The America’s Cup youth education and sailing program, called America’s Cup Endeavour, is branching out to New York and Chicago over the coming months.
AC Endeavour has been operating in Bermuda, the host venue for the 2017 America’s Cup, since last year. See more about America's Cup Endeavour in Bermuda here. In that time, hundreds of school children have had an opportunity to get on the water and apply the technical concepts of sailing to parts of their school curriculum and learn about water safety and other life skills.
“What we’ve seen in Bermuda has been an incredible response to the AC Endeavour initiative,” said Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA, whose team has been one of the partners for the program. “Each week, we have dozens of kids come through our base, they have a workout in our gym, learn about fitness and nutrition, and see the incredible technology involved in the America’s Cup.
“But equally, during the rest of the week they’re with AC Endeavour, when these kids get out on the water they learn about team work, leadership, communication and the importance of caring for each other and the marine environment. It’s fascinating to see their excitement of sailing for the first time and for them to experience what it feels like to be powered by the wind.”
At the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in May, AC Endeavour is working with three local partners: Rocking the Boat, Hudson River Community Sailing and The New York Harbor School, to bring the program to New York.
As in Bermuda, the program will enable students in New York City to learn through a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Education curriculum and to then put those learnings into practice on the water in the AC Endeavour boats.
During the weekend of the event, there will also be an opportunity for kids to try sailing for the first time.
Eight Hobie Wave catamarans will be donated to local youth sailing programs, along with legacy funding to help run the programs in the future.
The Hobie Waves are among the boats used in Bermuda, where their distinctive pink sails are evocative of the island vibe. In New York, the sails – donated by leading sailmaker North Sails – will be bright yellow, with the boats branded to reflect the iconic New York cab.
“We didn’t want to come to New York and only do demonstration sailing for the weekend,” Spithill said. “It’s important to leave something behind that will have an impact on local community sailing projects.”
A charity dinner is taking place in New York on April 14 in order to raise additional legacy funds for the three AC Endeavour community sailing partners in New York.
Spithill, along with Russell Coutts, the CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority and NBC television commentator Todd Harris will be on hand, along with the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sport.
“America’s Cup Endeavour is a program I strongly believe in,” Coutts said.
“We’ve seen the impact in Bermuda, where every school kid between the age of 9-12 will have the opportunity to go through the program over the first two years.
“We’ve had tremendous support from many of the marine industry leaders, donating boats and equipment to allow this to happen. We would like to see the same thing happening in the United States as well as other places in the world where we are staging events. So we are getting that started in New York and Chicago.”
The New York AC Endeavour events are focused around the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York, with racing on May 7-8, which marks the return of America’s Cup competition to the city for the first time in nearly 100-years.
Youth sailors have also been invited to participate in AC Endeavour races, to be staged alongside the America’s Cup Event Village, during the 20-minute half time break in America’s Cup racing.
The same format will be repeated in Chicago, when the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series brings Cup racing to a fresh water venue for the very first time, June 10-12.
– AC Media