Returning to San Diego Bay from June 26-28, the Warrior Sailing program will introduce 21 new wounded veterans to an intense three-day sailing course using their most natural abilities, teamwork and competitive drive, despite their physical injuries.
Through a partnership with the Armed Services YMCA and the San Diego Yacht Cub, Warrior Sailing returns to San Diego to learn how to sail. The program was founded with a mission to introduce active military and veterans with disabilities to the sport of sailing, with opportunities ranging from introductory level sailing to world championship competition.
The program offers the Basic Training Camp at no cost to participants. They come from all branches of the military and have varying injuries that range from limb loss, traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to name a few.
“We value our partnerships in the San Diego community and always look forward to this event as a highlight of our training calendar,” said Cory Kapes, Warrior Sailing program manager. “It is only by working together can we provide an unbelievable experience for the wounded service members who have given so much to us.”
Participants will sail together in teams of three on J-22 sailboats, with an on-board professional coach. Instruction and equipment is adapted to meet the needs of the participants. The sailboats and facilities are provided by SDYC.
“SDYC is honored to host the warrior sailing event for the fifth year in a row. We’re hosting 21 wounded warriors from around the U.S., and this week in an extension of our military appreciation night series that runs all summer long. SDYC has many members who are also veterans like me, and supporting this event is another way of giving back to the military community,” said SDYC Liaison Pete Whitby.
Sailing is the platform to help wounded veterans reunite with their fellow service members, feel the camaraderie they found in service, and help with integration into civilian life.
“Warrior Sailing is an amazing way to support our warriors from the Naval Medical Center – Balboa and across our nation,” said Tim Ney, executive director of the Armed Services YMCA. “We are very excited to be a partner with two great organizations.”
Graduates from the Basic Training Camp will learn about local sailing opportunities and those in their hometowns. Graduates may continue training to earn a keelboat certification, advanced racing skills and compete in open and disabled racing events both across the country and around the world. More information on the Warrior Sailing Program can be found online at www.warriorsailing.org.