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Where They Started


Just in case you’re ever debating why sailing ought to occasionally be a topic in our schools, we have some ammunition in this issue. Likewise, if you’re arguing the benefits of pram sailing for kids. Sure, your standard line of attack might be to enumerate the many recreational, environmental, aesthetic, and commercial values of the natural marine world and sailboats. Not to mention giving children an integrated dose of physics, mechanical engineering, marine biology, psychology, meteorology, etc. But you should also mention that opening up these avenues can also create tomorrow’s champions.

When I interviewed the newest members of our Sailing World Hall of Fame, prams and school experiences often came up. Randy Smyth, John Bertrand, and Jochen Schuemann each got their feet wet in a plywood pram dinghy. Smyth and Bertrand started in Sabots, with family encouragement. Schuemann had no sailors in his family, but he loved crafts, and when he heard as an 11-year-old that he could take a course in building a boat, he signed up, built an Optimist dinghy, and then learned to sail it.   more...


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We operate a maritime related charter school in Erie, PA. The Perseus House Charter School of Excellence Maritime Center is the educational home for 71 middle school students from around the Erie region, mainly Erie city kids. We utilize sailing, boat building, SCUBA and environmental studies to teach and reinforce traditional academic subjects and to concentrate on personal growth initiatives. The great thing a bout sailing is that it teaches leadership, teamwork, discipline and respect just by the nature of the sport. The history, the math and physics and the pure joy of being underway reinfroce important life skills and help quite a bit with the praxctical application of classroom work.8/31/2005 10:52:31 AM
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