Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
January 2023
Vol. 6, No. 5
Welcome to the January issue of the Sailing Science Center News! The theme this month is Action. It is easy to think our lives away without ever doing anything. Taking action is the difference that makes a difference. Since we all know this, why do we sometimes wait so long to act, or never act at all? See thoughts about it in this month's Leadership Corner.
Be not afraid of going too slowly. Be afraid of standing still.
― Ben Franklin
January Spotlight - Steve Malton
Steve Malton Head Shot
Steve Malton continues a theme of SSC volunteers who started sailing on small, second-hand prams, like Optis, El Toros, and Sabots. What they all have in common is 1) that they loved it and 2) it was what they could afford. Notably, they also all had parents who encouraged their interest.

Steve was born in Detroit, where winters are cold and they sail on lakes. When Steve was seven his dad bought a 13-foot Flying Junior that Steve and his family raced on local lakes. When he was eight, Steve and his dad built an ice boat from 2x4s, using their basement stair railing for a mast, and a plastic shower curtain for a sail. Steve recalls it being windy for their first run on Hammond Lake, when a gust hit and they crashed, shattering the cold plastic shower curtain. There was never a second sail. When he was 9, they found an Optimist dinghy in a backyard, filled with water and leaves and displaying the number 13 on its sail. They cleaned it up and got it going.
I was always making something out of nothing.
This was my first building project related to sailing.
Steve recalls an experience following high school. He had befriended the only black student in his school. After graduation, with little money, the two headed for Providence, Rhode Island, to live with his friend’s cousin. The adventure—and the America’s Cup in nearby Newport—built the allure. Unbeknownst to Steve, the cousin was squatting in an abandoned house in a neighborhood of Cambodian refugees, with no heat or electricity. The two eventually got jobs and rented an apartment, but Steve’s view into the experience of minorities stayed with him.

Steve moved back to the Midwest to study Art History and minor in Business at Wright State University. He paid his way with a job at the Dayton Art Institute. He also continued sailing, and as the captain of the Wright State Sailing Team, ranked among the top 50 Midwest skippers.
Steve Malton sailing his fixed up Optimist dinghy with sail number 13.
Steve sailing his fixed-up Optimist dinghy with lucky sail number 13
California-bound, after graduating from Wright State, 1988
After graduation Steve headed for San Francisco, where he sold commercial art before falling in with the founders at Spinnaker Sailing, in Redwood City. They wanted to open in San Francisco, leading to Steve getting the job of Sailing Master, which he held from 1989 to 1995. Wanting stability for his family, Steve then enrolled to get his teaching credential. He taught at the elementary school level for 28 years, finally retiring this year, but not before getting his Makerspace Credential. This brings us to the present.
As a retiree who is getting back into sailing, still loves teaching, and always liked making things, Steve fit perfectly with the SSC Exhibits Team when we connected through a mutual friend. The Makerspace Credential came in handy too, as Steve remade the new plunger for the SSC’s Making Waves exhibit before the SSC December gala. Steve’s background, skillset, and personality are perfect for the SSC. Expect to see Steve making many more waves in the future...

[Editor’s note: We met Steve at Spinnaker Sailing in the early 1990s, making him our longest acquaintance of all SSC volunteers].
Black & White Photo of Steve Malton on Rendezvous 1992
Steve on Rendezvous, 1992
Steve Malton and SSC Lighthouse
Steve applies a logo to the new SSC lighthouse before the December gala
The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.
James Joyce
December Volunteer Activities
The SSC 2022 Making Waves Gala
The SSC 2022 Making Waves Gala occupied most of our team's attention in December. As our third annual gala (allowing a year off for COVID), it showed the capacity of the SSC team to deliver at progressively higher levels.

Held at the historic Administration Building (Building One), on San Francisco's Treasure Island, the Making Waves gala was themed after one of the SSC's newest exhibits, also called Making Waves.

We will let pictures below tell rest of the story
Building One - Parking Lot Sunset
The venue offered spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline for arriving guests.
The Wave Theme and Motif
Tanya matched everything to the gala's theme, from the lighting, to the table cloths, to the table names*.

*The table names came from the lexicon of surfing. A Party Wave is a wave crowded with surfers.
Gold Bar Whiskey's Bar Setup
Gold Bar Whiskey was one of the night's biggest supporters, donating their staff and alcohol.
The event's signature cocktail was a gin drink called the Wave Maker.
The SSC Making Waves Exhibit
The SSC's Making Waves exhibit was the gala's namesake. Simple, educational, and fun!
Steve Malton experimenting with barriers in the Wave Tank
Steve Malton experiments with barrier placement in the Wave Tank
The SSC's New Ship Models
The SSC unveiled its two new models, titled 200 Years of Ship Design. The models, and supplemental displays, contrast old and new shipbuilding materials and techniques.
The 2022 silent auction was the SSC's biggest and best yet!
Gala-goer inspecting the foil from USA 17
The auction included unique items, like this rudder foil from the 2013 America's Cup
Building One Dining Area with Filled Seats
A "sea of people" filled the dining area.
The SSC Leadership
The SSC Leadership Team
L to R: Jim Hancock, Natalie Corkhill, Victoria Marcus, Jeff Owens, Pip Ziman, Lars Anderson
Gala Volunteers
We want to acknowledge everyone who showed up and chipped in on December 10. These events are always a team effort, where people's small actions add up to make big differences.

Listed in alphabetical order by last name:

Lars Anderson, Martha Blanchfield, Jim Bock, Natalie Corkhill, Charlie Deist, Ros & Nathan de Vries, Jim Hancock, Drake Hayes, Maggie Heilman, Michael Law, Steve Malton, Victoria Marcus, Jeff Owens, Dan Pruzan, Joe Rockmore, Tanya Shore, Will Summers, Preston Thomas, Rick Waltonsmith, Chris Winn, Pip Ziman
Supporting Organizations
More than 30 organizations supported the event, through donations, or as vendors. Most can be found in our 2022 Year in Review email, but a few deserve special recognition here. Tanya Shore and Simcha Sisters were our event planners; the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) provided the venue and bent over backward (Thank You Jack!) to help us; the Treasure Island Museum provided tables, chairs, other furniture, and support; Gold Bar Whiskey provided the signature cocktails; Wilma Lott Catering provided the food; and Woods Beer & Wine provided the beer and wine.
US Sailing & SSC Advisory Committee
We also want to acknowledge US Sailing President, Rich Jepsen, for speaking in support of the SSC during the gala program, and SSC Advisory Committee members, John Arndt (Latitude 38) and Joanna Oren Massey (Lawrence Hall of Science), for attending and supporting the effort.
Expect problems. The problems don't happen while you're thinking, the problems happen when you act.
― John Maxwell
In the News
Gala Videos
This year's Founder's Comments focused on the SSC's Three Pillars of Ocean Stewardship, STEM Education, and Leadership. Ros de Vries recorded the presentation, assembling it into the video above. Click here to play (10:00).
This highlight reel, created by Ros de Vries, captures fun and interesting moments from the event. Click here to play (0:52).
Corporate Anniversary
Articles of Incorporation Legal Document
January 22 marks the completion of the Sailing Science Center's fifth year as a corporation. In 2022 we celebrated the SSC's fifth "birthday," recognized as the day we said "Let's do it!" in a Palo Alto coffee shop. We took ten months from that point to flesh out our plans and build a team, before making it official with the Secretary of State.
This Month's Newsletter Banner
In a juxtaposition of big and small, Reuben Rocci's J/111, Swift Ness, crosses tacks with a Laser during the 2018 Rolex Big Boat Series. Irrespective of your boat's size, much of the joy of sailing comes from the challenge of harmonizing your actions to produce a desired result.
Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Wanted for the Sailing Science Center
SSC Logo - Light Background
Do you have photos to share? The SSC is looking for shots to use on our website, in our newsletter, and elsewhere. Photographer attribution will be given.

The SSC needs volunteers! We especially need volunteers who can staff one-day exhibitions as docents. Training, lunch, and SSC logo polo shirts are provided.

Direct your inquiries to
Leadership Corner - Acting School
A study at Harvard concluded that when people are faced with a chronic lifestyle disease—diabetes, heart disease, smoking, chronic stress—and their doctor says, "Hey look, here's the deal. You really have to change your ways, and if you don't it might kill you," seven out of eight of us would rather die than change.
Graphic of Raised Hands with SSC Logo
The SSC wants to give a big shout to Elizabeth Henderson, who raised her hand in December to volunteer. We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks.
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.




Natalie Corkhill

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