The organizers of The Atlantic Cup, our friends at Manuka Sports Event Management in Newport, RI, are once again presenting their popular Atlantic Cup Kids Program in conjunction with this year’s edition of the race, which is scheduled (tentatively as this issue went to press!) to start in Charleston, SC on June 5. With sailing events all over the world being cancelled, they’ve shifted the focus of this year’s Atlantic Cup Kids Program from hands-on learning at the docks in the host cities to online education.
“In times like these, we recognize the tremendous amount of stress on parents and teachers to keep kids engaged and learning in a remote environment,” said Hugh Piggin, Manuka Co-Founder and Race Director of The Atlantic Cup. To help alleviate some of that stress, Atlantic Cup Kids presented by 11th Hour Racing has created a variety of worksheets on various marine sciences geared for children, and they are easily accessible online.”
“We’re excited to announce 11th Hour Racing as the Official Education Partner for the 2020 Atlantic Cup,” said Julianna Barbieri, Manuka Co-Founder and Advisor. “With their support, we’ll be able to expand upon the already hugely successful Atlantic Cup Kids Program that has since reached more than 4,000 students! The program provides an opportunity for students, teachers and mentors to learn about the history and science of sailing, as well as the oceans and environment. The curriculum includes hands-on activities and on-site interactions with the sailors competing in the race, and also an online component with downloadable worksheets. In addition, students and fans can vote for their Atlantic Cup Kids Favorite Team at AtlanticCup.org/kids.”
“We are excited to continue our support of The Atlantic Cup youth education program,” said Rob MacMillan, President and Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing. “Since its inception, the race has reached thousands of kids in classrooms, as well as on-site when the race is in their hometowns. Through fun, hands-on activities, the kids learn about the environment, sustainability, sailing, and safety at sea. Connecting with students this way empowers them to grow into ocean stewards of the future.”
Heading up the Atlantic Cup Kids Program is Captain Dave Rearick, a solo ‘round-the-world sailor, winner of the 2013 Atlantic Cup, and 11th Hour Racing Ambassador. During previous editions of the race, Rearick led the Atlantic Cup Kids Day presented by 11th Hour Racing events in Charleston, SC, Jersey City, NJ and Portland, ME.
Rearick, known as Captain Dave to Atlantic Cup Kids, visited those school districts in advance of the race, sharing stories from his singlehanded circumnavigation aboard his Class40 Bodacious Dream, and teaching students about ocean health. He also served as the host for their on-site experience while the boats were in port. Students spent two hours rotating though various educational stations. These included knot-tying, a plankton and whale experiential learning station run by Sailors for the Sea, an alternative energy station where they got to see and feel solar panels and a Watt and Sea hydro-generator, and tours of one of the Class40s competing in The Atlantic Cup.
“While 9- to 12-year-olds made up the bulk of the students,” said Rearick, “we were also inspired by the inquisitiveness of first and second graders, and by the determination of high school students who were studying marine biology. As always, we learn as much from the kids as they do from us. One student spoke out in class by saying, ‘If plastics last 100 years or longer, then all the plastic we’ve ever made is still here on the Earth!’ That one really gave me pause. Even I had never looked at it quite that way. No matter where or how you disposed of the plastic you’ve used in your life, it continues to live somewhere. Always give plastic a chance to live a new, recycled life.”
The Atlantic Cup Kids Learning Portal comprises a variety of worksheets and lessons on marine life, barrier islands, weather, glaciers and more, for students age 8 to 13. “As we’ve shifted our focus to online learning in these uncertain times, Dave and the Atlantic Cup Kids team have created an excellent program,” Piggin added. To download the worksheets, register at AtlanticCup.org/kids.
The Atlantic Cup is a hard fought, intense doublehanded race held on the eastern seaboard of the United States every other spring in the even-numbered years. With a course of more than 1,000 nautical miles it’s the longest offshore race in the Western Atlantic, and with three different stages, a long distance leg, a sprint leg and a fully crewed inshore series it’s also one of the toughest.
The Atlantic Cup is also committed to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the U.S. It’s a fully carbon neutral event, and the only sailing regatta to receive Platinum certification from Sailors for the Sea. To learn more, visit AtlanticCup.org. ■