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YYC Junior Sailors in the Niagara River waters off Old Fort Niagara. (photo by Amy Doyle)
YYC Junior Sailors in the Niagara River waters off Old Fort Niagara. (photo by Amy Doyle)

How about learning to sail this summer?

by jmaloni
Sat, Apr 7th 2012 07:00 am

Submitted by Youngstown Yacht Club

If you know a young person who would like to learn a new sport, why not consider sailing? Sailing is a lifelong sport, and there is no better time to learn it than when you are young.

A great way for a young person to learn sailing is to attend the Youngstown Junior Sailing Foundation's Sailing Program this summer. Any young person between the ages of 7 and 17 is eligible. There are several different programs offered depending upon the student's age, experience, and interest. Besides an emphasis on sailing, the program encourages responsibility, teamwork, and confidence building.

Sailing skills include points of sail, sail trimming, knot tying, steering, and docking. From the Nutshell program sailors can move on to the racing programs if they wish. Although the advanced sailors are encouraged to take racing seriously, the main objective is for all students to have fun.           

There are 33 days of instruction given in two time periods, July 2 to 25 and Aug. 6 to 24. Costs run from $125 for a half-day one-week program, to $695 for the all-day 18-day session.

If a beginning sailor is older, say 14 or 15, he does not need to worry about spending the day on a boat with 7 year olds. That older beginning sailor would be in the program sailing Nutshells and would start off as a Basic and sail with more experienced sailors. On the other hand, younger students, like 7 year olds, would start in small pram sailboats. Those students are carefully observed and are not asked to do anything beyond their abilities.

The Junior Sailing Program started in the 1960s and became prominent in the 70s. Most instructors came up through the Youngstown program and have had hundreds of hours on the water. They must take and pass a CPR program in order to teach. Many graduates from the program have gone on to become accomplished sailors, winning prestigious national events.

Racing is the focus of the more experienced junior sailors and, in that endeavor, the racing team has traveled to many areas on the East Coast and Great Lakes regions. In 2012 racers will travel to Sodus Bay, Put-in-Bay in Ohio, Rochester and Kingston, Ontario.

For more information or an application visit www.yyc.org and look under the junior sailing tab or call the Youngstown Junior Sailing Foundation at 716-745-7230, ext. 10.

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