New Community Sailing Program Comes to Cape Cod
Non-profit sailing group to increase "Access for All…Without Limitation"
Have you ever wanted to sail on the waters of Cape Cod but didn’t have a way to do so? Have you hoped that your children and grandchildren could experience sailing but it was too expensive or inaccessible?
Now a new community-oriented sailing and watersport program is coming to Barnstable, and the broader Cape Cod region, this year. Sail Cape Cod is an organization under development by a steering committee of avid sailors and community leaders. Sail Cape Cod has filed for tax-exempt non-profit status and the committee has been meeting weekly for several months to bring this initiative to realization.
Based in Hyannis, the mission of Sail Cape Cod is to increase on-water access to the bays, beaches and ocean around the Cape for persons of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and physical and developmental abilities, including youngsters and teens, seniors, disabled individuals, and returning veterans. Sail Cape Cod will offer instruction in recreational sailing and other eco-friendly watersports, educational opportunities in seamanship, water safety, marine science, and navigation. Fees will be affordable and calculated on a sliding scale basis. Additionally, Sail Cape Cod is actively exploring partnerships with a number of local marine educational programs, school departments, and others.
In Year One, a cooperative program that partners with and expands on the existing Barnstable Town sailing program is envisioned. Discussions are also ongoing with Town officials to establish an off-the-beach program based at Kalmus Beach this summer.
According to Sail Cape Cod President Charles McLaughlin: “One of the great ironies on Cape Cod is that we are surrounded by water, yet so very many of our residents have no access to it. We have literally thousands of local youth and teens, some in at-risk situations, seniors, hundreds of families facing severe financial challenges, and over 25,000 people on Cape Cod with physical and developmental disabilities who would greatly enjoy the opportunity for on-the-water experiences that simply aren’t available without the programs that we envision. We want to leave no one on the beach, literally and figuratively, who wants access to the beautiful waters that surround us.”
An intensive fundraising effort for Sail Cape Cod is currently underway. To date the support of Figawi Charities, Bank of Cape Cod, Rockland Trust, US Sailing, and numerous individuals has been secured. Funds raised will pay for professional, certified staffing of instructional programs, the purchase of needed boats and equipment, and a hoist to move disabled persons from dockside into a sailboat specially equipped for adaptive sailing. Sail Cape Cod is planning several special events in the coming months, including a free family sailing day and a new fundraising regatta and auction with a local charitable partner.
A recent article appeared in a Cape newspaper suggesting that we ‘live like you love the ocean’. Sail Cape Cod will foster this worthy goal and contribute to better access to our local waters for all….without limitation.