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means to be intrepid sailors, shipmates, who treat one another with respect and compassion.” Meanwhile, the sailor with the clerical collar joined the Clearwater Yacht Club in 2000 and became its chaplain in 2011. CYC’s youth sailing program had been undergoing some changes, and the club’s board asked Wagenseil if he would bring his Indian Rocks Beach sessions to Clearwater in 2012. Since then, the joint effort has a third twoweek session and all of the classes are full day. The fleet now numbers seven Walker Bay 8s, three Walker Bay 10s, eight Optis and three Bugs. Volunteer instructors now number seven and two adults stay on the yacht club grounds during the training. Indian Rocks Family Sailing Association, now a non-profit organization, has 10 members on its board of directors. They include two people appointed by the Indian Rocks Rotary Club, two from the fire district and two from Calvary Sailing the Bug in the Indian Rocks program. Episcopal. Four members, mostly parents, are categorized as “at large.” “In September 2013, I retired as rector at the church,” Wagenseil said. “All I do now is run the sailing program. “We haven’t gone to any foundations and we don’t get into grant writing, but I enjoy giving various people an opportunity to contribute to our program,” he said with a slight grin. “And depending on the amount of the donation, we may put a person’s name on the transom of one of our boats.” However, it is not all take and no give with this program —not by a long shot. The association’s mission statement reads: “Bringing our community together to experience the gift of life under sail.” And its spirit of giving continues. Thus in 2015, Wagenseil had another brainstorm that would help his community as well the association. His group would host the inaugural Ted Irwin Memorial Youth Sailathon, which is similar to a walkathon but uses sailboats to benefit the A couple of sailors on board and ready to sail in the Indian Rocks program. Beach Community Food Pantry located at Calvary Episcopal Church. coxswains, midshipmen and watch captains,” he added. It was named in memory of Ted Irwin, a well-known area In 2010, he instituted an after-school program but ha to sailor and boat builder. “The Irwin family were long-time limit it to eight youngsters. They gather on Tuesdays and members of Calvary Episcopal and are old friends of mine,” Thursdays from 4 to 5:30. In 10 years, Wagenseil’s dream Wagenseil explained. “We wanted to honor Ted in a way grew from one week with 15 youths to a year-round organthat connected with the parish and with sailing.” ization with more than 100 adults and children. The principal sponsor was the local Rotary Club and And while some people could regard this effort as an young sailors from across Pinellas County not only comoutreach program for the church, Wagenseil makes it clear mitted to four hours on the water but solicited additional that there are different religious backgrounds among the sponsors. Although the staging area was at Calvary young sailors and their families. Episcopal, the Clearwater Yacht Club served as co-host. “Our children represent a broad spectrum of the Wagenseil chose December because it is close to human family,” he said. “We have kids from Florida, Christmas. “After all, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of chilColorado and Poland. We are Christians, Muslims, Jews dren and sailing,” he explained. and non-religious families, but we are learning what it The inaugural sailathon was held the first weekend in 60

December 2017

SOUTHWINDS

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Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds December 2017  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...