Sisters Under Sail Teenage Girl's Sail Training Program

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Tallship Unicorn Puts Teenage Girls at the Helm

H20 Notes, June 8, 2006

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Tallship Unicorn Puts Teenage Girls at the Helm with Sisters Under SailT Program

Tall ship set to sail the 2006 Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes Series with an ambitious crew of young girls

Asbury, NJ - April 10, 2006 - When the fleet of 17 tall ships races between Great Lakes ports this summer the spectators at waterfront festivals might be expecting to encounter crews of salty sea dogs, but on Tallship Unicorn a perky crew of girls and young women will be working on deck.

This summer, Tallship Unicorn is conducting a series of sail training programs designed specifically for girls age 13 to 21. The series, called "Sisters Under SailT," challenges young adventurers to work together as a team, learning from each other and supporting each other - girls helping girls - as they learn how to sail a real schooner on open water.

The Unicorn and its crew will sail the Great Lakes as participants in the 2006 Tall Ships Challenge®. For the girls, it means taking part in friendly competition as just one of 17 tall ships racing from port to port under full sail and cannon fire. Under the watchful eye of a professional crew, the girls will learn to steer the ship, set sails, navigate a course and swab the wooden decks. They will dine together in the ship's galley and participate in daily discussions and journaling exercises connecting their shipboard lessons with their teenage life on land.

"Sail training has long been recognized as a character-building experience for young people," says Dawn Santamaria, co-owner of Unicorn and founder of Sisters Under SailT. "As a mother of four daughters, I know from our family's experience that sail training, specifically with young girls, builds self-reliance, self-worth and teaches respect for themselves, each other and their community."

Sail dates exclusively for teenage girls include:

Unicorn's Captain, Troy Sullivan, has extensive youth sail training program experience with respected organizations such as Amistad America, Living Classrooms Foundation and Ocean Classroom Foundation. Troy leads an experienced team of professional mariners, including 5 college educated young women with a passion for teaching, who draw upon their extensive sail training backgrounds as well as their personal experience.

"My daughter set sail on the Tallship Unicorn with some apprehension and doubt, but with a love for the water," says Melinda Wilp of her teenage daughter Andrea."It was a week of hard work and she found strength and bravery she didn't know she had." Unicorn's young female sailors learn the value of listening, work as a team of "sisters" and reach inside to discover their true worth.

"My daughter was more confident after her sailing experience aboard Tallship Unicorn," continues Mrs. Wilp. "Her self-esteem soared and this school year has been one in which she has attempted new activities, experienced a deeper level of friendships and believed in herself. It couldn't have come at a better time in her adolescence."

The Unicorn is a beautifully appointed 110-foot topsail schooner owned by Jay and Dawn Santamaria, a New Jersey husband and wife team that blend years of business experience with their passion for sailing. Together they promote traditional tall ship sail training and the preservation of maritime history through executive training programs, festivals and community youth involvement programs.

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