A Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Foundation GROSSE POINTE YOUTH NAUTICAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION
The boats that launch
a thousand dreams
When Grosse Pointe’s Klaasen family donated their Tartan Ten racing sailboat to the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Foundation (www.GPYNEF.org), they never imagined their gift would have such far-reaching impact in the Detroit sailing community.
That impact was the result of the Foundation sharing the donated Tartan 10 with a deserving local Detroit sailing organization, Challenge the Wind. They, in turn, make the sailing dreams of young Detroiters come true.
Challenge the Wind, founded in 1994, is a 501c3 non-profit organization based at Detroit’s Gray- Haven Sail Club (www.grayhavensailclub.org). Dedicated to providing young Detroiters the opportunity to learn to sail, the CTW program has enjoyed remarkable growth.
One result of that growth is a need for additional training aids, in this case boats, to allow more Detroit girls and boys to gain hands-on sailing experience. But there is another factor which is a direct result of the program’s popularity… and a sure sign of success.
Specifically, as CTW participants have become better sailors, they have become more enthusiastic about competing in regattas at the high school level and beyond. Unfortunately, Grayhaven’s dated fleet of training boats (Flying Scots) is no longer raced in organized competition.
This situation precisely fit the mission of the GPYNEF, which is dedicated to community outreach and the growth of junior sailing. When CTW students expressed their desire to compete with other clubs and schools, they needed access to 420-class sailboats, the boats used in organized competition by virtually all high school, club, and college sailing programs.
To address this need and expand its involvement in Challenge the Wind, GPYNEF partnered with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club to identify two Club 420s which would be donated to the organization. The boats, well used, required serious repairs before they could be sailed competitively. At this point, the GPYC took on the refurbishing of one of the 420’s.
Eagle Scout to the Rescue
The renovation of the second 420 was undertaken by Dominic Dulac, an Eagle Scout with a passion for the sport… and in pursuit of a merit badge for community service.
Through hours of work, Dulac completed the restoration of the now-new 420, learning a great deal about fiberglass, rigging, and all that was needed to bring it up to speed.
Having mounted a fund-raising campaign to pay for the materials required, there was money left over when the restoration was complete. As a result, Dominic would be able to present a $400 check, along with the 420, to Harry Jones, Director of the Challenge the Wind program.
On the first day of summer, the two refurbished 420s were delivered to an elated CTW team, who immediately added the boats to their fleet for the season.
Now capable of preparing its students for high school acompetition nd summer DRYA Junior Sailing Regattas in these newly acquired 420s, CTW looks ready to double the size of their program.
Visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/challengethewind) to see them in action with the boats “that launched a thousand dreams.” Presentation of the refurbished boat and check representing funds raised by Dominic Dulac.