Saturday was an eventful day to say the least. Four races were completed in variable winds, generally 15-20 knots. The median wind direction in the first two races held at 320 degrees, shifting west in the afternoon. This westerly brought our course directly under BSC and momentarily caused our course to overlap with the BSC course. I apologize for this, our course should have been moved drastically a full race earlier than it was. There was only one barge today, but due to the location of our starting line and our angle across the channel, we were forced to abandon the race underway. 

Race 1 got underway at 12:20. With a big line, nearly every boat was on time and pushing the line well, with no one OCS. The wind increased as the first boats rounded the leeward gate. Race 2 started quickly with another Course 4. This time two boats were over leading into the final seconds of the pre-start. Boat #3 got under the line just in time, boat #5 over but returning quickly. This race saw alternating lefty and righty shifts, with gusts into the mid 20s across the course, making for very interesting racing. 
 
Race 3 started at 1:05 but was abandoned. Reefs were shaken out while the race committee reset the course to be clear of BSC. After finally getting off at 1;40, a strong lefty asserted itself as the new wind direction, causing the course to be adjusted again for the final race. This situation was unfortunate, and the amount of time needed for a second start to get off was regrettable. 
 
To speak to the widespread feedback I have received on the decision to abandon- it was a judgement call. In retrospect, the course should have been shifted before the start, removing the reasons to abandon. It is my opinion that abandonment should only be used when there are serious factors preventing competitors from completing a race in a fair way. Wind oscillations generally do not fall under this. In this case, it was the combination of the major shift and the likelihood of convergence with the BSC fleet during the downwind leg that caused me to abandon the race. This was a judgement call on my part. 
 
With the wind now at 290 degrees, a final race got underway following an abandonment for a barge which would come directly through our course. Originally, Race 4 was posted as a Course 4. However, after a general recall, there was clearly not going to be enough time for fifth race to get off before 3pm. The Course 5 was set and the final race got off. 
 
There were two major collisions during racing, and two break downs from equipment failures.
 
Jake Denney
Courageous Sailing
The Wallace Foundation Summer Learning Demonstration: Boston Public Schools/Boston After School and Beyond

This year, the Courageous Summer Youth Program participated in the Summer Learning Project (SLP) for the second year.  This program is part of a national study to help reduce summer learning loss and Courageous is lucky to be part of a great network of other nonprofits in Boston. Organizations currently participating in SLP include: Tenacity, Thompson Island Outward Bound, Ponkapoag Outdoor Center, Hale Reservation, YMCA Boston, and Boys and Girls Club Boston.

SLP works with rising 4th graders from Boston Public Schools who are identified as being at risk for summer learning loss.  Throughout the five-week program, students study at school in the morning, then join us at our sailing center in Charlestown or Jamaica Pond.  While at the sailing center with us, students learn marine biology in an experiential, hands-on setting before heading out on the water on one of our Rhodes 19 sailboats.  Through investigation based learning, the students explore a range of scientific topics including life cycles, aquatic ecosystems, and damage caused by environmental pollution and oil spills.  Each lesson includes a literary component as well as an engaging activity that employs our surroundings as a living classroom.

The students that participate in our program have been selected because assessments identify them as being in a vulnerable population, academically. For many of our kids, factors including learning challenges, language barriers and behavioral control, significantly impede their access to comprehending and engaging with new material. Unfortunately, these students can eventually become very discouraged by repeated attempts to make progress. Often, they come to internalize this condition, and may even give up trying at all. 

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