BELMAR — Friends of the Belmar Harbor board [FOBH] members Kristin Meyler and Jim Walsh — a member of the board of directors for US Sailing — attended the 2016 US Sailing Leadership Forum on Feb. 3 through 6 in San Diego, Calif.
Over 600 participants and more than 100 presenters from across the country came together under the leadership of US Sailing. Founded in the late 19th century, US Sailing is the recognized leader in training and certification, in support for the racing sailor and in facilitating access to sailing.
“The relationship between FOBH and US Sailing is an important one,” said Walsh. “We are able to bring back to FOBH great new ideas, interesting points of view and exciting programs to help improve and enhance our community sailing experience,” he said.
Meyler added, “Presentations such as ‘Building Community Partnerships,’ ‘How to Create a Safe Sailing Program,’ ‘Membership Growth,’ ‘Adaptive Sailing,’ ‘Developing a High School Sailing Program’ and others provide our Shark River Bay programs with new energy and direction gathered from national experts in sailing.”
“One highlight of the event was reconnecting with Gary Jobson, a 2003 inductee into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and a 2004 inductee into the Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame,” said Mr. Walsh. “Gary is an enthusiastic supporter of FOBH, as well as being a renowned lecturer, writer and reporter for NBC sports.”
Walsh and Meyler shared the story of the harrowing efforts of two American sailors and their action-packed voyage in the Volvo Ocean Race around the world.
Meyler called it, “An amazing presentation about what these men underwent as they raced their boat, ‘Team Alvimedica,’ with seven other crew members around the world in nine months.”
“We have truly benefited by the briefing Jim and Kristin presented to the FOBH board. It will help us to sustain the momentum toward improving our community sailing program, to continue to attract great board members and volunteers. We see lots of positive things on the horizon for the Shark River Bay and FOBH,” said board President Roy Childers.
FOBH celebrates its 15th year offering a community sailing program. Its mission statement reads, “FOBH is a volunteer-driven nonprofit educational organization, which promotes the health and vitality of the Shark River Bay and those who live, work and play on, in and around it, by providing to all — but especially to youth and families of limited means –abilities or opportunities, adventures in competitive and recreational sailing, kayaking, ecosystem tours, shoreline cleanups and related activities that are accessible, affordable and fun.”
FOBH relies upon charitable contributions to sustain its programming, and welcomes financial and other types of support. The mailing address is FOBH, PO Box 454, Belmar, NJ 07719. Telephone 732-403-4154. Online at www.fobhnj.org