We’ve been a little quiet in terms of press announcements but we at Kidz at Sea have been up to big things. In July, Kidz at Sea officially opened its new Clubhouse located with the St. Maarten Shipyard premises on Airport Road. The Clubhouse gives the Foundation a place to call home, all previously built Skerries will be housed here; and student sailing lessons will be given from this location.
Once again we’ve partnered with Milton Peters College, the Sundial School and St. Dominics. 4th formers will engage in a new to the program project, this time they will build Stand Up Paddle Boards or SUPS as they are known. SUPPing is a relatively new water sport that engages total core, balance and endurance. Once finished, we believe this will be an excellent addition to our arsenal of water based toys to keep our Kidz engaged in water sports and out on the water with little barrier to try. The SUPS also create a challenge for the building teams as they are smaller, total closed and more intricate to work with. This year’s students and their mentors will also be the first ones on St. Maarten to build the kit so they will have to learn the ins and outs, and problem solve without having the benefit of a coach with prior experience on this model.
It doesn’t stop there, we have something special in store for the Third Formers participating in the Milton Peters Carpentry program. 15 participating students and their teachers asked if instead of building a Skerry, if they couldn’t tackle a larger project with us. Kidz at Sea excitedly announces that in the coming weeks we will begin construction of a Didi 26 Sloop Rigged Sailing Yacht over the next 1.5 years, with a target goal that these students will race their own vessel in the 2016 Heineken Regatta. In preparation, this afternoon, on water sailing lessons began. From the looks on their faces, the students are as excited as we are. MPC has fully integrated this project, including the sailing lessons into the student’s curriculum for Carpentry, in addition to sailing certifications the students will also be graded on their participation and their use of the skills acquired throughout the program. They will have to manage a budget for the project and understand the cost analysis, as well as the practical experience of taking a set of paper plans and turn it into a world class racing vessel.
We owe our continued success to all of our supporters, sponsors and partners. In particular, the Cooperating Funds, Aquamania, St. Maarten Shipyard, St. Maarten Sailing School, The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association, Wired Sailor, Island Global Yachting, Budget Marine, FKG Rigging, Island Water World, St. Maarten Harbor Group of Companies, St. Maarten Sails, the St. Maarten Taxi Association, Milton Peters College, Sundial School, and St. Dominic’s