Those of you that have been following the progress of this film will have noticed by now that Racing to Rio has been a Clearwater community collaboration from it’s inception. When Brad Kendell learned to sail, it was off the beautiful blue coast of Clearwater beach. When the USA 1 Sonar team meets and trains together, they sail out from the Clearwater Yacht Club. When Brad Kendell’s Never Say Never Pirate camp convenes in the summer, the kids all report for sailing lessons at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. When Racing to Rio’s film committee meets to discuss important developments and to plan fundraising events, we meet at the Clearwater Yacht Club.
Many of these establishments are integral to maintaining the community bonds that keep Clearwater so connected. It is because of organizations like the Clearwater Yacht Club that projects like Racing to Rio are able to find success. Because this organization has been and continues to be instrumental both in the filming of this movie and to Brad’s campaign, the sport of sailing and it’s dedicated competitors will be able to impact and inspire people from not only the Saint Petersburg and Clearwater areas, but also people from all over the globe.
We would like to make a personal shout out to Tom Brusini, General Manager at the Clearwater Yacht Club, for all of his generous support during the making of this film. As a committee member, he committed much of his time to both hosting and attending our initial meetings. As an ambassador for CYC, Tom has welcomed the Racing to Riocrew members onto his property,
Our eleven-person Racing to Rio production crew reported for day two of official duty yesterday morning as Brad Kendell’s Never Say Never Pirate Campers arrived at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for the first day of camp. While the campers learned the ropes from Brad – everyone’s favorite world-class sailor – our crew was standing by to capture the moments that help to create new champions.
Brad’s Never Say Never Pirate Camp aims to incite a love for sailing in disabled youth from all over the country. Brad firmly believes that the skills he acquired through the sport of sailing have helped him to better cope with the daily challenges that he faces having lost both of his legs. His hope is to share this attitude with others and to inspire these youths to turn their challenges into their strengths.
Since day one, the production of Racing to Rio has been fortunate enough to have an incredibly motivated group of people behind it. From the initial committee meeting, to our wonderfully successful VIP Sponsorship event – and every day in between – the hard work of our committee members, full-time staff, interns and our gracious volunteers has proved indispensable to this production.
Today was day one in the office for our team of interns. We are hard at work turning this inspiring story of personal progress into a publicly recognized sailing legacy. While Brad Kendell and his team of USA 1 Paralympic sailors are tirelessly training to bring home the gold, we are filling out sponsorship applications and making phone calls to potential supporters of this film. All thanks to Brad, we are learning for ourselves the importance of working on a winning team!
On behalf of the Racing to Rio production crew, I just want to offer a big THANK YOU to everyone who has put forward their time and effort to get this film off the ground! This is a remarkable story of triumph and empowerment and it certainly deserves to be heard. Thank you for helping to make it happen!
Racing to Rio is far more than the journey of a few elite athletes striving for world records, gold medals and personal bests. Racing to Rio is the story of transformation from individuals overcoming personal challenges to become world-class sailors and heroes who inspire others to face their challenges and live life to the fullest through the sport of sailing. Racing to Rio is literally about Brad Kendell's journey to the Paralympics in Rio 2016, but also serves on a larger scale as a metaphor for all people who face challenges and how they can take on life to win their own "races" by being the best they can be.