Supporting community sailing is a priority for the St Francis Sailing Foundation: ensuring that opportunities are available for those who would like to learn to sail, improve skills or simply experience getting out on the water for the first time. The Foundation is proud to support outstanding Bay Area community sailing organizations including Alameda Community Sailing Center, Blue Water Foundation, Call of the Sea, and Treasure Island Sailing Center. 2022 proved a banner year for these organizations.
Alameda Community Sailing Center continues to be very proud of its partnerships with at-risk youth community organizations and facilitating more kids into sail boats from these organizations. ACSC had a very successful year with nearly 350 kids spending two weeks on the water learning to sail, with a high returning rate of regulars each year. Nearly all ACSC’s 25 -30 instructors have come through its programs, and the organization is hopeful that in the next year or two some of the kids from the at-risk organization will be joining their ranks and be earning a wage teaching sailing.
“We are not making Olympic sailors at ACSC, but we are fulfilling our vision of “Inspiring Lives Across Generations”, Mike Bishop, President of the ACSC Board, commented. “We’ve enjoyed a great quote from one of the girls from Acta Non Verba, an East Oakland Community organization – her mother later told us that her daughter said, “I now want to be a marine biologist rather than be a WNBA player”, after she had finished her sailing camp!”
2023 is starting off well for ACSC, with 30% of its summer camp places filled. The organization recently received a grant from the Olympic Club Foundation to buy its seventh RS Feva, and expects to take delivery of an eighth support boat – a 17ft RIB – thanks to a CA Department of Boating and Waterways grant.
ACSC hopes to expand its weekend classes and program more adult introduction-to-sailing classes. Five race-ready Lasers will be available to charter and join the Thursday evening and Sunday Laser practice racing. The 505 Pacific Coast Championship (PCC) will be hosted at ACSC in August, and ACSC is partnering with the Hobie 16 fleet to hold that fleet’s North Americans, so ACSC is not leaving the adults or experienced sailors behind! – Mike Bishop
Blue Water Foundation – Since 1992, Blue Water Foundation has brought the magic of the Bay to thousands of at-risk and under-represented youth through school districts, juvenile probation departments, and community groups. An all-volunteer organization, BWF programs operate out of the San Francisco Municipal Marina on Golden Bear, a 46’ ocean racer, and the Berkeley Marina on Benjamin Walters, a 43-foot Han Christian and Aleta, also a 46’ ocean racer.
A volunteer base of over two hundred sailors come from all over the Bay area and participate in regular training sails, safety protocols and First Aid/CPR/AED certification. The last couple of years have been rebuilding our connections and encouraging our partners to return to the water after the pandemic interruption. In 2022, BWF reached over 350 youth, and held 51 sails for 12 partner organizations. Each student sail requires a minimum of five certified volunteer crew: a first captain, a second captain and 3 crew members. Blue Water Foundation’s newest program in development is outreach and providing opportunities for visually impaired sailors and non-sailors. – Shannon Kastner
Call of the Sea – Call of the Sea (COS) continued to make big strides in 2022, as reported by the Sausalito-based not-for-profit:
208 sailing trips / 3,237 students / 6,654 passengers / 571 hours of education
Call of the Sea’s Sylvia Stompe, reported, “Schools have returned to planning field trips after the two-year Covid pause on outdoor education and bussing for many schools; 2022 had a major increase in schools booked. We are optimistic that 2023 will see the trend continue and grow. We also have a goal to greatly increase our scholarship support for schools, organizations, and individuals this year.”
In 2023, Call of the Sea will see an expansion of youth programs, with an Aloft date (ages 12+) once per month, and Spring and Fall Saturday morning educational programs (ages 8-18) at the dock, followed by a two-hour sail (open registration for youth organizations and individuals). – Sylvia Stompe
Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) – 2022 was a summer filled with the sights and sounds of hundreds of children of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds leaning on land, rigging, sailing, and enjoying the challenges and friendships the sailing environment offers. TISC’s Spring, Summer, and Fall Progression program was well attended and delivered at a high level of instruction. It’s popular STEM and Adaptive Sailing programs were equally successful. Attendance is rebounding to pre-COVID levels. 2022 was also a year of unusual challenges including the redevelopment of Treasure Island which has required that TISC relocate its facility to fit into a roughly twenty-foot-wide strip of land along the waterfront thus reducing its footprint (i.e., structures and equipment) before resuming Spring programs.
TISC has an almost entirely new team with four of the five leadership team members new to their positions this year, including Doug Paine, the Executive Director. Gresha Wallace is Youth Outreach Program Coordinator, running our Community Partner, Leadership, STEM, and Volunteer Outreach programs. She also handles the organization’s required bureaucratic and personal interactions with the community, participants, and their families. As the Waterfront Director, David Elias manages the tenants’ yard, oversees the transition plan and interim projects related to modular buildings, manages events, and fills in, fixes, or draws attention to a continuously changing set of challenges. Hunter “Cazzie” Cutting is our Head Coach for our Youth Progression Program after many years as a TISC Instructor. He also leads our new parent advisory committee for the race teams.
In 2023, TISC anticipates changes in the way instructional programs are delivered. It has redesigned its offerings to emphasize more varied types of boating experiences and a greater orientation toward non-competitive skills development, which means different equipment for programs.
Meeting financial goals will be challenging but more importantly, TISC is about something other than the facilities or the finances. It is about the people involved: the parents, sailors, and staff, board members, college sailors, V15 sailors, Olympic trainees, veterans, and administrators who make TISC unique and special. – Gresha Wallace
Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of those involved in these community sailing programs that StFSF is proud to support!