Anthony Sandberg, skipper, guru, storyteller and educator, host of weekly sailing “salons,” founder of a top sailing school in the East Bay, and adventure travel leader, believes that maneuvering a boat through rough seas is a metaphor for learning to sail through life.
Sandberg is now “adopting” an inner-city charter high school in Oakland with the idea of getting all of the students out on San Francisco Bay.
Q: You founded the Olympic Circle Sailing Club, which has 50 boats and 80 employees. Over the years, more than 25,000 people have learned to sail there. Now you’re adopting the Envision Academy of Arts & Technology?
A: I met this young woman, Kirsten Grimm, Envision’s principal, and I was amazed by her. Oakland has a dropout rate of something like 50 percent, and Grimm had 100 percent of her seniors accepted at college last year. I’ve committed to getting Envision’s students sailing this year as a first step toward creating a sailing team at the school. My evil plan is that within two to three years, these young people will be competing with private schools and prep school kids – and winning.
Long-time OCSC Sailing partner, Rich Jepsen, took one of the groups out on a J/105 on the brisk sailing day and came back with these comments about the new sailors:
‘Lots of laughing and screaming when the boat heeled or one of them steered off course.’
Datrey, a female senior, was quite enthusiastic. Her quotable quote was “I have to do this again!” I said, “we are looking for students who would like to try this more.” She said, “I’m in!”
“Gabriel, you got me sprayed again!” (said teasingly with a laugh)
Jose said, “This is much more fun than fishing with my dad and I love fishing with my dad!”
Gabriel spent most of the time at the helm when we were sailing on a close reach and spray was coming over the bow.
I had a blast and these kids were so on top of it.. bright, self assured, kind to each other, enthusiastic, even though they loved telling me how scared they were. – Rich Jepsen
The new crew ready to head out to the Bay.