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Youth Program News

Sep 11, 2009: Season Wrap Up

Two Smiling Faces


Spring Sailing and the VOR
Sail Boston Festival
Spectacle Spectacular!
Sail into Blue
Small Steps in Step Green
Regatta Update
Excellence in Teaching
Coming Up...

Dear Courageous Members, Students, Families and Friends:

This year was certainly an exciting one to be a young sailor in Boston, and we’re sad to see it end!

From meeting Olympians to meandering among Tall Ships, from navigating the Boston Harbor Islands to catching critters under Pier 4, the 2009 season has been both memorable and inspirational for the Courageous Youth Program sailing students and staff. To date, the 2009 youth program has once again provided a first-rate out-of-school learning experience—across three seasons and four sites—to nearly 1,100 youth hailing from Boston neighborhoods and the Greater Boston Area.

For your reading enjoyment, what follows is a brief look back at some of the year’s highlights.To navigate to specific items of interest, click on articles in the table contents (left), or just click on "read more" (below) to browse through them all. While you’re reading, keep in mind that none of the good work we do here for these kids would be possible without you, our members and friends, and on behalf of the 2009 Courageous Youth Program staff, students and families, we thank you sincerely for your support!


The Courageous Youth Program Team


High School Spring Sailing and the Volvo Ocean Race

Boston Latin Team visits Ericsson 3

Boston Latin Team Tours Ericsson 3. From Left to Right: Nick Carter, Bridget Murphy, Assistant Coach Judy Krimski, Amanda Anastasia, Kayla McLaughlin, Karen Tracy, Head Coach Dave DiLorenzo, Rachael Brill

Laser Radial Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe coaches Moth sailor from Pier 4

Beijing Laser Radial gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe coaches a sailor on the finer points of moth boathandling from a Courageous power boat off Pier 4. Below: Anna sails by CSC. Photos courtesy of Russ Bolt. (c) 2009

Anna Tunnicliffe on Moth by Pier 4

Every spring and fall the Courageous Youth Program conducts a variety of after-school sailing programs at Jamaica Pond and Charlestown. In 2009, these school-affiliated programs included ones with Codman Academy, the JP Manning Elementary School, the Warren-Prescott Elementary School, the Seaport School, and the Agassiz Elementary School’s 10-Boy Initiative. From March through May, we also played host once again to the Boston Latin Sailing Team, for whom season highlights included taking 2nd place in their Mass Bay League division and meeting US Sailing Team Alpha Graphics Members Anna Tunnicliffe and Brad Funk, while the pair trained in the Puma Moths that were temporarily based right here on Pier 4.

Meanwhile in April and May, to our giddy delight, Boston Harbor was temporarily transformed into a true City of Sails for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. Youth program instructors worked with the Fallon & Company team and New England Aquarium educators to bring kids from Boston’s Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs to the Puma Race Village on Fan Pier to witness this international sporting event, to get up close and personal with some harbor wildlife, and to go for a sail in our very own Rhodes 19s among the stars of the ocean racing world. The VOR visit was unforgettable, especially for those Courageous students and instructors who were able to climb aboard Ericsson 4, get a close up look at some bleeding-edge sailing technology, meet a few of the brave competitors, and dream a little about where their sailing careers could take them if only they work hard and persevere.

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Sail Boston Tall Ship Festival

As if the VOR stopover wasn’t enough, the harbor kept buzzing with international visitors right on through July. For the first week of the youth program, we were lucky enough to play host to three Tall Ships visiting as a part of the Sail Boston event. As our instructors can attest, navigating a Boston harbor glutted with slow-moving boats of sightseers was certainly harrowing at times. However, for our young students, the hassle was, in the end, worthwhile, and all were awe-stricken by the towering spectacle of nearly 40 classic ships visiting our own Boston Harbor from ports all over the world.

Right: A crew member furls a sail high in the rigging of the Picton Castle, one of the ships that tied-up on Charlestown's Pier 4 for the 2009 Sail Boston tall ship festival. Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe. (c) 2009

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Sailor high in the rigging of the Picton Castle

Spectacle Spectacular!

Speaking of “spectacle,” Courageous summer students from all four sites were able to visit the Boston Harbor Islands, taking advantage of a gorgeous National Park, located right here in our backyard!

Largely reserved as a reward for a team accomplishment or good behavior (or as just something else to do on a still and sticky July morning), Step 2 and 3 students from Charlestown, Dorchester and even Jamaica Pond frequented Spectacle Island. Once there, students were able to practice anchoring, scurry among the rocks of the intertidal zone in search of new critters, learn about the unique environmental and geological history of Spectacle and its neighbors, and even go for a swim.

Special thanks to the Boston Harbor Islands Association, the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Rangers, the Spectacle Island Marina and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Educators for helping us make these positive educational experiences possible.

Step 3: Intermediate Sailing Group Photo

Above: Step 3: Intermediate Sailing shows a bit of group pride after another successful Spectacle Island outing.

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Sail into Blue: The Courageous Cruisers

Not content with stopping at mild-mannered Spectacle Island, of course, our youth Cruisers and Instructors-in-Training (IITs) ventured further into the blue.

During the 4th week of the program, the 2nd-year IITs spent a week with our resident cruising guru, Head Instructor Chris DuBois. Though the conditions were wet and the weekly forecast was less thgan reassuring, the IITs were not ones to give up easily. Making the best of a less than ideal situation, they learned the importance of preparing a thorough float plan, one with multiple options to accommodate changes in wind, waves, weather and current. And so, though our heroes were stuck circling Lovell’s for nearly 3 of their 5 days at sea, sometimes navigating just ahead of the next fog bank, sometimes leaving shore just far enough to see anvil clouds rising slowly above the Boston skyline and having to return to the same anchorage once more, the IITs learned that patience is one of the most important qualities that the responsible sailor can possess. Next season, this quality will also serve them well when they become full instructors in the youth program!

The cruising program may have only lasted for two weeks this summer, but the impact on its students was as great as ever. While a few students came to Cruising with the


The IIT Class hard at work with Head Instructor Chris DuBois (in yellow, far right). Russ Bolt (c) 2008

The IITs setting out to sea in Midnight Special

IITs (from left to right) Luke McKinnon, Camilla Tyminski, Alex Cheung and Ciaran Foley headed out to sea aboard Midnight Specialon a gray summer day.

Swabbing the Deck


Boston Harbor Islands Map


Strider and cruising students return from a camping trip.

Top: Cruising student Emily Gaylord working hard to earn her passage. Middle: Map of the Boston Harbor Islands Bottom: Strider and Cruising students returning home from the final camping trip of the season.

idea that because it wasn't Racing they "wouldn't have to work" and could simply laze about on the decks of the big Cruising boats all day, Chris and his IITs who taught this year's Cruising program set them straight pretty quick!

Chris approached the class with the attitude that every day in Cruising is a race: a race against the sun, the tides, the wind, and the weather. Thus, in his opinion, the Cruising students must have just as good—if not better!—keelboat handling skills as their racing counterparts.

For the first week of the program Chris drilled his sailors in the Rhodes and J/22s on everything from spinnaker handling and reefing underway, to dead-reckoning and live crew-overboard practice! Each day, a little time each morning was also reserved for what this year's Cruisers affectionately termed “nerd time”—that is, time spent under the tent working with both Chris andnatural sciences educator Rosemary Lyons,learning about subjects including "Leave No Trace," tide,fronts,the Correolis effect, and the geological and environmental history of Boston Harbor.

Only after students had been sufficiently prepped and drilled did they earn the right to stepaboard the much coveted “big boats” in the second week. Aboard Strider (a Tartan 30) and Midnight Special (a Ranger 23) with a kayak as their tender, these students (meticulously planned floatplans in hand)navigated to Bumpkin Island for a memorable night of camping and smore-filled, summertime fun.In the end, the hard work was well worth it!

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Small Steps: Environmental Ed through Step Green

At Courageous, students at every level of our program walk away from their classes having learned, in addition to sailing,a little something more about their natural environment, how it affects theirsailing and their lifes, and how they in turn effectit.

In Step2 and Step 3, students primarily learn about theharbor ecosystem, by conducting eco-dock-walks, going tidepooling on the harbor islands, and searching out marine wildlife while afloat. The emphasis in these steps is on observation and awareness, and students learn about what they personally can do tokeep Boston Harbor clean. Special thanks to our friends at Save the Harbor/Save the Bayfor helping make this year's hugely popular Step Green program possible for Step 2 and 3 students at our Charlestown and Dorchester sites.

As students get to Step 4 and Step 5, they typically move away from studying biology and towardslearn moreaboutthe geological and physical sciences that impact weather, wind and sea conditions and how these forces should in turn influence theirstrategies for racing, cruising and teaching.

To read more about the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay environmental programs, check out the SHSB Youth Program Blog.

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Step Green Fun

Starfish on Pier 4

Discussing ecosystems aboard the green boat

Top: Courageous and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay make science fun. Students with their SH/SB instructor. Middleright: Who knew sea stars lived under Pier 4?? Just a few of the many critters living in and around Boston Harbor. Students were introduced not only to Sea Stars, but also muscles, various species of crab, and lobster! In addition to being introduced to ocean-dwelling organisms, through rainy-day activities and aboard the Green Boat students were challenged to think about how each creature fit into the grander scheme of the local food chain and ecosystem. Bottom: A Step 3 student maps out the food chain while aboard the Green Boat. Photos by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay educator Laura Fawcett.

Regatta Update

Pablo Flores racing with Rob McTernan in the 1st Annual Warren-Prescott Regatta

Warren-Prescott student and 2009 first year Instructor-in-Training races with instructor Rob McTernan (background) in thefirst annual Warren Prescott Regatta at Courageous.


Congratulations to the all-Courageous crew aboard Bantry for winning the Class B division of the 2009 Flip Flop Regatta! We're so proud!! From Left to Right: Amanda Anastasia (Step 3 Instructor), Rob McTernan (Adult Program Instructor), Mark Racine (Charlestown Asst. Site Director), Rosemary Lyons (Asst. Youth Program Director), Miguel Corti (Director of Sailing), Vince Marchetto (Maintenance), Dave DiLorenzo (Adult Program Director). Congratulations also to all of the youth program students and instructors who competed in the J/22 class. The J/22s all converged on one another in the final minutes of competition, making for an exciting and memorable finish!

This year was certainly a great year for racing throughout all of Courageous. To kick off a season of competition, this year Courageous hosted the first ever Warren-Prescott regatta to raise money for the brand new Courageous Sailing after-school program exclusively for Warren-Prescott students. This was the largest-ever regatta to be held at Courageous Sailing, with 22 Rhodes 19s and 9 J/22s competing.Special recognition goes to the Warren-Prescott students who competed, particularly to Pablo Flores (left) who with his skipper Rob McTernan took 3rd place overall in the Rhodes class.

The summer time racing program sent more students and instructors to regattas than anyone can remember in recent memory. Courageous sailors competed in several regattas up and down theMass Bay coasline, including Marblehead Junior Race Week, the Buzzards Bay Regatta in Dartmouth, the Make-a-Wish Regatta at Cottage Park Yacht Club, the Falmouth Junior Regatta, the Flip Flop Regatta on Boston Harbor, and, of course, Rhodes 19 Junior Nationals.

Lead by the coaching team of Judy Krimski and Katy Estes-Smargiassi, this season's program focused on building and automating solid technical skills, thereby freeing sailorswork on their"out-of-boat" awareness and strategy as they work their way around a reacecourse, without sacrificing boat speed.

The hard work paid off, and this year the Courageous racing program accomplished much to be proud of, while admirably having a blast along the way! Special recognition goes to Ted O'Neil, Jack Flaherty, Andrew Delosh, Kelsey Delosh, Felipe Radovitsky, Ian Hay, and Katie Nelson who each competed in their first 420regattas outside of Boston Harbor. Also, congratulations to instructor Max Bulger for taking 3rd in the BBR 29er fleet, to former instructor Luke Boelitz for taking a very impressive 19th in the BBR Laser Radial fleet, to Karen Tracy and crew Amanda Anastasia for taking 25th in the 420 class at Falmout, and again to Amanda, Karen and Kayla MacLaughlin for taking second place in the Rhodes 19 Junior Nationals, narrowly losing a tie breaker for first place. More R19 Jr. Nationals results below. Congrats all on so many personal bests, and we look forward to seeing you at fall racing and frostbiting!

2009 Rhodes 19 Junior Nationals Results

Skipper Name 1 2 3 4 5 Total
S. Madden (CBI) 1 1 1 1 8 12*
A. Anastasia (CSC) 2 2 4 3 1 12
H.Rockler (CBI) 4 4 3 4 4 19
G. Kishony (CBI) 6 6 6 2 5 25
A. Rockler (CBI) 3 7 8 7 3 28
K. Singhal (CSC) 7 9 2 (11) 2 31*
A. Delosh (CSC) 8 5 7 5 6 31
A. McGuirk (CSC) 10 3 5 9 7 34
N. Deshler (CSC) 5 8 10 8 9 40
L. Moreno (PPSC) 9 10 9 11 11 50

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Racing class during


Racing students coming up to the windward mark

Top: Courageous racing student Will Manning (skipper of boat 10) leads his teammates in a rousing game of "pig-in-the-middle." Bottom: Racing students patiently race to the windward mark. A summer of flukey shifts and sea breezes that never quite materialized, by necessity, this year's racing class became expert light-air sailors, gaining a skills set that should serve them well as high school and college racers.

Excellence in Teaching

The Courageous youth program is only as good as its instruction team, and this year the youth program staff was pleased count several highly talented individuals within its ranks.To publicly recognize and reward standout instuctors, each year Courageous Sailing gives out two different awards to its instructors to recognize the outstanding teaching that is key to our mission.

For 2009, the Harry McDonough Instructor of the Year Award was presented to Jamaica Pond Site Director and Step 2 Leader Ann Butts. In giving this award, the senior staff recognizes that Annie has contributed so much in the past year to the mission of Courageous Sailing, in terms of both her professional achievement and professional growth. Going above and beyond the call of duty and always with a smile, Annie has been instrumental to the operations of the Jamaica Pond boathouse since she took over as Site Director in 2008, and she is well-loved and respected by her staff, students and peers.

Annie gives a chalk talk to Step 2 in Charlestown

Above: Veteran youth program instructor Ann Butts (left, back facing camera)leads a Charlestown Step 2 class during the summer of 2008. Below: Annie (yellow hat, left)and her class on the dock. Russ Bolt (c) 2009.


Ian's creative coaching techniques

The Step 3 instructors are perhaps most beloved for their creative teaching methods and sense of humor. Above, Step 3 Leader Ian McGurn coaches his sailors from an Opti. Ian and Amanda used rainy days to teach things every sailor should know: splicing, "fancy" knot tying, and code flags. Below, Step 3 at Spectacle.

Step 3 and Code Flags at Spectacle

In 2009 Courageous presented the Youth Instruction Award to the Step 3: Intermediate Instruction Team of Ian McGurn and Amanda Anastasia.* Perhaps one of the most challenging steps to teach, Ian and Amanda took Step 3 and truly made it their own this summer. The pair took this still relatively new addition to the summer sailing program and successfully converted it from a mere"holding pattern" between Learn to Sail and Advanced Sailing, to a distinct Step of its own right, with distinct goals and the ability to energize and motivate students to become solid with sailing fundamentals, to futhertheir skills set and prepare for the challenges to come in racing and cruising. Using creative techniques like requiring students to tie a bowline before being allowed off the dock or using signal flags to send messages between Pier 4 and Pier 6, the pair ensured that their students were not only learning, but also having a lot of fun. For this reason, their students were truly excited to be a part of Step 3!

*Special recognition also goes to Kieran Kelly and Julia Lyons who both began the season strong as Step 3 instructors but went on the disabled list due to knee and ankle injuries respectively. They were terribly missed! Recognition also goes to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay educator Laura Fawcett, without whom it would be hard to imagine Step 3! We love you Laura! Thanks for the lobster!! ;)

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Coming up...

The 2009 season marked our second summer of sailing at the Mayor’s Camp Harbor View. This program, which serves youth from some of Boston’s highest risk neighborhoods, truly epitomizes Harry McDonough’s dream of sailing for all. For 2010, we hope to be building more long-term partnerships from first-time programs piloted in 2009. This year, in an effort to forge new partnerships with the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club, Mission Safe of Charlestown, the Warren-Prescott Elementary School, and Youth Enrichment Services to pilot new programs in leadership training and science education, programs that we hope to further develop this fall and into next year.

Thanks again for a wonderful season. We'll see you in the spring!!

Learning to tie a bowlineRhodes race with city backgroundFriends

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