Youth sailing programs to start

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Summer programs for youths at the MDI Community Sailing Center will begin June 18.

A beginning rowing and sailing program for kids ages 6-9 will meet Monday through Friday, from 9-11:45 a.m. The class will offer activities teaching parts of the boat, rowing, knots and Optimist pram rigging. Students will be encouraged to board a sailing Optimist close to the waterfront with an instructor aboard.

A beginner Optimist/Bullseye class, meeting at the same times, will cover more detail on rigging, wind direction identification, steering a sailboat, tacking and jibbing, safety position, “rules of the road,” parts of the sailboat, knots. This group is geared toward students who have only basic skills and would need coaching support to navigate a windward leeward course in light wind.

A class using the center’s Turbo 420s, appropriate for older novices and intermediate sailors, will meet Monday through Thursday, from 8:30-11 a.m. Students will be introduced to sailing small centerboard sloops under main, jib and spinnaker. Skipper-crew teamwork will be emphasized.

A beginner Optimist afternoon class Monday through Friday, from 12:45-3:45 p.m., is designed for students who have previously participated in the morning Optimist classes and are still just “getting comfortable” under sail. Students will be sailing an Optimist by themselves in light to moderate wind conditions and learning to navigate a windward leeward course.

A Bullseye beginner course Monday through Friday, from 12:45-3:45 p.m., is for older beginners and intermediate sailors with the required skills and size/weight to sail/crew independently aboard a 420 dinghy and or a Cape Cod Bullseye.

An Optimist racing team will meet Monday through Thursday, from 1-4:30 p.m. Students will have a primary focus on racing Optimists and also have the opportunity to compete in local and regional regattas.

Older racers will participate in a Turbo 420 racing team, which meets at the same time. Subjects covered will include but are not limited to rigging and tuning for speed, starting techniques, spinnaker and trapeze work, capsize and recovery, sail trim, mark rounding, tactics, rules of racing and team work.


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