The American Youth Sailing Force trained with Oracle Team USA coaches on AC45 catamarans three days last week and then went sailing with at-risk students from San Francisco’s Downtown High School, showing them firsthand that you can follow your passion and earn a living on the water.
The coaching staff of America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA put the Force on the AC45s in a wide range of conditions last week. Their goal was to help the team more effectively sail the very high-performance, very powerful AC45s.
“Darren Bundock is an awesome coach to have at the back of the boat. He's always super-helpful and friendly,” Force teammate Evan Sjosjedt said in a statement. “Besides the invaluable on-the-water coaching, we spent a while going over each day's on-board footage to dissect and discuss every tack, gybe and mark rounding with him.”
“It’s great having access to these guys,” sailing team manager Ian Andrewes said in a statement. “They have been doing it so long and have so much information to share.”
Click play for a recap from the American Youth Sailing Force.
The Force is a skilled group of youth sailors. Yet, as with any new yacht, time in the boat is vital to knowing how to sail it and to get the most out of its individual quirks and nuances. It is also fundamental to increasing the Force’s confidence as a whole.
Other team activities last week included partnering with local high school students.
“As a team we have been working with the Downtown High School of San Francisco,” Andrewes said. “They are part of this program where they get to draft, build and sail wooden boats. Where our team gets involved is on the sailing side … to show them that sailing is much more than just a rich man's sport.”
The team will be back on the water with these same kids in April, and both sides are looking at having fun doing it.
Next, the team will be sailing with Oakland at-risk kids across the Bay to the Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show in Oakland’s Jack London Square aboard two Sunsail charterboats.