“Well it’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me. If the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility.
Oh the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see, believe me.” ~ Christopher Cross, 1980
There are many physical and mental benefits to spending time outdoors. In fact, research has shown that outdoor sports and adventure activities not only improve physical and mental wellness, but they can also promote recovery and healing. Just ask Jennifer Hinkel, cancer survivor and founder of Resilience Racing, the first-ever competitive sailing program just for cancer survivors.
Resilience Racing is currently looking to train ten cancer survivors to compete in seven San Francisco Bay regattas in September and October 2015, including the Jazz Cup, Jessica Cup and Leukemia Cup. (Although you will see a fundraising campaign in progress on their site, the outcome of that campaign will in no way whatsoever limit this program.)
Who can apply to be on the team?
Applications are open to all cancer survivors between the ages of 21 and 65. Participants should live close enough to the San Francisco Bay area to be able to regularly attend practices and competitions through the training and competition period (July through October 2015 for the next session). You will need to provide your own transportation to and from practices and events.
Does it cost anything to be on the cancer survivor sailing team?
No, this program is provided free of charge to participating cancer survivors. With that said, team members may need to purchase some personal gear such as appropriate sailing footwear.
Do I need to know how to sail to apply?
No sailing experience required. Resilience Racing runs a full training program designed to get each participant “regatta ready” in a particular role and crew position on the boat in a short amount of time.
What sort of physical condition do I need to be in to apply?
Sailing can be a physically demanding sport. Participants should be able to:
- Safely climb aboard a boat
- Lift about 30 lbs.
- Know how to swim.
However, the Resilience Racing team will work to accommodate physical limitations to the best of their ability.
For more information, visit ResilienceRacing.org. Interested in applying to be a crew member of the Resilience Racing Cancer Survivor Sailing Team, fill out their application HERE.
If you don’t live in the San Francisco Bay area but are interested in other outdoor adventure therapy programs, check out First Descents– they provide rock climbing, surfing, kayaking and more for young adult cancer survivors ages 18-39. They also just introduced a new program for the 40+ year old cancer survivor.
Bon voyage friends!
Read more about the wide variety of available cancer support services.