Harbor Happenings: New Sailers for Sailors

Barbara Merriman

Barbara Merriman

By Barbara Merriman

There is a world-wide foundation, or basic knowledge about sailing. There is also a local foundation—a charitable entity—that helps young sailors financially.

The Dana Point Youth Charitable Foundation is available to help secure rental boats at low cost for youth sailing classes, and those boats are also available for the local “Soda Can” race series and other races that are not part of a formal class. The foundation owns several Sabots, Collegiate Flying Juniors and Lasers, which all qualify as dinghy sailers.

On August 10, there was a very special event in the OC Dana Point Harbor, which took place at the hoist where small boats are kept in dry storage and then launched each time for a sailing adventure. This area of the Harbor is at the corner where the Dana Island bridge and Dana Point Harbor Drive intersect. The foundation had just purchased two rather advanced small boats called 420s and it was exciting to watch their inaugural “splash.”

The appropriate words for launching a new boat were read by Captain Mark Doliva, who also led a champagne toast to the gods of the winds and the god of the sea to ensure safe passage for these boats. Foundation President John Berry gave a brief overview of the program and how these boats were discovered and purchased.

Another foundation board member, Donna Carter, spoke about what sailing has meant to her children, who have grown up in the sailing community and won races and awards for Corinthian spirit and seamanship.

One of the boats had a special unveiling of its name, Mongo. This will forever remind friends and family of Jeff Adam’s joie de vivre, after his young life was tragically cut short by a sudden illness. Jeff was legendary in the Dana Point sailing world, for his ability to enjoy everything and his wonderful attitude was contagious. “Mongo” was a term he used for just about anything.

“That was a mongo wind! That was a mongo lunch! That was a mongo wipeout!”

You get the idea.

Jeff’s mother, Wendy Adam, spoke about the Jeffrey Adam Memorial Regatta Fund in partnership with the Dana Point Youth Charitable Foundation. The proceeds of the memorial regatta, with an additional donation from the family, provided funding for Mongo. Anyone may make a tax-deductible donation to this foundation—as there is always maintenance to be funded. To find out how to donate, log on to www.dpycf.org.

After the splash, the boats were launched and sailed off around the island by a team of two girls and a team of two boys. It was delightful to watch and of course when two sailboats are on the same course, it inevitably becomes a race. In this race, the winner was the memory of Jeff Adam and the future young sailors who will enjoy these boats.

Barbara Merriman is a former public school music teacher with a love for outdoor sports, primarily sailing and golf. She keeps a sailboat at Dana Point Harbor, has a passion for protecting the environment and serves on the Board of Directors at the Ocean Institute.

In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the DP Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the DP Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@danapointtimes.com.

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