BIG Team Regatta Corporate Sailing Challenge to Raise Money for Youth and Adaptive Sailing

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We’re so proud to have held the 2010 Big Team Regatta at OCSC SAILING. It’s so much fun working with so many great people for such a good cause.

Annual Charity Event on San Francisco Bay Draws Local Businesses to Race Performance Sailboats in
Unique Corporate Giving Opportunity

Treasure Island, CA – Mechanics Bank, PG&E, Hanson Bridgett, Almar Marinas, and ACCO Engineered Systems, Inc., are among this year’s sponsors of the BIG Team Regatta San Francisco, a corporate sailing challenge to be held on Friday, October 1 on San Francisco Bay. The annual charity event draws local business executives from across the Bay Area to race performance sailboats, pitting against each others’ teams in the pursuit of glory, bragging rights, and opportunity to raise money for youth and adaptive sailing programs of the Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC).

Established in 1999 as a non-profit 501(c) (3), TISC provides sailing instruction, summer activities, and after-school programs for underprivileged and disabled youth. The funds raised from the BIG Team Regatta go toward scholarships to help youth in need, including many at-risk youth from organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Glide Foundation, and others, that participate in TISC youth programs. Approximately 75 percent of the students who attend come on scholarship. TISC provides unlimited scholarships to those in need.

David Ziegler, long-time sailor and reigning team captain for Mechanics Bank, remembers how formative it was to sail as a youth, learning his skill with the mentorship of his older sibling. “At the time, it was just fun for us kids to get out on the water, but it has had a profound impact on my life, both personally and professionally,” said Ziegler, vice president of Mechanics Bank. “It’s the perfect hands-on learning environment, with a bit of nautical science, teamwork, learning to communicate, decision-making, all very important life skills. It’s this same opportunity TISC is providing kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds; to take the ‘helm’ of their lives on the water for a week during the summer, and is something that needs our support.”

What begins as a morning training session on the cove at OCSC SAILING in Berkeley, quickly becomes a

race of sailboats crewed by enthusiastic and ambitious sailors, many of whom have never sailed before. It starts with introduction and instruction with experienced coaches from Organizing Sponsor OCSC and Group Experiential Learning (GEL) — including morning coffee and sailor-worthy grub — then its team assignments, gear fitting, and group cheer as teams set off on their San Francisco Bay voyage to support a good cause.

“This fundraising event is all about giving youth opportunity, and with the participation of local businesses, helps raise awareness of our efforts to the broader community, and making it possible for us to sustain our scholarship funding for the youth who need the financial support,” said Carisa Harris-Adamson, TISC president. “As such, the BIG Team Regatta is a very important part of our growth as a non-profit organization serving our community and families.”

The BIG Team Regatta San Francisco is collaboration between OCSC Sailing School and Group Experiential Sailing — two Bay Area businesses whose founders are committed to supporting youth and adaptive sailing. Jay Palace, president of GEL and creator of the BIG Team Regatta, has helped support nonprofit youth programs in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York. This year’s San Francisco Regatta will mark the 6th annual event for Treasure Island Sailing Center.

“The BIG Team Regatta is an opportunity for businesses to empower and enhance the lives of Bay Area children,” said Palace. “Sailing is a unique activity which develops leadership, teamwork and communication skills, while at the same time providing young and old with serious fun. Companies  field teams of primarily non-sailors who get to work together to get their boat around a race course for  bragging rights and the good feelings which come from supporting a great cause.”

For updates and news from BIG Team Regatta San Francisco 2010, visit the official website here:  http://www.gelcorp.com/clients/bigteamregattasf2010.html.

About Treasure Island Sailing Center
The Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve the  Bay Area community and the sport of sailing by providing access, facilities, and sailing instruction to  people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, skill levels, and physical abilities. To learn more about our  youth, adult, and adaptive sailing programs, call (415) 421-2225 or visit  http://www.tisailing.org.