YachtAid Global, in collaboration with SY Seahawk and Sea Masters Galapagos, has launched the YachtAid Global Youth Sailing and Swimming Program - Galapagos. The program has been created to foster a connection between local youth and the surrounding ocean and environment, as well as provide positive peer relationships.
The confidence gained through learning to command a sailing vessel has been shown to create a sense of accomplishment and desire towards the achievement of greater things, as well as an interest in the mastery of larger sailing vessels. The Sailing and Swimming Program is part of YachtAid Global’s ongoing Operation Beagle, a broad initiative of providing Galapagos with access to clean water, educational, and conservation programs.
“The Galapagos Youth Sailing Program’s successful launch was made possible through the extraordinary commitment and assistance of the owner’s and crew of the 60-meter Perini-built SY Seahawk”, said Captain Mark Drewelow, Founder YachtAid Global. “The participation by the vessel and crew of SY Seahawk is a prime example of how YachtAid Global’s partnering yachts contribute to the world around them through participation in our programs.”
The SY Seahawk graciously delivered the first round of Optimist sailboats to be used in the program and the crew spent time working with the children igniting their interest and excitement in sailing. In addition, the captain and crew invited local children aboard Seahawk to demonstrate how large sailing yachts work, further spurring their imagination and encouraging passion, determination, and hard work.
“As SY Seahawk continues to explore remote areas and communities around the world in the coming years, we are on a mission to leave a legacy of doing good along the way, focused on the areas of science, ecology, and community values”, explained Captain Stephen Edwards, the captain of SY Seahawk. “Collaborating with YachtAid Global on the Sailing and Swimming school project launch is a great example of the community aspect of our mission. The reception from the local people in the three main population centers of the Islands has been incredible.”
The staff of Sea Masters Galapagos and AYS Panama also added to the launch’s success through the much-appreciated contribution of their time, knowledge, and energy. YachtAid Global is committed to establishing the sustainability of the Sailing and Swimming Program. YAG is seeking additional cruising yachts interested in supporting the program and engaging in meaningful interaction, education, and support of the peoples of the Galapagos through this program or any of the other programs operating in the Galapagos.
“The presence of Seahawk raised the awareness and the profile of the program and elevated the enthusiasm for supporting the teaching of sailing to children”, stated Captain Stephen Edwards. “This is exactly what is needed to make such a program sustainable… infrastructure is in place to build from this seed. With the support of other vessels and their owners, I believe that we will see a fleet of small sails in the bays of San Cristobal, Isabella and Santa Cruz on our next visit!”
Through Operation Beagle, YachtAid Global has plans to continue and expand programs that increase the collective consciousness and commitment amongst residents of the Galapagos for preservation and protection of the islands’ fragile land and sea environment. This is especially important for the children, as education, hands on exposure, and experiences help build a strong connection to the coastal environment, which these next generations will be entrusted to protect.