Skip to main content

Come Sail Away

03/19/2013 02:14PM, Published by Sandie Tillery, Categories: In Print, Community




story: Sandie Tillery photos: KaraStewartPhotography.com

THE REDDING YACHT CLUB'S MIKE STRAHLE

An eager group of fifth-grade students from Rocky Point Charter School has gathered to learn the principles and pleasures of sailing. Divided into four boats, they call to each other with delight, clinging tightly to the port or starboard of the hull as they glide through the water. Mike Strahle sits at the stern of his Sonar racer, harnessed into an adaptive skipper seat (his own design) that allows him to steer the boat while his crew tends to the sails. Keeping the traveler line loose and the mainsheet line taut, the mainsail billowing and the jib standing out, they run with the cool winter breeze on a rare clear day in late January.

Strahle has completed the dry land lesson after inquisitive minds have been challenged and the basic nautical nomenclature covered. Members of Redding Yacht Club and friends of Strahle’s Wounded Warrior Sailing organization have loaded the students into boats of varying sizes and styles for a giddy trip across Whiskeytown Lake. With warnings to “stay below the boom,” the crews tack and jibe to catch the wind. Lessons continue on the water as sailors demonstrate maneuvers and curious learners probe for more understanding. According to Strahle, “This is a perfect day.”

Strahle defines success as “waking up with a desire, something to look forward to each day.” It seems simple enough, but his daily choice has become a conscious lifestyle after a downhill skiing accident in his early 20s smacked him hard and altered everything. His epiphany came during a breakthrough moment in rehab when he couldn’t get his food to his mouth. Just as his frustration overwhelmed him, he remembered the young man sitting next to him in the cafeteria whose mother would always have to feed him. He thought about how lucky he was instead of how limited. The moment changed his perspective. He now focuses on what he can do. Ever since, he says he “squeezes some kind of enjoyment out of every day.”

The day after leaving rehab, Strahle was set up and ready to sail with help from friends and his three brothers. He grew up in the Redding area sailing with his family at Whiskeytown Lake. He decided to enjoy it again with all his energy. A quadriplegic paralyzed from the neck down, Strahle has some control of his arms but no grip in his hands. His difficulties during that sailing experience launched his first invention, called a trapseat, with the help of a local mechanic who welded a frame to support a custom seat, one of many that have evolved over time. The adaptive skipper seat, specially designed for his Sonar, keeps Strahle safely harnessed with hand grips that allow him to control the rudder. He can easily be transferred with the help of friends from the new handicapped accessible dock at Brandy Creek Marina.

Strahle and his brother Carl have traveled as far as Florida, British Columbia and Australia with their boats to compete in U.S. and international sailing competitions over the past 20 years. Strahle enjoys retelling the exploits of those thrilling adventures which have earned him several world championship trophies, including the 2002 World ISAF Sailing Championship and fourth place in the 2000 and 2004 Sonar class U.S. Paralympics trials. His most recent jaunt with Carl took them to Lake Havasu, Ariz., in November for the historic International Hobie Class Association-sanctioned North American Trapseat Championship.

Wounded Warriors Sailing, doing business as the Redding Yacht Club, now occupies much of Strahle’s energies. He founded the nonprofit organization in 2007 to provide access for the community, including elders, youngsters and people with disabilities, to affordable sailing opportunities. The club provides group and private sailing lessons from basic to advanced, access to a fleet of boats for members for day sailing on Whiskeytown Lake, and also offers open membership in a family-friendly community of sailors. A family membership costs $150 for the year. Events scheduled from April through October include regattas, barbecues and kids’ camps. The organization focuses on promoting Shasta County as a travel destination for sailors with disabilities and raising funds to install accessible docks at all major North State lakes.

Strahle recently earned his master’s degree in communication studies from Chico State University. He hopes to repeat the recent “perfect day” at the lake with many more groups of students and adults. As he shares his story and teaches sailing, people see his skills and passion well before they notice anything else. With the underpinning of the Wounded Warrior Sailing organization, he hopes to find opportunities to speak, write grants and encourage others to “look forward to each day.”

The sailing season has arrived. Check out Redding Yacht Club and Wounded Warriors Sailing at reddingyachtclub.org.



profile


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Redding Rancheria's State of the Tribe Luncheon

    05/24/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Join us Wednesday, May 24th at Win River Resort & Casino's Event Center beginning 11:30 am for Re...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    05/24/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Weaverville Farmers' Market

    05/24/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Weaverville Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm from May through October! tr...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Pints with Purpose

    05/25/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Wildcard wants to highlight some of the amazing community leaders and non-profits taking our comm...


  • A Taste of History

    05/25/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    The Shasta Historical Society's annual fundraiser and social event. This year will feature live m...


  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will be having a public scoping meeting and open house in re...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Ranger-guided Activities Offered on Memorial Day Weekend Whiskeytown National Recreation Area...


  • 53rd Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta

    05/27/2017
    10:30AM — 06:00PM

    The Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta is a two-day sailing race that brings competitors from far and w...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    05/27/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Healthy Eating and Being Active Class

    05/29/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Looking for FREE classes on tips for healthy eating and being active? Then this is for you! Cla...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/24/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Redding Rancheria's State of the Tribe Luncheon

    05/24/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Join us Wednesday, May 24th at Win River Resort & Casino's Event Center beginning 11:30 am for Re...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    05/24/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Weaverville Farmers' Market

    05/24/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Weaverville Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm from May through October! tr...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/25/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Pints with Purpose

    05/25/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Wildcard wants to highlight some of the amazing community leaders and non-profits taking our comm...


  • A Taste of History

    05/25/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    The Shasta Historical Society's annual fundraiser and social event. This year will feature live m...


  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will be having a public scoping meeting and open house in re...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Ranger-guided Activities Offered on Memorial Day Weekend Whiskeytown National Recreation Area...


  • 53rd Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta

    05/27/2017
    10:30AM — 06:00PM

    The Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta is a two-day sailing race that brings competitors from far and w...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    05/27/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Healthy Eating and Being Active Class

    05/29/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Looking for FREE classes on tips for healthy eating and being active? Then this is for you! Cla...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Senior Health & Fitness Day

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    Shingletown Medical Center Presents 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day® The Shi...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    05/31/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Weaverville Farmers' Market

    05/31/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Weaverville Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm from May through October! tr...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    06/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch Spotify for t...


  • The Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber Certified Farmers' Markets open June 3rd! All farmers and ve...


  • Join Tangle Blue Saloon and The B.A.M.T. Coalition for Fun Times for the 2nd annual Trinity Celti...


  • Mountain Wintu Herbs Class

    06/03/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Learn how to make: Fire Infusion* (Cider) w/Turmeric When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 Time: 10 a...


  • Saturday, June 3rd, The Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used books in the...


  • CityConnect 2017

    06/03/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    CityConnect is a free event for all ages to make connections and become a part of the solutions f...


  • Reggae Fest 3

    06/03/2017
    04:00PM — 10:00PM

    Come enjoy live music, dancing, fun for kids, local food and community vendors, beer garden and m...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    06/03/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    06/03/2017
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card!

 

 

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors