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BCYC - Sailing Training


The BCYC provides training for its young sailors every Saturday at 9:00 to ~10:30 in July and August on the beach down at Lands End. Most of the training uses the Optimist dingy of which the club owns 2 while many other families have their own. Very beginning sailors can watch from the beach to get a feeling for the craft, try by themselves while on a teather in the shallows, or can ride along with a more experienced child. Everyone participating in the program gets a participation award at the end of the season.

Optimists are small craft so some kids find it hard to fit physically in the boat. When they are ready, sailors may graduate to the Sunfish to get experience handling the bigger and faster boats. When they are ready they then can start racing in the Junior races at 10:00 with an adult crew or by themselves if they are able. In addition to the sailing, additional topics will be discussed including: boat rigging, rules of the road (for general sailing and racing), and basic sailing knots. Even more experienced young sailors can learn valuable lessons.

Over 150,000 young people in over 110 countries learn to sail in the Optimist dinghy. It is the only dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16 years of age. Over 50% of the skippers at the Athens Olympics in 2004 were former Optimist sailors.

Although many people are involved in the training program, BCYC would like to especially thank Kitty Benton for starting the weekly youth sailing training program. It is her energy which has translated into the continued interest in the sailing and racing by the club kids.

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