Harken Derm

Nantucket RW inspires perspective on Global picture

Published on August 28th, 2014

Nantucket Race Week is a nine-day experience that brings the entire Nantucket community together in a fun-filled week of regattas, awards ceremonies, and parties. Over the course of the week, there are 15 race events that provide sport for everyone from young dinghy sailors and families in the household one design to grand prix racers at the very top of their profession.

Skipper Heather Gregg Earl won the IOD Celebrity Invitational Regatta, with Robbie Doyle as her celebrity tactician, raced in IOD International One Design class boats. Her victory also earned Nantucket Race Week’s overall “Best Performance in a One Design Class” presented by Stacee Mahoney, Regional Manager, Porsche Cars North America. Hearing of the award, Heather commented on the mission of Nantucket Community Sailing, which the Celebrity Invitational and other NRW activities help sustain:

“Bringing sailing into kids lives is such a wonderful and valuable initiative – and after having had a son experience the world through sailing this summer I wanted to share a quick story.

My 11 year old son had the opportunity to go to the Opti Europeans in Ireland and also to spend 10 days in Israel beforehand training with the Israeli National Opti Team.

I flew the 4 US kids over to Tel Aviv, which was before the conflict erupted, but had to return while they stayed. They got out the day before the airport closed and had a wonderful time. My son came back to tell me the story of having sailed on the Sea of Galilee, then on the Med, his local host family, his time living on a kibbutz, the Hebrew words he learned, and then with great big eyes, he told me “mom, there is a place called Gaza!” (as if no one knew about it, very cute) and proceeded to tell me they had to go into a bunker at midnight when they stayed with their local family.

He grew up a lot this trip and it really hit me that this experience was all possible because of his sailing.

While many kids may not pursue sailing at the national/international level, the principles are all the same. Independence, making new friends, teamwork, camaraderie, confidence, and a desire to experience the world and the sea with different eyes, the work NCS does in bringing sailing into kids life’s is, in my book, life changing.

Thanks to Nantucket Community Sailing for all it does to make sailing accessible to all.”

Nantucket Race Week is hosted by the Nantucket Yacht Club and the Great Harbor Yacht Club to benefit Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS), a non-profit, educational organization that provides affordable access to sailing and water sports to the public. Now in its 20th year, NCS served over 2000 sailors last year, providing free equipment and instruction through many community outreach programs, including sponsoring and coaching Nantucket’s High School Sailing Team, offering scholarships to year-round island youth, running informal sailboat races for all levels and teaching adaptive windsurfing and sailing clinics for disabled athletes.

Photo Credit Karen Ryan

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