This Saturday we hosted a Halloween-themed Open House at the JP boathouse for Summer Youth Program students, families, and staff.

It was a gorgeous day on the pond with bright sunshine, a strong breeze, and beautiful autumn colors. Many families joined us, decked out in the finest Halloween costumes, and sailed, rowed, painted pumpkins, ate too much candy, and celebrated the fall season with other Youth Program participants and staff.

Thank you to the JP boathouse staff, the excellent instructors who took us sailing, and to the families and young sailors who joined us!

From now until the Summer Youth Program officially begins in June, we will be hosting many events from career building skills for our Instructors in Training to family activities in communities around Boston to fundraising events to help us continue to offer great summer programming. Keep an eye out for our e-mails, Facebook and blog posts, Tweets advertising for more Open Houses and other Summer Youth Program events in the upcoming months.

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On Wednesday, October 23, Courageous staff, members, and friends all gathered at Boston Sail Loft for a great Cocktails for Courageous event.  Over 100 people attended and it was a heartwarming way to spend a blustery evening.  As usual, we had great food donated by Boston Sail Loft and wonderful raffle prizes from Top of the Hub, Skywalk, Hoistaway Sailbags, and Tip Tap Room.


We want to truly thank everyone in the Boston sailing community who attended on Wednesday for your support, both financial and otherwise, and your camaraderie. Again, we want to thank Boston Sail Loft, Top of the Hub, Skywalk, Hoisaway Sailbags, and Tip Tap Room for your donations.  From all of us here at Courageous, thank you very much and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Sailing is not a pleasure that is typically afforded to kids that live in the city. I was fortunate enough to have been introduced to it through Courageous Sailing in more ways than one. First, my initial contact with sailing when I was 8 years old in their youth program, then yet again once I became a freshman at Boston Latin School, finding out that maybe I wanted to try doing it at a competitive level. There were rough patches (including my almost being asked to leave the team) initially, but by my junior year I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue seriously; so I did.

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The 9th annual Richard B. Ross Memorial College Bowl will be sailed in Boston Harbor on October 5, 2013 out of Courageous Sailing in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The regatta was established in 2004 by Judi Ross Zuker to commemorate the life of her husband Richard Ross. A passionate sailor and a believer in the transformative power of education, Richard took great pleasure in cultivating a love for sailing in others. Though his life was tragically lost in the attacks of September 11th, 2001, his family continues to honor his zeal for sailing and education by providing generous support to the Courageous Sailing Youth Program in his name. Since 2009, the Richard B. Ross Memorial College Bowl has been a fixture of the New England college-sailing circuit, and draws some of the areas top teams.  For 2013, teams from Harvard, Tufts, Roger Williams, Brown, Northeastern, UNH, Brandeis, Williams and Bentley are already confirmed.  The one-day event is sailed in the same Rhodes 19's keelboats that serve as the core fleet for the Courageous Summer Youth Program.

Registration for the 20 boat fleet is still open to all NEISA sailors The winning boat will have their names inscribed onto the Richard B. Ross Memorial Trophy, which hangs in the Courageous Sailing Boathouse for perpetuity. Past winners include 2012 - Roger Williams University; 2011 Williams; 2009 & 2010 Roger Williams University. Up to 6 boats will be available for alumni to race. A suggested donation of $100 per alumni boat will help support 2014 Summer Youth Programs at Courageous. Spectators are welcome to view the regatta from the end of Pier 4.

Those wishing to register for a boat should contact Dave DiLorenzo at (617)242-3821 or

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On behalf of all our athletes, Unified Partners, Coaches, and families, let me express our great and sincere thanks to Courageous for hosting another wonderful season, and to you, Nate for that enjoyable end-of-season cookout last evening! I don't have to tell you how much everyone appreciated the event . . . . and your great grilling, Nate!

Towards the end, when we were thanking you, it was clear from the tears running down, that you were very moved by that appreciation (or maybe, just perhaps. . . . by the grill's smoke!).

It was a perfect evening, with some terrific sailing with good strong winds plus shifts. Another benefit of your cookout was it gave us all a chance to socialize together - which is not the norm in our weekly practices - people tend to arrive somewhat randomly, get out in their racing crews, and leave to get home, with conversations pretty much only within each boat. Thank you for making that happen, too!

Finally, let me repeat our huge and heartfelt thanks to the entire Courageous organization for the welcome you have continued to give us in hosting our SOMA Sailing Program each Wednesday for so many years. You have a wonderful venue, with a fleet of boats that are perfect for our athletes, and again, such a welcoming and supportive staff. We really appreciate it.

The bottom line for you, and for us, is in the progress all of our athletes have made. All have grown in sailing ability, and even more importantly, in self-confidence and self-esteem, as they've learned to manage the wind, waves, and tides, and to work together as a team. Prime examples are two of our athletes (and their crews) who have progressed from being absolute rookies with no sailing experience whatsoever, to participating and earning medals at the Special Olympics World Games, and who are now skippering their own Level III boats - that's with 3 athletes, and 1 partner (who can only coach but cannot so much as touch a sheet without disqualifying the boat!).

You all can join us in taking great pride in the accomplishments of our athletes! Thank you again, and please pass on our appreciation to your entire Courageous Team, and your Board.

Most sincerely, Jeff

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