Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Think Sailing!

This month, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick paid a visit to Community Boating, Inc. on the Esplanade in Boston. Plans are afoot for a new dock on the Charles River with funding support from the Commonwealth and private donors. Although arrangements are not final, the Governor's presence indicates a level of commitment that is promising, and it is possible that a new dock might even be in place next year.

In the meantime, adaptive sailing will continue as usual at Community Boating this summer. The program will get underway daily starting June 15 and run through August 30. If you live in the greater Boston area or are planning a visit, consider a sailing lesson or experience as a new adventure in the city! If you think sailing is a sport only for those who can afford it, think again! It only costs $1 to participate! If you are already an experienced sailor, you may be able to get out on the water sooner as Community Boating has already been taking advantage of our beautiful spring weather to get their boats out on the Charles. Several sailors with disabilities have obtained various sailing certifications through CBI's classes, and hundreds have enjoyed sailing on the Charles River in the past few years.

To sign up for sailing, contact Marcin Kunicki at CBI at 617-523-1038 or visit

Partially shown in the photo is a modified Mercury sailboat for one or two sailors, rigged for use by a person in one position on the boat, with hand controls and believe it or not, a steering wheel. The program also makes use of adapted Sonar sailboats which can seat about 8 people. Charlie Zechel, president of CBI, discusses adaptive sailing with the Governor while, Gigi Ranno, seated, looks on. Gigi, who works in DCR's Universal Access Program, was instrumental in helping Community Boating to develop the adaptive sailing program. The Governor met several people with disabilities who sail with Community Boating during his visit.

"The Esplanade and Community Boating - the oldest and biggest public sailing program in the nation - are two Massachusetts treasures," said Governor Patrick. "I am happy to pledge the state's support in this public-private effort to ensure that the pleasure of sailing on the Charles River remains available to all."

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