This Salty 89 Year Old Sailor Participated in the First High School Sailing Team Class

Bill Olson # 1

YESTERDAY, AUGUST 26, 2015 WAS THE FIRST CLASS OF THE VERO BEACH HIGH SCHOOL SAILING TEAM FOR THE 2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR and this 89 year old gentleman was there early to participate in the class.

With an extensive background as a sailor, he was fascinated watching the students, meeting the sailing Director, instructor and students.

Bill Olson 2

A perfect gentleman who was careful not to get in the way of the students, he started out sailing with his wife on a 19 foot fixed keel Sail Star Corinthian on the Hudson River, back in the 60’s.

After that, they had a 33 double ender Alajuala 33 . Together they sailed it from the Canadian Martimes to the Abacos in the Bahamas. They kept the boat in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Every winter they would take the boat south thru the Intracoastal Waterway to the Bahamas. In the summer they would venture north to Maine and New Brunswuck.

After many years sailing, as many boaters do, they bought a trawler. It was a 38 foot Marine Trader.  Again, they went up and down the eastern seaboard and into Canada and the Bahamas.

One winter taking Sea Otter south they pulled into Grand Harbor in Vero Beach for fuel and decided to stay.

He charted, planned and maintained all the boats. He was the Captain and his wife the first mate!

His daughter says he taught her how to sail and actually gave her the Corinthian, which she took to the Chesapeake Bay.

Now when we say this salty gentleman participated in the class we mean it.

Classroom with Bill

In the Back of the Class

After observing the students learn how to upright capsized sailboats (simulated on land) he went with the students to the Youth Sailing Foundation’s classroom for a 45 minute class on knots.

When the Director of Sailing, from New Zealand, demonstrated how to tie a PIQ knot, native to Australia and New Zealand (designed by Commanders for canoe raids in World War II), he spoke up loudly from the back of the room:  “I’ll be damned.”

All the students chuckled. Now isn’t that participation?

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