Our apologies for missing Veterans’ Day by a few, but big props to Ben Poucher and the USMMA Sailing Foundation for continuing to do great things with sailboats for our American servicemen. Pooch checks in below.
The Warrior Sailing program was created in 2013 through a partnership between US Sailing and The USMMA Sailing Foundation. Additional support has come from the adaptive sailing community and local sailing clubs like St. Pete Sailing Center, Chicago Yacht Club, and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club (to name a few). All of these groups working together have successfully provided opportunities to veterans to learn the sport of sailing. Warrior Sailing has organized multiple 3-day intense camps, where veterans learn from professional coaches the basics of sailing and racing. From these camps individuals that want to pursue the sport have come forward and asked us to keep coaching them and the natural progression was to develop a ‘core team’. With additional support from the Foundation and continuing hard work from the ‘core team’, we attended the National Disabled Championships in Galveston in late October. Our two military rookie teams showed tremendous amounts of dedication to training and learning the sport throughout the summer and fall seasons. With the help of legendary coach and program co-director Lee Icyda, this group won Nationals with one entry, our second entry taking 5th. Pretty amazing for only having 7 months of sailing experience! It was a humbling experience for the coaches and all of the support staff.
We’re happy to announce that we have been granted an adaptive sports grant from the Veterans Administration for 2015 – the first such grant awarded to the famous USMMA Sailing foundation run by everyone’s favorite smiling German, Ralfie Steitz. This grant sets a solid base of monetary support for 2015, but we are still in need of additional support!
Our team of directors, coaches, advisors, and strategic partners look forward to the furthering development of The Warrior Sailing Program 3-day open camps for 2015. We are also excited about the upcoming traveling ‘core team’ of wounded vets coming to a sailing venue near you! If you like this kind of thing, please head over to our Facebook Page and like us, and stay tuned for schedules and planning for the upcoming season!
If you are interested in helping support these deserving individuals, or you are a veteran that wants to get involved, please go to our website and send me an inquiry. If you are feeling particularly generous and want to donate directly to our cause, please go to this link and donate a gift to the warrior sailing program though the USMMA sailing foundation website. www.usmmasailingfoundation.org