Stories and Scenes from 2006 AdventureSail® Events

 

Beyond AdventureSail®

 

MAKING CHANGES COME ABOUT

 

August 2006 Racine, WI. Brandi Duckworth, age 12, and Tyla Tatum, age 10, enrolled at the Racine Yacht Club for one week of beginner sailing. Classes were held in Optimist Prams Monday-Friday 8:30- 11:30 a.m.

Tyla attended the AdventureSail® event at RYC last year where she sailed aboard a large boat on Lake Michigan. "She loved it and was eager to learn to sail" says Amy Cermak, the event coordinator for the AdventureSail® event at RYC.
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Brandi had never been on a boat, yet expressed an interest in learning.



Brandi, a natural for the sport

Each day the instructor chooses one person to receive the "Sailor of the Day" trophy. The winning student may take home the trophy overnight, but it must be return the next day.

Tayla was chosen on the second day. Tyla was the most improved sailor. She did an excellent job trimming her main sheet.

 

Brandi Ducksworth (L) and Tyla Tatum, the recipients of scholarships to participate in the beginner sailing program.

 

 


 

July 8, 2006 Sag Harbor, NY
Host club: Breakwater Yacht Club
Event Chair: Charlene Kagel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

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Southampton West Newspaper, July 13, 2006, Sports & Outdoors

Testing Out Uncharted Waters

 

By Cailin Brophy

This past Saturday was far from a typical one for the more than 30 girls who took part in the Adventuresail program at the Breakwater Yacht Club in Sag Harbor.

Outfitted with life jackets and brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity, these young teens came from groups across Long Island such as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Little Flower—a children’s home in Wading River—to peer over the fence at a side of the world that has never been accessible to them.

Several members of the club volunteered their time, knowledge and vessels to give the girls a taste of sailing, participating in a race in the nearby waters while giving the teens a brief introduction to sailing terminology and operating a sailboat. But even if the girls don’t remember the difference between starboard and port or bow and stern, it was obvious by the expressions on their faces and the excited chatter on the docks after the race that it wasn’t an experience any of them would soon forget.

“My favorite part was crossing that finish line,” 15-year-old Nicole D’Agostino of Wantagh said after the race. Nicole and several other girls had the privilege of racing aboard Fred Stelle’s boat ACE, a perennial winner during the Wednesday night racing series at Breakwater. D’Agostino and the rest of the crew playfully taunted their peers on the sail back to the boat slips after the race, which ACE won in convincing fashion.

During the second leg of the race, with the wind dying down significantly, Stelle let crew mates Jack Reiser and Chris Dowling take the wheel while he spoke to the girls about sailing and his own personal experiences. D’Agostino said both she and her peers were particularly interested in hearing about Stelle’s recent participation in the Newport to Bermuda race, where both he, Dowling and several other crew members raced from Rhode Island to Bermuda over the course of four days.

A young girl named Talia, also on board ACE, said she was interested in hearing about the race as well. “It was cool that they went there nonstop,” she said. “At the beginning of the race, I was a little bored, but after we were talking, I got into it.”

Talia was given the all-important task of raising the mainsail, done with a simple push of a button, which she carried out flawlessly, a broad grin on her face the entire time.

Winning the race gave Talia a thrill as well, perhaps the most of all her fellow peers.

“I can’t believe we took first place!” she said breathlessly after the race. “We beat everybody. And I got to put my feet in the water.” Nicole excitedly mentioned her delight at the sights during the course of the race.

“We saw a seal sitting on the rock and lots of jellyfish.”

Knowing how big of a difference these simple pleasures—ones that most Sag Harbor and part-time summer residents take for granted—mean to these girls is what has kept director Charlene Kagel devoted to bringing Adventuresail to the Breakwater Yacht Club for the past seven years.

“It’s for at-risk girls, to introduce them to a non-traditional female sport,” she said. “Everyone always has a great time.”

Kagel, the Southampton Town Comptroller, became interested in the national program after seeing an article in Sailing Magazine. She then contacted president of National Women’s Sailing Association, Val Cook, who has coordinated Adventuresail programs in Wisconsin, Boston and other areas and shared her desire to offer the opportunity to underprivileged girls across Long Island.

The program received a big boost after the first year when it was offered a $1,000 human services grant from Southampton Town. Kagel said she wasn’t even aware that the program would qualify for such a grant until Town Supervisor Patrick “Skip” Heaney saw a photo from the event on her desk at work, asked her about it, and told her to apply for the grant.

“We receive the grant every year and it’s great because it covers the cost of food and the trophies,” Kagel said before Saturday’s race. “Before that, we really had to scramble for money and donations.”

Kagel added that the Bridgehampton National Bank has been a generous supporter, providing gift bags for all participants.

While for many of these girls, those few hours on Saturday will be their only experience with sailing, Kagel said that opportunities do exist for those who take a particular liking to the sport and would like to get out on the water more than just once a year, thanks to the open-minded mentality of the Breakwater Club. Kagel said the club is willing to extend its scholarship for weekly sailing programs to any of the girls. Those wishing to apply for the scholarships must submit a letter detailing why they are interested in sailing. The letter, combined with the specific financial needs of the applicants, determine who receives the scholarships.

In addition to possible scholarship opportunities, Stelle—the commodore of Breakwater—discussed the possibility of offering a week-long sailing program to several girls from Little Flower this summer. While details have not yet been worked out, Kagel said the girls from Little Flower would be good candidates, given the fact that the children’s home would provide transportation to and from the program each day, which is often the biggest hurdle in getting the girls out on the water.

With the numbers of the participants having grown every year, it certainly seems like a realistic possibility that one or perhaps several of these young girls could jump at the chance for such an opportunity. When asked if she’d ever be interested in sailing again, Nicole had a reaction that was not uncommon among her peers that day. She nodded her head up and down enthusiastically while saying, “I would love to go.”

 

July 2006 Salem, MA. Four girls from the Girl Scouts of the Spar & Spindle Council in Eastern Massachusetts spent a week aboard the Schooner Fame as part of a week-long program, Camp Schooner. The funding came from the Women's Sailing Foundation and a grant to the Foundation from the Corinthian Sailing Foundation.

Neyat, age 11, said "My favorite part was when we had a timed contest to learn all the different parts of the boat. I think it was a good experience for me because not many people get to go sailing. I always liked boats and I really had fun."

And Raquel, age 10, said "I learned how to make friends and get along with others. My favorite part was going out on the water and getting to ride the boat. It was a good experience because I had fun."