Youth Sailing Foundation patrons ‘Rock The Boat’ at Moorings Yacht & Country Club

Sailing demonstration in cove


YSF sailors Mylee Smith (VB Varsity Sailing) & Shae Riley (Shelby Racing) greet guests upon arrival.

Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County held the 3rd Annual “Rock The Boat” gala at the Moorings Yacht & Country Club on Sunday evening, March 18, 2018. Guests arrived at 5 PM to enjoy a sailing demonstration by the Shelby Racing and Vero Beach Varsity Sailing Teams on the Indian River Lagoon. Beautiful clear skies gave way to a glorious sunset as six Optimist and three Club 420 boats raced around a closed course.

Jay & Anne Storch

A silent auction with over sixty donated gifts, ranging from golf outings to fine art by local artists, provided multiple opportunities for patrons to make contributions while enjoying the sailing and cocktails.

Chris Pope, Varoujan “Pops” and Rose Karentz

Sailing Director Mary Morgan had the audience’s rapt attention as she related examples of the personal impact sailing has had on some of her students here, including the story of how sailing at YSF has helped transform one particular young man from an aimless emancipated minor into a responsible, focused scholarship recipient headed off to college and a medical career. Twenty of YSF’s 100 currently enrolled young sailors were in attendance and took a break from helping behind the scenes to be introduced to the guests, visiting each table to thank YSF patrons for their support.

Dinner was followed by a live auction with John Moore providing fun and entertainment while fetching top dollars for items ranging from a fishing trip with world famous guide Carter Andrews to accommodations at the Abaco Inn on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas. The highlight of the auction was an 11-night cultural cruise to Cuba aboard Pearl Mist, the flagship of Pearl Seas Cruise Line. A heated but good-natured bidding war erupted, driving the winning donation to almost $15,000. The naming rights to five 420 sailboats generated $10,000. A call to “Sponsor a Sailor” capped off the auction with sixty-four $250 scholarships being donated. Youth Sailing Foundation offers free sailing instruction to any child in Indian River County and relies entirely on the generosity of donors from our community to fund its programs.

Charlie Pope, Chairman Emeritus, surprised the crowd with a dramatic announcement that an anonymous donor has pledged $100,000 as the kick-off gift for building the Vero Beach Community Sailing Center – YSF’s vision for the future. A second donor stepped to the microphone with a matching $100,000 donation.

As the evening wound down the sailors and patrons mixed it up on the dance floor as local favorite Curtis Hill entertained the crowd. The sold-out event was deemed a great success by hosts and guests alike.


  1. Mark, Thank you for this well written article about YSFIRC. Coverage like this truly helps to spread the good word about such an impactful organization.

  2. Pat, We were glad to be able to post this new release. To be clear, it was a news release submitted by the Youth Sailing Foundation. (I don’t want to wrongly receive credit for having written it.)

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