Ronstan

Three centers launch Siebel Program

Published on September 12th, 2019

Bristol, RI (September 12, 2019) – In April, US Sailing announced a new community sailing program made possible by a major donation from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation. The purpose of this ground-breaking Siebel Sailors Program is to increase diversity and opportunity in the sport of sailing by providing resources and support to youth sailors at public access sailing centers across the USA.

Today, US Sailing announces the first round of primary and supporting Siebel Centers who will implement this innovative program. These designated centers at locations in the USA will support an important US Sailing objective of providing increased access to sailing for youth, regardless of socioeconomic background, and will receive a fleet of sail boats, other necessary equipment, and expert coaching.

US Sailing has selected three regions to launch the Siebel Program and is actively selecting qualified community sailing centers to establish two more regions this winter. Networks will include three to four community sailing centers: one Primary Siebel Center and additional Supporting Centers.

Center selection is determined based on several criteria, including an established infrastructure for learning, safe facilities, and equipment for youth, and a record of working with underserved youth populations.

Siebel Sailors will have access to a range of sailing experiences and boat types, with the RS Feva XL as the primary boat. A US Sailing provided Siebel Coach will lead each region, providing instruction and mentoring to participating sailors.

The goal is to retain new sailors in the sport by starting with a solid foundation of seamanship and safe boating, and providing ongoing opportunities to develop racing, leadership, and career skills.

Zodiac, an industry leading powerboat supplier and distributor, is supplying RIB boats to the Siebel Centers at a significantly discounted rate for their on-water coaching and management of the program.
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Meet the inaugural Primary Siebel Centers:

Treasure Island Sailing Center – San Francisco, California
The Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) has been working with underserved populations for over 20 years. Located in Clipper Cove within the San Francisco Bay area, TISC includes one of the most diverse sailing communities in the country.

TISC organizes over 2,500 youth sailing opportunities annually with an average of 85% participating at no charge. These youth programs feature the exploration of the sport and beginner sailing to racing skills and the application of STEM education sailing programs. All programs emphasize the soft skills in character building that sailing naturally teaches.

“The Siebel Sailors Program will not only bridge the gap between Opti and FJ sailing but will also seek to broaden the audience of the sport of sailing,” said Travis Lund, Executive Director of Treasure Island Sailing Center. “Eager to begin, we are hopeful that this program will fill in the necessary pieces affording us the resources and expertise to develop sailing as a lifelong hobby and passion to communities where sailing has historically been perceived as a leisurely activity of the wealthy.

“From all of us at TISC, we want to express how truly grateful we are to Mr. and Mrs. Siebel for their vision and generosity in leading our sport in this direction.”

The regional network of Supporting Siebel Centers for the San Francisco Bay Region will be the Alameda Community Sailing Center and the Golden Gate Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation.

DC Sail – Washington, D.C.
Located on the Anacostia River just behind Nationals Park, DC Sail has a strong reputation for introducing youth to their education programs regardless of their socioeconomic and residential circumstances.

Over the years, since the inception of their Youth Scholarship Program, DC Sail has welcomed hundreds of children, whose annual household income falls well below the poverty line, to attend their summer camps and high school racing programs at little to no cost to their families. DC Sail does not require any previous sailing experience or paid membership to their organization.

“We are very honored to be selected as a Siebel Sailors Center,” said James P. Muldoon, Chairman of the Board of DC Sail. “For nearly 20 years DC Sail has worked hard to provide the residents of the Washington D.C. community with affordable access to the sport of sailing.

“The Siebel Sailors Program will allow us to better serve the next generation of sailors with quality equipment, outstanding coaches, and ongoing support from US Sailing for many years to come. We believe that this program will go a long way to help diversify our sport and include the often underserved and overlooked community youth with a chance to competitively compete in a sport that we all enjoy so much.”

The regional network of Supporting Siebel Centers for the Mid-Atlantic Region will be the Downtown Sailing Center and the Baltimore County Sailing Center.

Columbia Sailing School – Chicago, Illinois
Situated on Lake Michigan, the Columbia Sailing School has been engaged with the local youth community in Chicago for many years. They work closely with various schools in the Chicago area to offer free STEM education field trips to their sailing venue. These trips allow students to engage in US Sailing Reach programs for STEM education and eventually progress to the water and experience sailing first-hand.

Columbia Sailing School develops after-school programs based around the Reach program with the goal of engaging them to create interest in sailing through education. The school runs a large recreational day camp in the summer, including a variety of programs such as dinghy sailing, keelboat camp, adventure kayaking and paddle boarding, powerboat certification and more. Racing programs are also available in Keelboats, Lasers, Club 420s, Optimist, both scholastic and collegiate.

“Columbia Sailing School is very excited to have been selected as the Mid-West Siebel Sailors Center,” said Mike Korbel, Commodore of the Columbia Sailing School. “This is a great testament to the team who has been working on growing the program and furthering our community outreach. As we strive to keep program costs low, the Siebel grant provides more opportunity for us to include under-represented youth in sailing. We look forward to this opportunity to raise the awareness of sailing to newcomers and create more stewards for our waters.”

The regional network of Supporting Siebel Centers for the Chicago Region will be the Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation and Sheridan Shores Sailing School.
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US Sailing is accepting applications from eligible sailing organizations to become official centers for the Siebel Sailors Program. The second round of applications are due by Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Apply today!

Eligibility criteria, center guidelines, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found at www.siebelsailors.org.

For questions about the program please contact Blair Overman, Siebel Sailors Program Manager at blairoverman@ussailing.org.

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