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In Memory of Captain Kevin Eley
Captain Kevin Eley
04/27/59 - 09/04/23
September 4th, 2023, the world lost a remarkable human being loved by so many. It is with profound sadness that we come together to mourn the loss of, Captain Kevin Eley, and extend our heartfelt condolences to Kevin’s wife Sue, his sons, George, Will, and Henry, and all of his family and friends.
Kevin's unwavering dedication and visionary spirit have left an indelible mark on the sailing community, particularly through his pivotal role in the establishment and growth of Youth Sailing Virginia.
Kevin's journey with YSV began as a parent in search of a practice venue for his sons' high school sailing team. His determination led him to the Fort Monroe Authority, where he skillfully negotiated the acquisition of a building on Mill Creek, which became the Youth Sailing Virginia Community Sailing Center, and with the city's support, he oversaw the construction of a pier that would later become home to the YSV fleet of FJs.
Since its inception YSV has flourished into a cherished hub for high school and college teams. Additionally, YSV has earned widespread recognition as a premier regatta venue, a testament to Kevin's tireless efforts and dedication.
Who We Are
Youth Sailing Virginia (YSV) is 1 of 43 accredited US Sailing Community Sailing Centers in the United States. As a community sailing center, YSV serves as a hub for High School Racing, hosting regattas for VISA and MASSA, and is a REACH US Sailing STEM Education Center.
We are committed to providing access to all waterfront activities starting with teaching youth water safety. Our sailing program provides sailing instruction by US Sailing Certified Instructors to youth in Beginner, Intermediate, Intro to Racing, Water Safety and Survival and Family Learn to Sail (all ages).
We work diligently to design programs with four goals in mind.
- Build diversity into our programs so that our programs reflect our community
- Maximize access to sailing programs for youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds
- Incorporate applied science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) into our training curriculum
- Teach youth skills that will benefit them throughout their life, such as leadership, Independence, concentration, self-reliance, decision making, and teamwork.
- We hope that you will explore our site to learn more about all YSV has to offer!
A Special Message from Rose Hobart
During the fall of 2013, board member Gary Bodie presented his dream of a new youth sailing facility at Fort Monroe to a group that included coaches, parents, and other members of the local sailing community. Following this meeting the discussions continued and the dream became a reality with the support of sailors and community business leaders alike. Board Member, Kevin Eley was recruited to head up the organization that became known as Youth Sailing Virginia, Inc. (YSV). With the support of Glen Oder, Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority, YSV moved forward to create a practice site. With repaired floating docks anchored in Mill Creek, and seven old FJs, Coach Allen Kilgore’s Kecoughtan and Phoebus High Schools teams began sailing in Mill Creek in March of 2014.
In May of 2014 the opportunity to purchase 18 gently used Flying Juniors from Dartmouth College provided YSV with the matched fleet necessary to host regattas. In August, volunteers began rebuilding a larger float dock donated to YSV. With the 18 boats on the water YSV could now practice for Hampton, Kecoughtan and Phoebus High Schools and Hampton Roads Academy. In October YSV hosted its first scrimmage regatta for the 14 teams of the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association (VISA).
Let us introduce our boats that allow sailors to enjoy Mill Creek on historic Fort Monroe.
YSV continues looking forward and is committed to improving and upgrading our fleet of 18 Club Flying Juniors. Today the FJ is the predominate class of boat sailed by high school and college sailing teams in the United States. High school sailing is a coed sport. The boats are sailed by a crew of two and spinnakers are not used.