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smcurry 08-30-2012 06:57 PM

Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Hi all, I'm a wounded Vet. I served in the Army for 5 years and I'm a below-knee amputee as a result of an IED blast in Iraq back in late '06. I had the chance to sail with some friends out in San Diego a few years ago and it's been a goal of mine to learn ever since. Up until now, I just haven't had the time. Well, now my schedule's changed a bit and I have the time so my interest is sparked again.

I've noticed there are a few organizations on the west coast that give wounded/disabled Vets the opportunity to learn to sail. Unfortunately, I'm in northern Virginia, just a little west of DC and haven't been able to find any equivalent opportunities out here.

Does anyone here know of any such thing in the Northern VA, DC, Annapolis area. My short term goal is ASA 101 certification. Then maybe join a club for a few years to get a feel for different boats and get competent and confident out on the Chesapeake. Ultimately I want to buy my own boat that I'd be able to sail anywhere, be it up to Maine, or down to the Bahamas. Transpac is on my bucket list as well...

If someone has a crew opportunity to offer, feel free to shoot me an email: smcurry (eight) (three) @

Thanks in advance for any help. - Steven

Donna_F 08-30-2012 07:31 PM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Hi Steven. Welcome to Sailnet.

Yes, there are quite a few opportunities for sailing. Walter Reed has a program in conjunction with National Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis as well as various sail and yacht clubs on the Chesapeake that takes vets sailing through the Wounded Warrior program. There are others. I was at a meeting a few weeks ago with a gentleman who mentioned he was involved with the Wounded Warrior sail and was coordinating the next one. I should have paid more attention.

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) hosts vets for Wednesday sail races. Racing is a fantastic way to gain sailing skills quickly.

More than likely others in the forum have more information for you.

Best of luck and let us know how you make out.

Rhapsody-NS27 08-30-2012 09:19 PM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Sounds like an interesting opportunity.

I was curious about something like this myself. I'm active Army and thought it would be good to help others go sailing. I didn't lose any limbs but I did have a close experience with an IED. Good to see you're out there staying active. Plenty of things to be done in the world.

Best of luck to you. ASA 101 is a good course. I did it in Texas while I was on leave last year and enjoyed it very much.

WDS123 08-30-2012 11:57 PM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
God bless you

If the wounded warrior program is not a good fit, try the Harbor 20 race fleet at Annapolis YC ( Peter Trogdan is Fleet Captain look up on AYC website ) They sail year round and I am guessing would be welcoming to have you crew and learn the ropes.

The Harbor 20 is a safe boat for you. No hiking, big comfortable cockpit, and simple to use.

justflie 08-31-2012 08:36 AM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Steve, I'm up in Massachusets so i can't paricularly help. However, my club does a lot of work with adaptive sailing. We primarily use Sonar class sailboats (23'). They even accommodate paraplegics using a hydraulic lift to get them into a special seat in the boat so they can access all the lines. So, based on that, I think you'll be able to find something (non-profit?) in your area. Good luck. Army strong!

johnnyquest37 08-31-2012 09:51 AM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Hello Steven;

I'm retired Army myself. Will echo Donna's recommendation of CRAB. Also, will send you a private message so you can get on my crew list.

smcurry 09-01-2012 08:23 AM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Thanks everyone.

I'm somewhat familiar with the Wounded Warrior and Walter Reed programs down here and up in NY. From what I've been told these are mostly to get people out on the water for a fun week/weekend and are more of an orientation ride than formal training. Also, with the number of troops currently in treatment in the area, I don't like taking slots away from someone who could benefit more from it. Being able to get out away from the hospital for a few days here and there was a life saver for me and my family!

I like the idea of getting involved with a racing fleet. I'm curious how to go about it though. Without owning a boat or being a member of club, how do I make this happen?

Donna_F 09-01-2012 08:49 AM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
You need ten posts before you can send or receive private messages (PMs) in the forum, but if you can post a contact email, you might get some crew opportunities from Sailnet members. In the meantime, Spinsheet Magazine lists crew opportunities for races in the Annapolis area.

SpinSheet - Chesapeake Bay Sailing Magazine

tundrasailor 09-01-2012 08:30 PM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Hi Steven!

First, let me say "thank you" from a retired Army vet and I'm thankful for men like you who continue to serve our country and are willing to sacrifice for our great nation! Hooah!

You may wan to check out this web site:

and see if they are still doing their Wounded Warrior Sailing Clinics. They were supposed to have two in 2012. It is Run by a former Marine Ronnie Simpson and it looks like exactly what you are looking for.

Hope this helps, and again thank you for your service to our nation on behalf of me and my family!

JordanH 09-01-2012 09:16 PM

Re: Sailing opportunities for Wounded Vets???
Hi Steven,
I get it. You've got the drive to learn to sail and don't want to mess around on these weekend leisure cruises. Best way to learn and learn fast is through racing.

There are some fantastic para sailing fleets that have a very active racing communities and I'm sure they'd love to have you in their ranks. The guys that race the 2.4mR class are usually serious racers and fantastic sailors - no weekend pleasure sailing mumbo jumbo. I'd contact a local 2.4mR group by finding them online, or maybe yahoo group or the class association and go from there.

If it were me, I'd be trying to get my hands on a 2.4mR (The International 2.4 Metre Class Association) boat through finding a local club that races these. They look like a pile of fun and wish I had a chance to race them. You won't be cruising off into the sunset with one, but after learning to sail it, you'll have the sailing skill to get you anywhere.

There are other classes of boats to learn on as well, but it sounds like the 2.4mR is what you're after.

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