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Press Releases

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Orange Coast College's School of Sailing and Seamanship offers a unique team building approach for local businesses ­ sailing regattas.

The school, situated at OCC's beautiful Sailing Center in Newport Beach, provides Orange County employers and their staffs with an exciting afternoon in a fresh new environment. The activity emphasizes teamwork, competition and having a great time.
OCC's Sailing Center is located at 1801 W. Pacific Coast Highway, between the Balboa Bay Club and the Orange County Sea Scout Base.

"Our corporate team-building regattas are a great staff-development activity," says Brad Avery, director of the sailing school. "Employers have an opportunity to put their employees aboard our Shields fleet for racing on beautiful Newport Bay.

"Along with great fun, our instructors show participants how victory on the water can translate into victory in the corporate and business environment. The crew that works together and communicates clearly, does well. The skipper who remains calm during a tacking duel comes out on top.

"And everyone in the boat contributes to winning. Each boat has a coach, so no sailing experience is necessary for these regattas -- everyone gets to sail."

Avery says OCC's team-building regattas are customized to fit the requirements and needs of employers.

"Regattas are conducted on weekday afternoons, from 1-4 p.m. Employees race in 30-foot Shields class racing sloops, and we place four team members and one coach in each boat. Prior to the racing, there's a 30-minute strategy and safety session. Up to 11 boats can be raced, and at least three races are scheduled for each regatta."

Avery says employers can arrange to meet with their staff members in a meeting room at the Sailing Center, and have lunch, prior to sailing. Many companies schedule morning staff meetings at the OCC facility prior to lunch and the regatta.

Following the racing, trophies and T-shirts are awarded.

"We've used these regattas with our own management and staff at Orange Coast College for a number of years, and they've proven to be very successful," Avery says. "Our sister institutions ­ Golden West College and Coastline Community College ­ have also participated. These regattas really assist in building esprit and a team concept."

OCC's School of Sailing and Seamanship has a fleet of five dozen boats ­ ranging from Lido 14s to 70-foot sailing yachts to an 88-foot motor yacht ­ valued at more than $4 million. The school enrolls nearly 5,000 students annually in more than 250 different boating courses, seminars and workshops. It's one of the largest non-profit sailing programs in the nation.

Subjects taught in the school range from beginning sailing and intermediate Lidos to big boat sailing, power yacht courses, offshore cruising, Pacific Northwest cruising, and Pacific and Atlantic voyaging. Classes and seminars focus on such areas as coastal navigation, marine weather, marine diesel maintenance and troubleshooting, medicine at sea, cooking afloat, GPS, and Catalina and Channel Islands cruising.

The school specializes in unique boating programs. For the past 20 years OCC's 65-foot sail training vessel, Alaska Eagle, has sailed the world with students on board.

For information about Orange Coast College's School of Sailing and Seamanship, or the corporate team-building regattas, phone (949) 645-9412.