Teens interested in sailing on a schooner during Sunday’s Mayor’s Race (9/6/2015) should email firstname.lastname@example.org to signup. Please provide name, age and cell phone number. First come, first serve. Be prepared to be on the water from 8:45am to 5pm.
Eric Fossa from Essex is the 2015 recipient of the Gloucester Schooner Festival Youth Scholarship. The Gloucester Schooner Festival Youth Scholarship Committee is pleased to award the Manchester Essex Regional High School graduate with $1,000 in support of his upcoming first year at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In a very competitive pool of applications, Fossa’s stood out from the rest.
“Growing up in Essex has given me a passion for the ocean,” Fossa explains in his application. He has worked at Atlantic Industrial Models, a local machine shop, for the past several years and is also a member of the National Honor Society at Manchester Essex Regional High School. He wishes to further his passion for both the sea and machinery by pursuing a major in Marine Engineering at Massachusetts Maritime University.
With an eye toward the future, as well as the past, the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee supports programs that involve young people on Cape Ann. In 2012, the Committee chose to institutionalize the educational component of the Festival by providing opportunities for kids to sail on the participating schooners, as well as offering financial support to local programs that put Cape Ann kids on the water throughout the year. Specifically, the Committee selected organizations that foster greater knowledge and appreciation of Cape Ann’s coastal waters by providing opportunities for young people to sail, row or otherwise become immersed in our ocean environment. Two grants were awarded in 2012, four grants were awarded in 2013, and several were granted in 2014. Leading up to this year’s Festival, we will again raise funds, beyond the costs of producing the Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend, and offer similar support to youth-on-the-water organizations.
The 2013 Grants supporting “Youth on Water” were presented on December 3, 2013 by Committee members Daisy Nell, Tom Ellis, and Peter Bent to the following organizations:
Cape Ann YMCA – The grant will be used to purchase additional 420s for their summer sailing program. Accepting the award is Katy Coffey, Aquatics Director.
Gloucester Museum School – The grant will be used to provide scholarships to youth participating in their youth rowing program. Accepting the award is Jo-Anne Crawford.
North Shore Sea Scouts Ship 5 – The grant will be used to purchase safety equipment (e.g., PFDs) to support Sea Scout water activities. Accepting the award is Amanda Madeira.
GHS Sailing – The grant will be used to help defray costs associated with the fall and spring sailing program. Accepting the award is Patti Page.
Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors and the Citizens of Gloucester for making this Festival a great success and these grants possible.
My Experience on the “American Eagle”
by Dominic Nesta, student participant in the 2012 Festival
This year’s (2012) Schooner Festival was special because I was included as part of the crew for the American Eagle, a gaff-rigged fishing schooner. I was accepted as part of the crew. I made a point of asking as many questions as I could think of. The Captain and crew were happy to answer them. They taught me a lot in one short day. There is a lot of skill involved to manage so many moving parts (crew, sails, lines, wind and waves) to steer a schooner along the fastest course.
I was in my element; little did I know that that element would be on a schooner. I am so glad that I had the chance to sail in the Festival. I am a 15 year old kid who easily could have lived over sixty years ago on that same schooner. Even the simple passing the bowls of food up from the galley in a chain of hands to the washing up later, as we all worked together, seemed special.
The most exciting moment was when we all had to rush over to fend off another vessel from crashing into us. Their bow sprit was coming on a collision course to sweep our stern. The Captain Shouted; “Fend it off! Fend it off!” As one we all pushed the bow sprit off and away. Wow! What an exciting moment when we were able to fend off a huge vessel from crashing into ours! I will never forget this day. I get chills even now just remembering.
The best feeling came when the captain ordered the hoisting of the broom to celebrate our “clean sweep win” of the race. We’d worked hard for that win. We had earned it. What a great day! I was walking 10 feet tall when we sailed home to Gloucester Harbor.
There was a huge cook-out later for the handing out of awards. My buddy Max Ramsey and I received a special mention for our part in the Festival as the donut guys. On the day of the race, early in the morning, we had delivered munchkins with my boat to all the schooners. As if the day could not get any better, Max and I were given the American Schooner Association Rendezvous Award — a green schooner flag to commemorate the day; it waves proudly from the mast of my boat: the Tide Skipper. Look for it and us out there in Gloucester Harbor, every chance we get.