Each year brings us new names, faces, and experiences we will always cherish, and 2023 was no different. Let's do a quick refresher on what made this one a year to remember!
In February, SYSC was recognized by US Sailing with the Outstanding Program Director Award for 2022 going to our own Whitney. It's an honor to be acknowledged nationally, and a testament to the amazing environment at SYSC!
Late March, we pulled the boats out of the 'barn' and got on the water! The Spring High School Season is a little bit shorter than the Fall Season, so no time can be wasted. The first regatta took place in April in Chicago with a 2v2 Team Race event where we brought along 12 sailors and fielded three teams. It was a fantastic learning experience and a great way to kick off the season. Throughout Spring, our sailors impressed - the North Team qualified for MISSA Mallory (Fleet Race) and MISSA Baker (Team Race) for the first time. We are so proud of how far they've come over the years!
Finally...summer! After a great weekend of staff training and Taylor Swift concerts in early June, our team of instructors was ready to rock and roll. So, they did! We hosted our annual Rock the Dock event, which showed off some of our building, grounds, and fleet improvements that have taken place since 2020. The very next day, our staff took nearly 200 people sailing during the Lakefront Open House - for free. It's a day of outreach that has brought so many people to our program, and an important day to showcase to the community that we truly do have something for everyone!
Summer was fantastic - our Race Team sailors and instructors competed in distance races (the Mackinac Race, Queen's Cup Race, 100 Miler...and more) and youth regattas (Kaszube Cup and LMSRF Championships). We hosted the Rose Cup along with Sail Sheboygan, the US Youth Match Racing Championship; several team building events through KELC and Nourish; one Siebel Sailors Week; you name it, we did it! Of course, our 4th of July Parade Float was epic yet again and we had an amazing group of sailors representing our program! Always one of the highlights of summer.
The Bust Up Party continues to grow in size and scale. Our Staff this year did an incredible job coming up with Pirate themed games and activities and we had 70+ sailors participate. We look forward to keeping this tradition alive for many years to come! What will next year's theme bring? One thing we know for sure - it will be bigger and better than last year.
Finally, Fall brought some fantastic sailing weather. We had sailors 6 years old to adults whose age we feel it's unnecessary to share (ha!) out sailing deep into October, and a few brave souls were out in November. Our Fall High School Season was action-packed, with 6 weekends of regattas stretching from Chicago to Traverse City, our furthest trip yet. We capped the season with another appearance at the Great Lakes Championship, this year held late October in Chicago.
As always, we need to thank our incredible, smart, dedicated staff for everything they do. SYSC is so much more than a sailing center - it is a community of people who care about one-another and want to spread their passion for sailing and learning to others. Thank you as well to all of the amazing parents in our program who bring us food and laughter on long summer days, and to all of our friends and supporters who never fail to make sure we have everything we need to create a safe and effective environment for teaching, learning, and living.
We will see you all in 2024!