STORIES the 2019 terrific summer at Edgewood Sailing School

What a season!  Thanks to the 193 kids and 79 adults who sailed with us in 2019, and to everyone who helped get them on the water!

As we tarp over our fleet for the off-season, I wanted to highlight a few things about ESS over the past months:

  • NEW BOATS, EQUIPMENT, AND PROGRAMMING – Unlike many sailing programs on the Bay, ESS provides boats for its sailors to use. This year, we added a race-ready Optimist and a new C420 to the fleet to accommodate growth in our youth program, we brought Lasers back into our fleet, and we substantially refurbished our Rhodes 19 fleet. We can’t make these investments without the continued support of our donors. We also debuted a new offering this year, partnering with Edgewood’s You Rock School of Music for combined sailing and music lessons. It was a hit!

  • SCHOLARSHIPS – We are very proud to report that 14 young sailors received $3,200 in tuition assistance from the Rick MacNeil Scholarship Fund in 2019. That's the most money we have ever given out in a season — a direct result of increased generosity of the Edgewood family. These young scholarship sailors are eager students who might not have had the opportunity to get out sailing, and they turned out to be some of our most involved sailors of the season. You’ll hear more from us on this in November, when we conduct our annual scholarship drive to replenish the fund for 2020 applicants.

  • EVENTS & REGATTAS – Between our “Opening Ceremonies” in June to our Youth Awards Night in August, we hosted two NBYA youth regattas (Lasers and Optis), our own 7th annual Optimist Invitational Regatta, and the ever-popular 7th annual Ancient Opti Elders Regatta. We also sent Edgewood sailors off to race in Wickford, Conanicut, Saunderstown, and Quonset. Making all of that happen requires trailers, coach boats, and a regiment of volunteers … we thank everyone who helped with these events!

  • EVERYTHING EDGEWOOD – Edgewood Yacht Club has been our home for over 65 years, and we are grateful to be part of the EYC community. While it’s certainly not a requirement for ESS sailors to join EYC, the door for you to do so is always open, and you’ll find that EYC is an extended version of the ESS family. This past summer, I ran the EYC Summer Sunfish races with another ESS mom and board member, watching our kids (ESS sailors and instructors and an EYC launch driver) race against our husbands (also ESS board members) and other kids and adults. When we hosted the NBYA Opti regatta in August, we relied on EYC and ESS volunteers for all aspects of the event – former ESS presidents were the race officers for the championship and beginner fleets, EYC members prepared the lunches and managed the boat launching and parking. During the winter, one of our adult program instructors continued to serve as the principal race officer of the EYC “Frozen Few” Sunfish frostbiting fleet, with able assistance from other ESS sailors and instructors for the safety/mark boat. Adult ESS students and families who learn to sail with us regularly join EYC when they decide to buy a boat or spend more time in and around the new EYC clubhouse. The spirit of "Edgewood" spans the sailing school and the club, so, in short, please let us know if you’re interested in learning more about EYC membership, because a strong EYC is a strong ESS; and vice-versa!

I'm honored to serve as president of a sailing education program that promotes the broader definition of seamanship, where our sailors young and old are developing a lifelong love of boating. I think that this is what separates Edgewood, so positively, from so many other programs that I see. We hope to see you again in 2020—look out for 2020 youth program registration to open up around February 1, 2020. Meanwhile, please send us your stories, thoughts and suggestions.  We're right here at ContactUs.


Stephanie Van Patten
ESS President

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