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Church Youth Sailing Programs By Jabbo Gordon

M

any of the South’s youth sailing programs had their start at a yacht club. Then community sailing associations became more and more popular. Now, other organizations—such as churches, governing bodies and even military bases—are becoming involved in these endeavors. This story is about two Florida churches that have youth sailing programs. One is Calvary Episcopal Church in Indian Rocks Beach and the other is Orlando’s Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The Program at Indian Rocks Beach Ironically, Indian Rocks Family Sailing Association has taken over youth sailing at the Clearwater Yacht Club,

which is considered a pioneer of junior sailing in the South. As has been chronicled in SOUTHWINDS many times, the International Optimist Dinghy—the world’s largest onedesign sailboat—was originally the Clearwater Optimist Pram. That logo on those unusual looking sprit-rigged sails is that of Optimist International. Back in 1947, the Clearwater Optimist Club was looking for a year-round youth project to take advantage of abundant waterfront. It commissioned Clark Mills, a local boat builder, to design a small vessel for area youngsters. He did, built a passel of them and they were housed in a former fish house adjacent to the Clearwater Yacht Club when that club was on North Mandalay Avenue. Unfortunately, the Clearwater chapter of Optimist

Graduation class from the summer camp, Session 1, at Indian Rocks.

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December 2017

SOUTHWINDS

www.southwindsmagazine.com

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...