the last decade, even few years.  We’ll be hosting a hands-on materials technology clinic here at TISC mid-August on a week night to be announced.  If you’re interested in learning more about the current state of technology of epoxy resin, gelcoat and carbon fiber materials used to manufacture and repair sailboats and sailing gear let me know via email (  We will send additional details when available.  Registration will be limited, with TISC tenants receiving first priority with advanced registration.  A great opportunity to learn current best practices for working with epoxy-based materials.