The Coastal and Offshore Recalibration Experience (CORE) is a San Francisco based non-profit organization which aims to help reduce veteran suicide by assisting in the continual and holistic healing process of our nation’s combat-wounded veterans. Through therapeutic activities including sailing, surfing, yoga, art, music, nature retreats and more, the program serves to re-inspire and re-engage the warrior spirit. Sailing and the other activities within CORE allow participating veterans to look beyond their newfound challenges to once again achieve their full potential while also re-establishing the camaraderie and sense of community that has been lost by many since leaving the battlefield. Utilizing both adaptive and conventional sailing vessels and other equipment, CORE is accessible to any veteran, regardless of the nature of their injury. Both peaceful and exhilarating in nature, CORE represents a unique medium which allows veterans to become fully adrenalized in a positive and sustainable setting. Opening participants’ eyes to the endless opportunity that exists in this world, we aim to equip attending veterans with tools that will help them continue to transition into the next stage of their lives, post-injury.
Hosting four sailing clinics in San Francisco Bay in 2012-13 with the help of the East Coast based wounded-veteran non-profit “Hope for the Warriors”, program founders Ronnie Simpson (USMC Infantry Iraq veteran) and Walter Kotecki (Army Airborne Veteran) have taken the knowledge that they learned during those experiences and formed their own non-profit organization; CORE. In addition to our stated mission above, we aim to build a self-sustaining program that will both profoundly benefit veterans of this generation, but also stand ready to work with veterans of future conflicts.
Beginning in May of 2016, CORE began conducting clinics and working with veterans again. In November of 2017, CORE will conduct their first clinic outside of California, when they hold a healing retreat on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii, between November 14-19, 2017.
*CORE is in the final stages of obtaining 501c3 tax-exempt status. As of May 1, 2017 our status is that of a "California non-profit corporation".
Ronnie is a combat-wounded Marine Corps Infantry Iraq war veteran, who turned to sailing in 2008, and has gone on to compete in some of the world’s greatest offshore sailing races. He is now a career sailor and writer who aims to compete on the professional solo sailing circuits in France. He is currently utilizing his GI Bill to achieve a degree in Integrated Multimedia from Hawai’i Pacific University, with a strong focus on sailing media.
Walt is an Army Airborne veteran, Berkeley graduate and devoted father, who operates his own small business in the Bay Area marine industry. Walt is also an avid, accomplished surfer and sailor.
Hartwell is a professional racing sailor who is a veteran of both the America's Cup and 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. A passionate advocate of the sport, Hartwell brings a wealth of sailing knowledge, program management skills and resource opportunities to CORE.