By John Grimaldi
A pair of Huntington Station brothers are planning to set sail from the Centerport Yacht Club with 140 veterans and their family members later this month as part of their nonprofit organization.
Sean, 17, and Kilian Duclay, 19, both of Huntington Station, and avid sailors, founded nonprofit SailAhead in 2013 as a means to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and to provide veterans a form of therapy in sailing.
“We heard this absurd statistic that 22 veterans were committing suicide daily,” said Sean, who is set to enter his senior year at Walt Whitman High School. “It’s insane. They sacrifice so much only to come home and take their own lives.”
Sean said that he and his brother wanted to help remedy that by hosting annual events, such as the second annual “Let’s Take a Veteran Sailing” event, which is slated for July 30.
A fleet of 41 boats are primed to set sail that day as part of the four-hour event. Boats will be packed with registered veterans of Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244.
“It’s always more fun to sail with friends,” Sean said.
SailAhead provides sailing opportunities for all veterans through all seasons and weather conditions. Sean said the organization has also partnered with the Northport Yacht Club and South Bay Cruising Club. By the end of 2016, projects indicate that SailAhead will have taken over 1,000 veterans sailing.
For more information, visit Sailahead.org.
With additional reporting by Andrew Wroblewski