Champion for the Sea

December 2018
Combining a love for the ocean with a love of sailing

regattas, sailing, youth sailor, optis

What happens when you spend all your time on the water and you witness first hand the negative effects humans have on the ocean?

It makes sense that you would do everything you could to solve those problems in any way imaginable. This is exactly what 8th grader Harvey DeMovick from Pine Point School in Stonington, Connecticut started doing at a very early age. Harvey has been passionate about the ocean and all the marine life that exists below the surface since attending Sea School at the Mystic Aquarium at the age of 4.

titanic, Robert Ballard, youth sailor

At the time, Harvey’s hero was Dr. Robert Ballard, an underwater archeologist most well known for his discovery of the HMS Titanic in 1985. When Harvey was very young, he had the opportunity to meet Dr. Ballard and Harvey recalls discussing tubeworms and other deep-sea discoveries with the world-renowned scientist.

A few years later, Harvey began sailing on his own and at a very high competitive level. His career began when he was six years old in Westerly, Rhode Island and he settled on mastering the Opti. A year later, Harvey won his first trophy. At age eight, he joined the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association and made a name for himself by sailing at all the local yacht clubs no matter how hard the wind was blowing. Harvey had many accomplishments over the years, including placing 1st in the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association for the 2017 season.

youth sailor, opti, competitive sailing

In 2018, Harvey decided to use his talents and time sailing to support Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization dedicated to educating and supporting sailors to make a difference in the world. Harvey was competing at a high level and was participating in many races in local and national regattas. He decided to use his time on the water to help raise money and awareness for every race he competed in. By the end of the 2018 season, Harvey had raised over $4,500 for Sailors for the Sea with over 50 sponsors.

Harvey has now competed in several national regattas with some of the best Opti sailors from around the United States. This past November, Harvey competed in the USODA: 2018 Allstate Optimist Midwinter Championship in New Orleans and placed 34th out of 236 competitors. Harvey’s performance earned him an invitation to join the United States Optimist National Team. Since then Harvey and 14 of his teammates have been selected to represent the United States at the 30th International Palamos Optimist Championship in Catalonia, Spain in February 2019.

sail racing, opti, youth sailor

In addition to sailing, Harvey is working hard at school. The theme for this year’s curriculum is about sustainability, and the food and water we consume. Harvey will continue to raise money for Sailors for the Sea by asking his classmates to give to this organization and be conscientious about how every day plastics can affect the oceans. As he gains recognition for his efforts on the racecourse, he hopes to send a message about preserving the place he loves to spend his time.

Take Action

You can make a difference. Follow these steps to create a positive future for the ocean.

Take Action
  • Reduce single-use plastics in your life. Plastic bags, straws, water bottles and flatware can easily blow away and end up in the waters we all love to recreate on. And all of these items can be replaced with reusable ones. 
  • Spread your passion for protecting the ocean and why it’s important to make sustainable changes in your everyday life to your family, friends and classmates.
  • Donate to Sailors for the Sea to help educate and activate the sailing and boating community toward improving ocean health.