Youth Sailors Take Part In Their First Regatta

November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Nineteen youth sailors from the Endeavour Graduate Programme have been commended for their dedication and tireless efforts during their participation in the green fleet of the 2019 Bermuda National and Open Optimist Championships presented by PwC.

The green fleet serves as an introduction for sailors who are newer to the sport, with the focus on learning and having fun rather than competition.

Tristan Loescher, Endeavour West Programme Manager, comments, “We are exceptionally proud of our young sailors who braved the open waters and put their skills to the test during the 2019 Bermuda National and Open Optimist Championships this past weekend.

“The group of 19 youth sailors represent students from 5 public middle schools and 4 private middle schools with 90% having no prior sailing experience before participating in an Endeavour programme.”

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Mr. Loescher added, “They have all worked hard to get where they are, each dedicating much effort to develop their sailing skills and techniques. Students were invited to participate in the Endeavour Graduate Programme after demonstrating the highest level of respect for their peers and instructors, a willingness to learn, good listening, teamwork and excellent effort during their participation in the Endeavour Middle School Programme.”

The Endeavour Middle School Programme engages every student across Bermuda during his or her first year of middle school from all 5 public middle schools and 7 private schools in a 5-day learning experience.

The curriculum is designed to align with the Cambridge Curriculum implemented in Bermuda’s public schools and focuses on inquiry-based learning that builds teamwork, self-confidence and life skills whilst immersing students in experiential learning featuring science, technology, engineering, arts and math called STEAM through sailing education.

The Endeavour Graduate Programme engages a new cohort of students each year who commence in the summer during a 2-week training clinic. Those who demonstrate a keen interest during the summer are invited to continue developing their skills during the fall, winter and spring terms on weekends and school-breaks.

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Each fall the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association [BODA] organises the Bermuda National and Open Optimist Championships for local and international youth sailors. Endeavour encourages youth sailors participating in the Endeavour Graduate Programme to participate as their first try at racing in a regatta.

BODA is the representative of the Bermuda Sailing Association for the optimist class in Bermuda. BODA is run by an extraordinary group of volunteers who organise youth sailing activities throughout the year for their members.

A spokesperson said, “Endeavour Community Sailing wishes to acknowledge the wonderful support that BODA offers to youth sailors throughout Bermuda, but particularly for Endeavour sailors who often are new to the sport of sailing.

“The annual BODA membership fee supports BODA activities throughout the year including scholarships. BODA has generously made scholarships available to Endeavour Graduates who met the eligibility criteria to support their participation in the Bermuda Optimist Open Championships every year for the past 4 years that Endeavour has had youth sailors participate in the Green Fleet.”

Tom Harcombe, Endeavour East Programme Manager comments, “The green fleet of the Bermuda National and Open Optimist Championships are the next step in their sailing journey for Endeavour Graduates. This is not only a chance for them to participate in their first ever regatta, but also provides an opportunity to meet and sail with other talented young people, some of the world’s best from Bermuda and around the world.“

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Endeavour asked a few questions to some of the youth sailors ahead of their participation in the green fleet such as how they were feeling to take part in their first regatta, how did Endeavour prepare them for their experience, and what they hope to learn.

Clearwater M2 student, Siyon commented, “I am excited to be involved in this fun event with others. I feel part of the Endeavour team. Tom, Tre and Renee are really good coaches so I feel prepared. I am looking forward to sailing with more boats, and sailing in a different location. I want to be able to work out the best way around the course and to be able to know how I need to avoid other sailors.”

MSA grade 7 student, Kaitlyn shared, “I am excited but slightly nervous about the event. It’s good to feel part of a team. I feel fairly well prepared having been coached by Tristan and Moriah. I am looking to improve my sailing skills and also my social skills meeting other sailors.”

Clearwater M2 student, Neo said, “I feel prepared and excited. I am really happy to have the opportunity to be here. Not everyone gets the chance to do this and I am really pleased to be able to represent Endeavour. I am looking forward to being a good sport. Helping others with their equipment and encouraging Endeavour sailors who may feel nervous about the event.

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Warwick Academy grade 7 student, Celeste responded, “I am excited to be at my first racing event. It is great to be able to sail with my friends from Endeavour East. It’s nice to work together with others. I look forward to learning about racing especially how we start in a big fleet. I am really pleased to be in a sailing competition.”

After the regatta concluded Endeavour also asked what they found most challenging during the event, and whether they would encourage their peers to take part in the Endeavour Graduate Programme.

Siyon answered, “The most challenging part was sailing in a big fleet of boats [63 registered in the green fleet] while trying to remember the rules of sailing and apply them so that I didn’t get in anyone’s way. I would encourage others to participate because I really liked being part of a team and helping others.”

Neo explained, “It was challenging that there were so many boats taking part in the event. I really enjoyed understanding the course to sail and making sure I did it properly. I would encourage others to take part in the event as I really enjoyed my experience.” He added, ”Sailing with others was challenging but also rewarding because I felt I needed to keep trying and not give up.”

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Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s Community Engagement, Development & Partnerships Manager states, “Endeavour Community Sailing is excited to have nineteen sailors from the 2019 cohort of Endeavour Grads, along with 7 sailors who previously completed the Endeavour Graduate Programme participate in the Green Fleet as well as 3 sailors competed in the Bermuda Optimist Championships.

“We commend all of the sailors for their commitment and wish them all the best as they continue to advance their skills. It is not an easy task to balance schoolwork and other extracurricular activities, however we’re highly impressed with the remarkable dedication demonstrated by Endeavour Grads who show up each week giving their best to training and developing their skills on and off the water.”

“We’re incredibly grateful to those who made Endeavour’s participation in this year’s event possible, firstly the Endeavour team for all of their efforts behind the scenes to ensure sailors were prepared ahead of the event and boats received the necessary TLC ahead of a weekend of sailing.

“Endeavour’s participation in the regatta wouldn’t be possible without the support Tim Patton who loaned his barge to transport nineteen optimists from St. George’s and Dockyard to the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club along Josh Greenslade who generously volunteered his time and was instrumental toward ensuring the boats were safely transported.

“Huge thanks to BODA for their support leading up to and throughout the event to ensure all Endeavour sailors were registered successfully as well as providing BODA scholarships to some of the Endeavour Grads to support their participation. Special thanks also to the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club for hosting a spectacular event and inviting Endeavour to be a part of the fun!”

Endeavour Community Sailing is a Bermuda registered charity and nonprofit dedicated to making sailing accessible to all youth across Bermuda regardless of socioeconomic background, skill level or physical ability by providing learning opportunities within a fun, safe, supportive, and diverse environment. Visit www.endeavour.bm to learn more abut Endeavour’s experiential education programmes.

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