As a young boy, Senator Brandon Smith had a passion for sailing, but it was an opportunity not available while growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and it was something he could only enjoy if he left the mountains to find it. Now, Sen. Smith has found a way to bring that opportunity to his local community.
As an adult, sharing his experiences with other young people in the mountains has always been a goal of his; the obstacle of how to do it was always the problem. Seven years ago he met a fellow with a classic Mutineer sail boat and he tried to convince him to sell it to him so he could finally have a way to connect his dreams to reality. For seven years he was told no, but this lucky summer his offer was finally accepted. The idea of bringing sailing to the mountains cleared its first hurdle, and he has been busy getting the Mutineer, now named “Cassis,” sea worthy.
The Oliver Hazard Perry Sailing School, so named after weeks of searching and eventually at the suggestion of Hazard Herald editor Cris Ritchie, begins its first class July 23, 2012. The academy’s mission has always been to provide a link to the fellowship and responsibility of sailing to those with difficulty accessing it. There will be two class sessions this summer, each lasting three days, consisting of nine students per session.
If you have a child aged 12-15 interested in learning the fundamentals of sailing and seamanship, please contact Oliver Hazard Perry Sailing Academy at 606-436-4526 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited, so please don’t hesitate. The cost for the three day-class, which includes lunch and a t-shirt, is normally $100, but there are Senator Brandon Smith Financial Scholarships available that will cover all of the cost for kids who want to attend, and he doesn’t want anyone interested to be deterred.
“I believe that the kids here are fully capable of competing on a national level. There is no doubt that the talent is here and once shown, I fully see us competing nationally in the future,” Senator Smith said.
As a note to business owners or individuals, please contact the academy if you would like to sponsor a child or make a donation to the program.