Tuesday, 26 February 2013 16:38

Day 13 Recap

Day 13 of our frostbite series was a good one.  Even with some traffic delays, we ran six races, all course 4's, with the wind steadily building from 8-10 knots to 10-12 knots over the afternoon.  The SE breeze was predictably oscillating over about 45 degrees.  The right side of the course tended to be favored quite a bit, at least going upwind.  Downwind, we noticed that the boats that stuck by the channel picked up a few spots on the finishes.
Marty Gallagher and Cindy Olson took first place with an impressive 13 points: three bullets, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a fifth place.  Steve Clancy and Mark Deshong battled it out with Pat Clancy and John Moulthrop for second place, with Clancy/Deshong's 23 points trumping the 25 points earned by Pat and John.   Steve and Mark had one of the best starts that I've seen all season, setting up in the middle of the line and gently holding their position before heading down, easing sails, then heading up and trimming just as the last horn signaled.  Steve and Mark were hyper-aware of the line and the fleet around them - In the last ten seconds, Mark had eyes on the boats below and behind them, while Steve's head went back and forth between the pin and the RC boat checking his position.  We managed to grab a few shots in the last ten seconds of the sequence - check them out in the flickr page!
Thank you Carl for such a great overview of the protests, and thank you Fleet Captains Jen and Mark for the soup/chowder/rolls!
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 19:00

Day 6 Recap

Our first day of frostbite racing in the new year was a great one -  24 boats on the line, sunshine, brisk but not bone-chilling, and 6 races completed despite two postponements!  The breeze was heavier than expected, gusting over 20 knots at times.  Without reefs in, the R-19's were screaming around the racecourse.  Saturday's conditions were on the edge of [Courageous Sailing's] reefing territory, so the Rhodes were about as loaded up as we'll let them get before shortening sail. Results will show Mark Lindsay and Jim Watson handily taking first for the day with 11 points, followed by Bryan Lee and Rob Breslin (26 pts), Chris Palmieri (28 pts), and Marston Brand at 31.2 pts.  
This coming Saturday is forecast to be mid to high 40's, cloudy, and light at 5 kts S.  Be prepared to obsess over the being on the line with speed at go and having perfect light-wind keelboat tacks.
>Here's a quick article on tacking keelboats.  
Heres a video of a Thistle doing a sweet roll tack, and by video I mean a set of slides with a ridiculous soundtrack - but the Boomshakalaka crew does a masterful job of snapping their boat through a tack.  The three crew members are impressively synced up.
Internal view of thistle tacking.
Here is a Melges 20 gently finessing their hull through some light breeze, with the utmost attention paid to crew weight in the boat.  The team delicately transfers their weight, fully aware that the smallest roll to windward at the wrong moment could kill their momentum.
In each of these clips, check out the skipper's tiller position through each point of the tack.  Watch it over and over and over again.  Then practice using two chairs and baseball bat.  Then come down on Saturday and practice in the boat on the way out to the course.  We'll try to get some video of tacks and throw the clips online.  
Last week Albert brought some very tasty vegetarian chili.  Unfortunately our meat chili suffered a mishap, so we were low on food.  Please sign up for this coming weekend!
We need:
2 judges
bowls (perhaps something like this to help prevent spillage?)
bread / rolls
sour cream
Veg Chilli 
  (Or whatever you feel like making/buying/bringing!)
As always, please give a heads up in advance you won't be able to make it and do not have anyone to fill in, or if you need a crew/skipper.  
-- Cha
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 19:00

Day 1 Recap

Day 1 Recap
We had some beautiful, sunny weather for our first day of the 2012-2013 frostbite season, and 24 boats out on the line to enjoy it.  Racing was started at 12:30 instead of 12:00 due to longish introductory skipper's meeting and an ill-timed car carrier.  Despite the delay, four races (all course 4) were run.
Wind was a Northwesterly, starting off at a healthy 8-10 knots at noon gradually tapering off to about 2-5 knots for the last race.  Sizable lefties and righties made for an interesting day..the left shifts seemed to come with the best velocity, while gigantic righties kept RC antsy.  Finicky Northwesterly breezes generally make it hard for RC to settle into the course but I think the team found a pretty decent average for the conditions.  There were some crazy moments, like when a massive lefty during the sequence resulted in everybody starting on port tack, only to be counteracted with what felt like a 90 degree righty.
With our beautiful new mains up,  the entire fleet had to relearn how to sail a R-19.  It seemed to me that the boats found a fast groove going upwind sailing high.. but I haven't actually taken one of them out for a spin with the new gear.  Please discuss - we're as new to these sails as you are! 
What felt good? What felt bad? 
Where did you find the best draft position? 
What about jib car/ traveler position?  
How did have your vang and outhaul set?
Congratulations to John Pratt and Bob Coyle for winning the first day of the series with 17 points on such a fickle day.  Runners up are Jen Bodde, sailing with Niko Kotsatos, coming in at 18 points and Steve Clancy with Mark Deshong at 20 points.  
As always, let us know if you will not be able to make it Saturday so we can fill the boat!  We have a incredibly long wait list of high schoolers, staff, eager skippers/crews, and full teams that got boxed out this year.  On windier days I'd like to encourage you to take one of our high schoolers out as a third - they would love it and can learn a lot from you all!
See you all in a few days,
Thursday, 06 December 2012 19:00

Day 3 Recap

Good Evening Frostbite Sailors,

Last Saturday was one of the most perfect breeze set-ups that I have ever seen on Boston Harbor, with a fairly steady 6 - 8 knots, coming out of the N/NW.  We were able to set a long, square course with the start by Fan Pier and the upwind set in the channel, between Lewis Wharf and Pier 1 East Boston.  Only minor adjustments to the course were made throughout the day.  While we may pride ourselves on our ability to adapt to typical fluky harbor conditions, the chance that steadier breeze provides to focus on basics (tactics, strategy, boatspeed, sail trim, etc) over lots of relatively similar beats and down-winds is invaluable.  I was very pleased to watch several newer teams consolidate some of the knowledge and skills that they have been developing into demonstrably better boat speed and tactics, dramatically improved scores and visibly cleaner sailing.  
Another wonderful thing happened on Day 3 - we were able to place two of our high school sailors (Ian Hay, of Boston Latin, and Ben Geffkenn, of the Boston Public School team) as crews with Matt Marston and Bob Coyle.  They are pretty incredible kids, and obviously their awesomeness rubbed off on their skippers - both teams came in at 20 points for the day, with Marston/Hay taking First Place to Coyle/Geffken's Second Place in the tiebreaker.  Lindsay/Watson followed in third with 21 points, and you can see the rest of the scores at the link.   Click here for the Public Frostbite Folder - view Results, How-to's, NOR, etc.
And now for.....Day 4, Saturday December 8, 2012Possible Showers high 52° low 42° 

If the current forecast for the weekend holds, we'll see moderate temperatures, perhaps slightly damp, with southwest breeze around 3-5 knots OR 10-15 knots depending on which wind site you trust.
Carl Zimba will be running a rules clinic from 10:00am - 11:00 am at the Seaport School (first floor of building at the base of our pier).  We'll provide coffee and donuts.  Carl will follow up with specific topics for our first rules clinic.  Our Head Judge this weekend will be John Tagliamonte, but we do not have anybody signed up from the fleet to be our second and third judges.  Last week Marty Gallagher and Mark Lindsay stepped up to the plate with head judge Matt Marston.  If you are able to help out this weekend, please sign up here.
Good news on parking! The managers of Shipyard Marina have given us the ok to continue to park on Pier 6.  Lets try to keep all our cars towards the water side of the Tavern as usual.  

Tavern's untimely demise has put a bit of a damper on the social side of being a part of the Courageous Frostbite Fleet, and I'd really like to change that.  Ironsides isn't bad, but it can be a hassle to find a parking spot.  I value the time that we get to spend chatting with you all after racing, so I'm toying with the idea of providing simple food, hot coffee, etc. in the boathouse.  You'd have to BYOB, and we'd need to collect some money to cover costs... but some fold out chairs, a couple milk-crates, and the industrial heater going could be cozy.  Do you like this idea? Would you stay after for a bowl of chili and contribute a little cash to the pot?  Or does Ironsides still seem like the next best thing?  Let me know!    

As always, please let us know in advance if you won't be able to make it this weekend, if you have a predetermined substitute taking your boat, if you'll be coming late, if you need a crew, etcetera.  The more lead time the better, but last-minute notifications are also much appreciated!
See you Saturday morning!
Sunday, 09 December 2012 19:00

Day 4 Recap

Good morning Frostbiters!
Saturday, December 8 marked Day 4 of the 2012-2013 Frostbite Series.  The rain and fog let up just before noon, and the breeze held up just long enough for us to get in five races.  We had nearly the same course as last Saturday, with the line near the ICA and the windward between Boston Sailing Center/East Boston Pier 1.  5-8 knots steadily declined until our last race turned into a battle against the outbound current.  This brought up some interesting points around finishing, drifting, fouling, etc.  A sailboat has finished once any part of the boat has crossed the line... however, a sailboat is still racing until they have cleared the line.  If a finishing boat hits the mark or fouls other racing boats, then said boat must exonerate themselves with the appropriate spins and then re-finish.  The score of this boat will be in the place finished after exoneration is complete.  
The novelty of an upwind finish was appreciated by both RC and the fleet, but I do feel that the downwind finish requires a lot of strategy.  From the committee boat, we have gotten pretty good at figuring out who is going to get to the line first when there's a clump of boats coming down.  The decision between pointing your boat directly at the line to sail the shortest distance verses sailing high for speed is what it often comes down to, and those who manage when to switch from one mode to another strategically are the boats that get the 5'th place instead of the 9'th out of a close finish.  Especially for those new to the fleet, sometimes it can be good to stop comparing your speed to others when coming down on the line, and instead think about your position vs.  other boats position with relation to the line.  Are you making a perpendicular to the line while that other boat is pointed towards the pin end?  Are they chasing a small puff, or are they even paying attention to their angle? Can you maintain your velocity, and will the shorter distance pay out over the other boats slightly greater velocity?  
I can't tell you that the answer will always be yes, because it won't, but it is important to build up a set of simple questions that cycle through your head for certain parts of the race, questions that bring you from inside your boat out to the bigger picture - the fleet, the wind, the course, the current - and then back into your sail trim, your boat-handling, your seated position, etc.  I have a set of these mental flashcards that are particular to each part of the race - the thirty seconds after the start, the beat, the 30 seconds immediately after a windward mark rounding, the slog downwind on a light air day.  When I feel slow, totally uncreative, or just completely out of sync with the race, running through these preset questions bring me back into it mentally. 
Chris Palmieri and Gretchen Curtis took the day with palindromic placing - 1, 4, 2, 4, 1.. followed by Mark Lindsey/George Persiantsev with 16 points, Gordy Baird/Ed Mayo with 22 points and Stan Kostka/Steve Dutcher close behind with 23 points. Complete Scores can be found here.
The general consensus seems to be that chili in the boathouse after racing worked out well, so lets continue with it!  We were happy to kick things off with supplies(chili, cheese, chips, bowls, spoons, etc.), and thanks to everyone who chipped in - we made back nearly half of what we spent (we got more chili than needed..).  Mark Deshong brought a boatload of delicious rolls from the North End as well!  Now that we have a better idea of amounts needed, it seems that about 40 rolls and 4 gallons of chili might be the right amount, but the two bags of grated cheese were not enough.  It seems that quite a few racers are interested in making chili and bringing it in.. which would be awesome.  If anybody wants to follow through on making a vat of chili, please let me know and I'll start a signup list!
This weekend will be our combined Holiday Party/Fall Series Awards, so please stick around after racing - it will be the last time we see you all until 2013!
Sunday, 16 December 2012 19:00

Day 5 Recap

Happy Monday, Frostbiters!
I hope you are all enjoying the lovely, foggy weather this afternoon.  Saturday we had quite the opposite - a truly gorgeous, sunny December day.   
Day 5 of the frostbite series started off with two blasts on the horn and the AP flag.  The predicted breeze of 8 knots NW/ N came and went before we even made it out to the course.  After nearly an hour of glass, a SE breeze filled in and we got our first race started around 1:00 p.m.  Over the next couple hours the SE 5-8 knots stabilized into a nice 8-10 ESE and we managed to get 4 races in despite the long postponement and an inconveniently timed inbound tanker.  The fleet stayed very compressed, with most finishes taking only a couple minutes between first and last place, even with the extra-long downwind at the end of the day.  
For the day:
Steve Clancy and Mark Deshong took first with 13 points
Chris Palmieri and Gretchen Curtis took second with 14.7 points*
Matt Marston and Ben Geffkenn took third with 16 points, narrowly beating Gordon Baird and Zach O'Brien at 17 points.  
*Redress awarded to Chris Palmieri in Race 3 due to RC error (sorry!), hence the non-integer score..
For the Fall Series: 
Chris Palmieri with crews Gretchen Curtis and Brook Assad took first overall.  
Matt Marston sailed with Cheney Brand, Ben Geffken, and Dan Marston to take second.
Mark Lindsay sailed with Jim Watson, George Persiantsev, and Kristan van der Voss to take third.
-See full scores for Days 1-5, and Fall Series.
-Sign up of Protest Committee
-Sign up to bring chili or other fun things 
Check out some pictures from Saturday here -  Don't miss the epic downwind battle between Juni Terry and Mark Lindsey in Race 3!
A very big thank you to Jen Bodde for bringing in a couple cauldrons of delicious soup, Niko Kotsatos for making an impressive first-time last-minute morning chili, Mark Deshong for braving the North End for rolls, and Ed Marcus for keeping us civilized by supplying paper goods.  
Happy Holidays, and see you all in the New Year!
Saturday, 15 December 2012 13:13



Courageous' first volunteer was Harry McDonough who summoned a small group of volunteers to get the resources and support necessary to create Courageous Sailing Center in 1987. Today, volunteers can help with a variety of tasks at Courageous, especially in preparation for the busy summer season. Courageous schedules "Work Parties" where volunteer work crews help Courageous prepare boats for the season, spruce up the boathouse, etc. Volunteers also contribute to our "Guest Coach" program and not only coach our racing program for a day but also talk about how sailing made a difference in their lives and careers.

Contact us to get involved as a volunteer.

Saturday, 08 December 2012 15:04

Employment - Youth Program

Youth Program Employment Opportunities

In the Courageous youth program, we strive to transform kids' lives through the sport of sailing. Our sailing school's instruction team works not only to foster students' love of sailing, adventure and the outdoors, but also to give them the values, skills and confidence that they will need to thrive in their lives beyond Courageous. The Courageous Youth Programs have opportunities for everyone from aspiring instructors to seasoned outdoor educators and youth program managers. Expand the list below to learn and apply to available positions.


Give back. Change Lives. Apply today!

To Apply: 

(1) Compose a cover letter that lists the positions you are interested in, describes your qualifications for these positions and explains why you wish to work at Courageous Sailing.
(2)  Update your resume, in a way that highlights any relevant experience in sailing instruction, sailing, teaching, coaching, working with youth, etc. Please also list and/or send photocopies of any relevant certifications.
(4) In the event that the application form is not working for you, you may also email or mail all of the above application materials to the Director of Youth Programs:



Attn: Kate Henderson
Director of Youth Programs
Courageous Sailing
One First Avenue
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129
Thursday, 08 January 2009 11:07

2011 Courageous Challenge

2011courageouschallenge16th Annual

Courageous Challenge Charity Regatta

May 23, June 6, 13, 20, and 27 
6 pm to sunset

For the past sixteen years, the Courageous Challenge has been our most popular and successful corporate fundraiser.

What is the Courageous Challenge?

The Courageous Challenge is a corporate regatta and teambuilding event. By participating, your company is supporting Courageous' free programs for Boston youth, where over 10,000 children have learned to sail over the past eighteen years. Learn more about our youth programs!

How does the Challenge work?

The Challenge Regatta runs for four consecutive Monday nights (June 6, 13, 20 and 27), with a prepartory night of sailing and instruction on May 23.

The first night of the regatta is a "Racing Clinic". The evening includes practice races from 6pm to sunset. We will have coaches on hand to work with you on and off the water, all followed by fun awards and video coverage immediately following the races.

The next four nights are when the competition heats up! Each team races with their respective crews, and Gourmet Caterers provides a light buffet on the Courageous pier at sunset.
On the final night one young sailor from the Courageous Advanced Racing Program will join your team. The Challenge culminates with an awards ceremony and farewell barbecue.

No sailing experience is necessary to compete in the Courageous Challenge. If you request, our experienced and knowledgeable instructor staff will be on hand to show you everything you need to know. Also, keep in mind that the two to three people in your sailboat can change from week to week, this allows for more people to take part in the fun. But many teams have the same people racing each week.

Donation Structure

All Club levels include the application of the campany's name on one of our Rhodes 19s for the entire season.

Skipper’s Club $2,500

5 nights of racing on Boston Harbor.
Donation pays for:

15 children to attend the Courageous Learn to Sail Program.

Commodore’s Club $3,500

5 nights of racing on Boston Harbor.
Company logo in full color on the jib sail.
10 tickets to Courageous Sailing Center’s Make-A-Mark Gala.
Donation pays for:

15 children to attend the Courageous Learn to Sail Program and;
5 children to attend the Courageous Advanced Racing or Cruising Program.

Admiral’s Club $4,500

5 nights of racing on Boston Harbor.
Company logo in full color on the jib sail.
10 tickets to Courageous Sailing Center’s Make-A-Mark Gala.
Donation pays for:

15 children to attend the Courageous Learn to Sail Program;
5 children to attend the Courageous Advanced Racing or Cruising Program, and;
One teenage sailor to attend our Instructor In Training Program.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:58

Directions to Jamaica Pond

JP AutumnThe Jamaica Pond Boathouse is located at the intersection of the Jamaica Way and Pond Street. Jamaica Pond is a one and one-half mile walk from the Orange Line's Green Street T Stop, and is also on bus routes 39, 41 and 48.
Jamaica Pond Boathouse, 507 Jamaica Way, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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