Summer got off to a drama filled flying start for The Force, the Bay Area’s hometown team. On Friday, June 21 the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) hosted a successful fundraiser for the team and the next day The Force multi-tasked at Summer Sailstice, in Alameda.
Left to right: Cooper Dressler, David Liebenberg, Ian Andrewes, Tommy Pastalka, Solomon Krevans, Evan Sjostedt, Ben Lezin, Michael Menninger
The Force continued to spread the message that they are more than just sailors looking to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. They talked to supporters at GGYC about the need to broaden the base of sailing and how their position sailing in the Youth America’s Cup gives them the stature to do that. Notable guests included America’s Cup PRO, John Craig and Olympic sailor/Oracle skipper, Darren Bundock. Everyone enjoyed the evening trying out the wines donated by Draper & Esquin and bidding on a variety of unique auction items.
Early the next morning, The Force headed to Alameda’s Encinal Yacht Club to participate in Summer Sailstice. This was an all hands on deck event as we greeted visitors at our information booth, took guests sailing on our high performance training platform, the SL33 catamaran, and competed in the boat-building/racing competition.
Teammate Cooper Dressler recalls, 'This year's Sailstice was a great day of fun in beautiful summer weather. There were sailing booths, blues bands, painters, a bustling crowd…you name it! The boatbuilding contest was a particular highlight for us. To top off such a great celebration of sailing, Tom Ehman gave a Cupdate presentation while the America's Cup trophy itself stood inside Encinal YC for everyone to gaze upon.' Tom reminded the Bay Area crowd that The Force is the hometown team and interviewed team members as part of his presentation.
Michael Menninger recalls that, 'The boat-building competition was a lot of fun. Five teams of builders were working all day to finish their respective boat. When the race started, our team started off strong and finished stronger as we extended our lead and took the victory and a bottle of rum.'
The Force is truly dedicated to public outreach. Team Manager, Ian Andrewes states, 'We love our outreach program. It’s the most grounding aspect of this whole campaign. We are able to reach out to kids that have grown up in the Bay Area their entire lives but never once stepped foot onto a sailboat. Our mission to expose underprivileged youth to the possibilities available through boating has so far been a success. I just wish we had more time/money to donate even more of our resources to these programs all around the bay.'
Cupdate (L-R) Tom Ehman, Solomon Krevans, Evan Sjostedt, Mikey Ardziejowski and Ian Andrews, American Youth Sailing Force
American Youth Sailing Force website