Letter from the Director

August 15, 2020

Bow Mar Sailing Community,
 
What a season it has been. Our community has certainly weathered some hurricane-sized winds throughout this summer, but each and every time we have been able to center ourselves throughout this unique time in our history. I wanted to write a letter expressing my pride at the quality and hard work of our sailors; the sailors in the program from Rookie, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced have far surpassed my expectations and consistently amazed me with their sailing capabilities. 


The rookie camp was centered all around making sure the fundamental skills of the sailing program were rock solid. From learning how to tie knots to understanding how to rig the boat and how it works in the water, the young sailing campers approached each challenge with excitement and determination. These little ones amazed me every time I went down to watch their progress. They are just starting their sailing journey, one that I’m sure we can’t wait to witness as they continue to grow in their skill and love of sailing.  


The sailors in the Beginner camps were equally impressive. Not only did some have the opportunity to move on to Intermediate camp throughout the course of the summer, but all sailors made great strides in their sailing ability. At the helm of both Sunfish and Tera boats, sailors were introduced to fundamental concepts of racing and were always exciting to watch on the ever-popular Pirate Day.


The Intermediate and Advanced camps always put me at a loss for words.  You have proven in many different types of weather conditions that you are all exceptionally skilled and dedicated sailors. From high winds to light winds you have shown how you can make the boat move safely and efficiently. I can’t thank you enough for your energy and your help as we continue to better this program each and every year. The future looks bright with you at the helm of our boats.


Lifeguards, thank you for all you have done with our helping keep our program safe. From bandaging scraped knees to refilling the water cooler, you were an indispensable part of our program’s commitment to safety and fun. Thank you for all your suggestions that have made the sailing program safer and more sustainable. 

To Tyler, Avery, and all the Junior Instructor, words cannot express what you accomplished this season. You all took to the potentially daunting challenge of instructing sailing with an impressive level of professionalism and commitment. The uncounted hours planning lessons, working on and off shore with kids, and being the face of our program deserve applause and a huge thank you from the entirety of the Bow Mar Sailing Program. We couldn’t do what we do without you all. 
The planning for this most recent sailing season began in November of 2019, when the newly appointed officers met to discuss what worked within the program and what did not. After hours of discussion and a thorough inventory of the program, we turned our attention to making sure the boats our sailor’s would be using were the best that they could be. It quickly became clear, while looking at other sailing programs in Colorado, that the fleet needed to be updated. After repairing and outfitting several of our existing boats throughout the course of the season, the Junior Sailing Program has also decided to purchase two new sailboats for next season. 
They are called RS Fevas https://www.rssailing.com/project/rs-feva and are made by the same company that makes the current RS Terras. These boats are known for being easy to rig and extremely durable. Additionally, unlike the majority of our current fleet, they are two-person boats. An increasing number of people in US and international sailing are starting to use this boat, meaning it will make our program even more competitive in coming years.. The cost of these two boats was $17k for both and was paid for by Junior Sailing. As our program only increases in size and demand for our camps goes up, the need for new, competitive boats becomes extremely apparent, and we are excited to welcome these new boats to our sailing community, 
A huge shout out needs to be given to Elizabeth and Angie for their work on the new Bow Mar Junior Sailing website https://www.bowmarjrsailing.com  They spent no less than 120 hours putting this together from scratch. Also, they researched the best and most economical way to do this website given some websites have up to a 8 percent charge when you take money through the website. They went through and found a way to put every penny back into the program minus the set-up charges. This website will be operational and paid for for the next 3 years, and hopefully is continued long after that.
Safety of our community members is always the primary goal of Junior Sailing, but especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, we took extra steps to ensure the safety of our sailors and staff.  
We had many different obstacles to overcome this season with the pandemic starting in late February and began preparing for it during the months of March and April. We temperature checked (the lifeguards wore masks and gloves when checking temperatures) each person who came to the sailing center. While we were fortunate that none tested at or above the threshold of 100.4 degrees, we were prepared to excuse anyone from sailing for the day should they have tested positive. We also wiped down everything with Clorox wipes each day and took special care cleaning the water cooler. Despite our best efforts, the pandemic persisted and forced us to adopt our strategy.
After our second positive case in July we paused the program for a week, as well as talked to the Yacht club and asked them to suspend racing for that Sunday, which was promptly done. All while this was going on we were communicating to the leadership at BMOI as well as the other athletic programs taking place in the neighborhood. This was to make sure we were making the right decisions for our community. Many thanks to MA, and Rob for taking my phone calls.
Finally, I am sad to announce that another change before next year will be a change in the leadership of the program. I have loved this position over the last two years but I have been asked to be Commodore starting in January of 2021 and feel that I cannot devote an adequate amount of time to both jobs. With that, Jody and Justin Alexander have stepped into the role of Directors of Junior Sailing.  They will continue to work with Angie and Elizabeth and will make a formidable team; one that will carry on the traditions and lessons to make a better sailing program into the future. I will help with the transition and be there for guidance, but am more than confident in their ability to take the Junior Sailing Program to a whole to level. 
If anyone has any questions please let me or anyone one on the team know. Thank you, one last time, to the entire Junior Sailing Community for your warmth, laughs, and continued support and dedication to the sport of sailing. 
 
Happy Sailing,

Karl RS Engelmann            Angie Graham        Elizabeth Riggs
Director of Junior Sailing        Officer of Junior Sailing    Officer of Junior Sailing