2009 Youth sailing report
Wow! What a fabulous bunch of youth sailors we have at CLSA!
This year’s youth sailing program is off to a great start. Last week we completed our season-opening camp and instruction programs with another record crowd. For the rest of the summer- look out adults – there are some very astute young sailors on the water!
Our teens started our program this year, arriving on Saturday to spend a long day working on technical skills – both on the water and off. On Sunday morning we concentrated on racing tactics and strategy, new rules, and then all of them took their places on the race course – some as crew on larger boats and some in their own lasers. With a firm breeze, there was lots of opportunity for learning to be had by all. We recapped the race experiences on Sunday evening with coaching and self critiques. On Monday the entire team moved into Thistles to learn teamwork and other technical skills involved in sailing 3 person boats. To make it exciting Mother Nature provided winds that slowly built all day until they reached 22 mph. All of our teens experienced planing and some exciting tacks and jibes!
On Tuesday our youth councilors arrived at camp to meet with the adult leaders for a day dedicated to boat maintenance, team building, and lesson planning. These youth participated in a mini-US Sailing instructor clinic and then worked on their lesson assignments to teach to our youth sailors.
Tuesday evening we were joined by 26 youth sailors – including 18 pram sailors and 8 sunfish sailors. And the best part . . . 18 of these youth had never sailed before! Talk about some exciting times on the water . . .
Wednesday we all passed our safety training, including a quick dip at the beach (temps were only in the mid 60’s) followed by another quick dip in the harbor for the annual capsize drill. Even with all these new sailors the experience was outstanding! And then . . . the very exciting ‘first sail’. With so many new sailors on the water, and in winds that were over 10 mph, our councilors were working hard – every one of them (including Mr. Pete) ended up on sunfish or in a pram with some of our youth to help build confidence. We started with some scared looks, but ended with smiles all around as the flotilla figured out that sailing really is fun! Going for the quick win, as soon as they were all smiling we aimed the pirates for shore for some hot chocolate and warming up by the fire!
During the rest of the week the sailors continued to build sailing skills, confidence, and friendships. By Friday afternoon our traditional sail to the beach was a ‘breeze’( the Westerly wind direction might have helped just a bit!)
Friday night was jeopardy, and true to tradition, the nonadults managed to lose again (although there are rumors that Alex may have adjusted a few answers and scores).
Bottom line – what a wonderful time! And along the way we managed to learn a few skills, make some new friends, and get certified by US Sailing as small boat sailors.
Thanks to all the parents and families and the club membership for your support of CLSA Junior sailing! Now it is time to look out for and support these youth as they join us on the water. Some of them may be racing in their own boats, and others will be crewing and coaching Mom and Dad in the family boat – either way – they are hooked!