Challenged America will, once again, have a booth at the San Diego Sportsfishing Council’s “Day At The Docks”, at H&M Landing on Scott Street, Sunday, April 15…a fun day for the entire family. Want to help out at the Challenged America booth for this one-day event? Let us know.
The Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all weekend long … so celebrate with Challenged America on Sunday, March 18 at the
11th Annual St. Patrick’s Day
Feast @ Fiddler’s Green Restaurant
Where everyone goes for St. Patrick’s Day to support kids, adults and veterans with disabilities and the Challenged America program.
SUNDAY, March 18, 2011, 5:30 PM to 8 PM
Fiddler’s Green Restaurant
2760 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
The well-known “in spot” on the San Diego waterfront where everyone meets for fine steak and seafood, beverages and entertainment, Feast @ Fiddler’s is that No Extra Cost, No Speeches fundraising event everyone loves. Come with family and friends for dinner, meet other supporters and participants in the Challenged America program, and just order off the menu. Steve Rock, Fiddler’s Green Restaurant owner donates the proceeds to the Challenged America program.
Enjoy a traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebration with others and support a good-cause,.
Challenged America is a charitable, therapeutic sailing program for kids, adults and veterans with disabilities founded in San Diego by disabled veterans in 1978.
Prepared for a Different Type of Martin 16 Race? Get ready Martin 16 sailors, novice and experienced alike, April 21 & 22 will be the first “Dash To Chula Vista” Race, hosted by Chula Vista Yacht Club.
Starting from our new location on Harbor Island, and (Leg One) finish at the Chula Vista Yacht Club, on Saturday April 21 – where a Welcoming Party will be waiting for you, complete with food, beverage and fun. Then, leave your Martin 16s behind and motor back to the Challenged America dock on Harbor Island…rest at home…and then return, the next day (April 22) to Challenged America and we’ll take you to Chula Vista YC (or you can drive), for the start of Leg Two, from the Chula Vista YC to the finish line at Challenged America on Harbor Island.
A great opportunity to experience a distance race from the North Bay to the South Bay, and learn so much more about sailing and your Martin 16. This will be a fun event for everyone, sailors, family members and friends. Sponsors are welcome and needed.
Notice will be sent to all on the Challenged America Newsletter list, once arrangements have been made…but mark your calendars today for the “Dash To Chula Vista” Race.
Urban Miyares, president of the San Diego-based Disabled Businesspersons Association, has been named outreach specialist for a new Blinded Veterans Initiative at The Hadley School for the Blind. Miyares is a blinded and multi-disabled veteran who brings more than 40 years experience as an entrepreneur to his new role.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are an estimated 158,300 legally blind veterans and 700,000 veterans with low vision. In addition, approximately 7,000 veterans become newly blind or visually impaired each year from non-combat related causes. Compounding the problem is that approximately 70 percent of working age Americans who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed or underemployed.
Stop in and meet Challenged America volunteers and participants at the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show this weekend
Photos Greg Scott
I came to sail for the first time ever today! What an incredible experience! The feeling of controlling that sailboat was amazing! I feel like it was some type of peaceful work; the entire experience was peaceful and enjoyable, but I also learned that sailing takes a lot of work and concentration. I like that! I had never really thought about which way the wind is blowing: whether it was on my nose, on my right ear, or over my shoulder. Learning to analyze this, I was able to maneuver the sailboat without continuous “hints” from my “teacher,” John.
John was one of the most gifted teachers I’ve ever met! He started by explaining and describing every part of the Martin 16, and then as we moved away from the dock, the descriptions became more vivid. Although I am totally blind, I felt like I was seeing the seals sun bathing on top of the buoys, the birds surrounding a small fishing boat, waiting for something to eat, or the various types of “traffic” that passed us throughout our short voyage. I learned how to tack, how to move the boat so that it hit the small waves at a 45-degree angle rather than sideways, and how to pull the sail in when it begins to flap in the wind. John never stopped teaching during those two hours of sailing, and I could have learned from him all day!
From the moment I arrived, I felt very welcome, and enjoyed meeting so many people, who definitely have a passion for sailing. Thank you for allowing me to participate in this sailing experience and for providing such a gifted volunteer to assist me. Thank you for keeping this program going, and now that I know what life-changing experiences occur there, I will definitely recommend that my friends and clients come and join the fun and learn how to sail. I will also spread your mission and goals around in order to find people who will donate to this wonderful organization, so it can continue to thrive. I am eager to return and sail again–hopefully with John! Again, thanks just aren’t enough!
Karen S., Challenged America Participant
As always, planning a sailing calendar at Challenged America tends to be dependent upon funding and other resources, to include what boats we have, and the volunteers available. Under consideration for the 2012 calendar are:
- San Diego to Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas ocean race (March, 2012).
- Martin 16 (Two-Day) Race to Chula Vista Yacht Club/Marina (April 21/22, 2012).
- Monthly or bi-Monthly Martin 16 Race Training and Races.
- Local Big Bay Races in “Casual” – the Santana 25.
- Newport-Ensenada, Border Run, and other offshore/coastal races.
- Multi-day cruise to Catalina.
- Class for sailing instructors: “Martin 16 Certification.”
- Captain (Basics 101) Training on Grand Banks 42 and Donzi, by The Maritime Institute.
- Power Squadron, Offshore Sailing Safety and First Aid Educational Programs.
- Sailing Camps for those with disabilities and/or having: Diabetes; Spinal Cord Injury/Disease, Epilepsy, mobility and communications challenges, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities, and youth with disabilities.
- Day-On-The-Big-Bay cruises, whale watching and other educational excursions aboard the motor yacht “Challenged America”- a Grand Banks 42.
Is there another special program you’d like to see and can participate in and help? Let us know.
Q. How do I schedule sailing?
A. Just call or email the Challenged America office – at least 4 days prior to your day of request to sail, along with information on your type of disability, so we can meet any special needs/accommodations and schedule a volunteer companion sailor.
Q. How much does sailing cost?
A. It’s free, but we do accept and welcome donations.
Q. What is Open Sailing?
A. Open Sailing days are our primary days for small boat sailing, and adaptive sail training for potential and existing sailing companions and instructors.
Q. Can I only sail on Open Sailing Days?
A. No, you can sail on ANY day you request, provided a qualified companion sailor is available, and the sailing office is open.
Q. Can I learn to sail at Challenged America if I don’t have a disability?
A. Yes, but there is a cost . . . You must be willing to volunteer.
“In this picture, Doug just finished rigging the sail boat with a joystick system so that I could steer the boat and trim the sails independently. What a sense of freedom and independence! We are a great team. He calmly gives me instruction and I execute. It’s a great sport for me, since I cannot speak (and it’s not necessary)! The only time I was slightly nervous was when we returned, under full sail, within feet of the famous race boat Stars & Stripes and pulled up to the pier with a perfect “hockey stop!” Good times.”
“It is always a humbling, inspirational and tremendously fun experience to sail with Ellen. Using the Power Assist system that we set up on the Martin 16, she has total control, steering the boat and trimming the sails.”
Editor’s Note: Ellen is a veteran who served as a nurse while on active duty, and now has ALS — aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. This was Ellen’s second time at the VA National Summer Sports Clinic for recently injured veterans, and sailing with Challenged America.