Setting Sail at Hobie Day 2023

Despite the high temperatures and low water level, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2023 Hobie Day was another one for the books.

It was a beautiful, sunny day when Bigs, Littles, and their families joined us to swim and sail at Lake Travis.

Thanks to the AustinCats, Austin Yacht Club, BBBS staff, H-E-B, Travis County Parks, Young Men Service League, and all of our volunteers who made this day possible for our kids, mentors, and families.

“For years AustinCats has been taking BBBS matches, families, and our helpers catamaran sailing off of Windy Point on the first Saturday of August,” VP of Programs & Impact Christina Snell said. “And about 15 years ago, Austin Yacht Club trimarans joined in to really step up the sailing experience. This year, we all took on the record heat to continue our annual Hobie Day tradition for over 100 people!”

Each catamaran was well-equipped to safely set sail with at least one match. As captains skillfully rode the waves, Bigs and Littles took delight in feeling the cool breezes pass by. Everyone returned to shore with infectious smiles on their faces, having loved their sailing experiences!

“I loved talking to matches after they got off of the boats,” said Match Support Specialist Mary, who recently joined our BBBS team. “Some were surprised at how much fun they had and how wet they had gotten, and some Littles told me how they got to help steer the boats. Overall, it was a really fun, new experience for so many!”

Participants also enjoyed plenty of food and drinks generously provided by H-E-B. Each attendee and volunteer received a packed lunch and numerous drinks to stay hydrated. H-E-B’s sponsorship and staff truly made a difference for our kids and volunteers.

While waiting for their turn to sail, some matches gathered for a picnic together. After returning from sailing, some matches swam together in the shallow waters. All spent the summer day enjoying each other’s company.

“The event was great,” Chief Operating Officer Joe Strychalski said. “It’s always nice to see our matches out on the water having a blast. Our incredible partners did a great job of making this a fun, memorable, and safe experience for all.”

Hobie Day is one of many ways BBBS works to empower and support kids, while also giving Bigs and Littles the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with one another. For some matches, it was their 10th time at the event. For others, it was their first experience on a boat.

Of course, such fun would not be possible without the help and dedication of our dedicated staff, community partners, and a lot of volunteers. From guest services, to organizing logistics and supplies, to rallying volunteers, this teamwork and collaboration created a wonderful, and memorable event for our matches and families!

Thanks to everyone who made this such a special day! We are already looking forward to seeing you at Hobie Day next year.

See more photos of Hobie Day 2023 here.

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