Sailing Science Center News
May 2020
Vol. 3, No. 9
Welcome to the May issue of the Sailing Science Center News! Our theme this month is Engagement . Although social distancing has kept us physically separated, we are fortunate to live in an age where virtual connections and other creative outlets may still keep us engaged with our communities.

Keep reading for new updates and how we've been staying engaged at the SSC!
If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.

Kofi Annan
Volunteer Spotlight - Sergey Morozov
Our May spotlight is on Sergey Morozov. What captivated us most while interviewing Sergey were his stories of growing up in Soviet Moscow. Sergey learned to sail at age 6, long before he knew how to swim, catching the sailing bug when his father, Dmitriy, scavenged an Optimist dinghy from a trash yard. Together they repaired the Opti for Sergey to sail and race.

He recalls one of his first races at age 8, held as part of a May 9 Victory Day celebration, when he capsized on the chilly Moskva River! Schto! Sergey quickly righted the boat, ready to resume racing, but his coach towed him back to the dock, revealing both Sergey’s determination, and his coach’s wisdom.

At ages 10 and 11, Sergey was the youngest sailor racing in the Black Sea Cup, a challenging multi-day coastal and offshore race of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Unfortunately, when the Soviet Union collapsed a few years later, in Sergey’s words, sailing went Poof! Without government support, boats disappeared and the sport declined.
Still in Moscow, Sergey started studying economics in college, but with his draft imminent in 1994, his family moved to San Francisco. Had he stayed he would likely have been sent to the Chechnya conflict zone, from where he said few returned. In California Sergey quickly learned English and realized that computers were his path.

Sergey has now worked at large companies like eBay and Yahoo!, as well as startups. For the past six years he has been at Slack where he works in Quality Engineering specializing in test automation. During the sailing season he travels weekly to Redwood City to race Merit 25s. His two young sons, Alec and Zach, have not yet learned to sail, while his wife, Yuliya, is hesitant about sailing due to seasickness. He has a lifetime goal to one day compete in the Sydney to Hobart race.

Sergey with parents and his first dinghy
Sergey with his parents, admiring the optimist dinghy he and his father restored, 1982
Sergey & brother on bow of a boat
Sergey with his brother, polishing bow hardware during the Black Sea Cup, 1985
Sergey sailing Cadet dinghy
Sergey with his second boat, a Cadet dinghy in which he won the Moscow Regional Championship, circa 1987-89
When asked what he is passionate about, Sergey says he loves to share his knowledge—to see the spark go off in others! We were very touched when we asked who his hero was and he quickly named his father. It was his father, after all, who gave him his first camera, taught him how to use his hands and tools, and the value of experimenting.

Closer to home, Sergey has taken the lead as head developer for a new SSC website. No doubt the Sailing Science Center will also be the benefactor of Sergey’s love of learning and sharing. We are excited to have Sergey aboard, adding his skills and the richness of his life experience to the team. Welcome Sergey!
April Volunteer Event
Never to be deterred, the SSC carried on with its Volunteer Events during lockdown by setting two firsts at its April 19 event. On that day the SSC held it's First Leadership Development Session for Volunteers and its First Volunteer Event Held by Zoom . The session consisted of a 45 minute group discussion on John Maxwell's Five Levels of Leadership video. It was well attended, had great participation and the post-event survey said we should do it again.

For those who are interested, we are sharing links to:

  1. The Original John Maxwell Video
  2. The Recording of Our Zoom meeting
In the News
Gears Meshing
Engage and Align

Time is our most valuable asset. We can invest it we can spend it and we can waste it, but we can't buy more of it. 24 hours in a day is all we get. So how do we make good use of our time while sheltering in place?

Far from being a setback, at the SSC we view this as a wonderful opportunity. It's a break in the routine and a great chance to invest in building structures to have us come out stronger on the other end. The focus has been on a simple strategy to Engage and Align .

To execute on the engagement part of the strategy we recently created 15 teams, ranging in roles from Leadership to Exhibit Development and everything in between. Importantly, there is also a Volunteer Engagement Team . Their job is to maintain regular contact with volunteers to make sure they are being properly cared for and served.
The OKR system brings our teams into alignment.
For the alignment aspect we created the Strategic Planning Team . Led by a project manager from Google subsidiary Waymo, this team is helping us implement an OKR system. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a transparent framework for defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. The outstanding success that Google has enjoyed has, in part, been attributed to their use of this famous system.
It all came down to engagement. It all came down to recognition. It all came down to leadership, which led to every sailor feeling ownership and accountability for the results.

Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, Commander USS Benfold (retired)
This Month's Newsletter Banner
It takes an engaged crew to raise the mainsail on the 115' classic schooner Eros . A former San Francisco Bay yacht, Eros is being readied to compete in the Antigua Classics Yacht Regatta.
Photo by Martha Blanchfield, Bay Area racer, writer and founder of .
Wanted for the SSC

Do you have some great photos you'd like to share? The SSC is looking for photos for our newsletter banner and elsewhere. Photographer attribution will be given.

Apps Script Developers
The SSC is looking for a Google Apps Script developer interested in writing automation macros for our internal systems. If you have experience in C++, Java or Java Script you're most of the way there.

Email your inquiries to .
Social Media Corner
Social Media Logos
Get Social With Us...
Sail away with us - Virtually!

With all this "inside time" we're having, you may wonder, W hat's a sailor to do?

Well, this month, we've got some great suggestions:
  1. Join SSC in Virtual Regatta - every Friday @ 5:45 pm. A highlight of the week! See details on Facebook.
  2. Teach the (big & little) kids sailing skills - these knot-tying tutorials are a great place to start. 
  3. Tag a friend! When you're back on the water, who do you want to bring sailing with you?
Follow us on  Facebook Instagram LinkedIn  and  Twitter .

Got something bigger to share with our community?
Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
Our in-person events may be on hold, but we continue to look for ways to keep people engaged. Join one of our Virtual Regatta events if you want some good online fun.

We are also launching other initiatives that we will share when the time is right. Stay tuned.
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to move the SSC vision forward:

Make a difference. Move the needle!
Leadership Corner - Engagement
It can be a challenge for businesses and nonprofits to maintain engagement with their employees and volunteers in the best of times, but today the stakes have been raised. In this time of sheltering in place and social distancing, organizations are going to new lengths to stay connected, with creative solutions using modern technology popping up like daisies in the springtime. Read more...
New Volunteers

Social distancing held back the hand-raising for new volunteers in April, but that just gave us more time to focus on the volunteers we already have! We're excited and grateful for the opportunity to deepen these relationships.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

That's all for this month.


Jim Hancock
President and Founder
The San Francisco Sailing Science Center is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation recognized under IRS Section 501(c)(3), Tax ID 82-3631165. Your donation to the Sailing Science Center is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.




*STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math

Ron Young * James Hancock * Meagan Strout * Mike Beller
Travis Lund * Jeff Owens * Carolyn Davidson

Morgan Davidson

Christine Cid

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