Youth taking their “Optimist-class” training dinghies out on the water at Coopers Cove.

Youth taking their “Optimist-class” training dinghies out on the water at Coopers Cove.

Local sailing program puts wind in the sails of youth

The Sooke Sailing Association is back this year with a revised sailing program for kids.

Who says adults get to have all the fun out on the water? The Sooke Sailing Association is back with two new summer sailing camps for youth aged 6 to 14, so time to put down those game controllers and pick up the paddles.

Running into its fourth year, the SSA will have run two courses; one runs July 27-31 for beginners and intermediate young sailors, and the second course runs from Aug 3 to 7 for intermediate-to-advanced participants.

So far, the program is filled up about half-way, so space is limited, notes Gord Fulcher, SSA president, who pointed out that the SSA will be running independently from BC Sailing’s MOSS (Mobile Optimist Sailing School) program, a first for the local organization. Still, he said there are enough boats and qualified instructors to go around.

The boats themselves are seven and-a-half foot sailing dinghies with flat bottom square hulls — not particularly fast, Fulcher said, but they’re really good for learning the necessary skills in and getting that confidence the kids need.

“These kids are sailing on their own within the first day or two, and the younger ones can be teamed up; they’re usually more comfortable with two in the boat,” he said, adding that there are two instructors running the program, with several certified volunteers helping out.

The kids learn all the terminology too; not just the usual “poop deck” stuff, but the sailing lingo that will actually help their performance out the water.

“The focus is safety and fun, and the skills just come along,” Fulcher said, adding that by mid-week, the kids learn learn how to tip over the boat and rise it again on their own.

“That’s a huge step in their development, learning that they can go into the water and still get the boat back up and continue sailing,” he said. “Once that happens, they lose all their fear of the water and concentrate more on the sailing.”

The program sets sail from Coopers Cove (near Stickleback restaurant) and will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The majority of the lessons will be hands on with skills warm ups in the mornings, lunch break then back out on the water.

The program will also run in partnership with Rush Adventures who will be supplying their kayaks as well as their expertise throughout the course.

“Rush Adventures has been a great help – we want to integrate with them so we can have sailing and real kayaking instruction. Right now the kayaks we have available are flat open kayaks the kids use if they’re just tired of sailing, so they go in the kayaks and play around for a bit.”

Fultcher pointed out that some of the advanced kids will sign up for both the intermediate and advanced camps, so they can help with kids new to sailing.

The second week is for advanced, that’s to work more on their racing skills. those kids will go out in the basin when the weather’s stable and have them sailing out in the open water.

Training includes water and boating safety, launching, docking, steering, balancing, basics like wind speed and direction, leaving and returning to the dock and different points of sail — some of which are taught both on and off the water.

But it’s not just the kids who get to have fun though; the year-round Sooke Sailing Co-op 2015 program is in full swing at Mariners Village Marina in Sooke.

The idea behind this adult program is a cooperative ownership of boats for the purpose of training, day sailing and cruising for adults and families. Each member pays an annual fee and also contributes time towards maintenance, administration or social events. It also gives curious non-sailors an opportunity to learn more about sailing and boating in general.

“We are there for people that want to learn how to sail, want to improve on their skills on the water, maintaining a boat, learning what is involved in owning a boat and want to be able to all this at an affordable price,” noted Fulcher, adding they try and sail two nights a week and on weekends — either come for a sail for $30 a person or $50 per family and check it out.

Those who want to register for the youth sailing program, go to moss.checklick.com or for more information on the program go to www.sookesailing.com or www.bcsailing.bc.ca.

You can also contact Gord Fulcher at 778-425-4030 for more info on all Sooke Sailing Association events, as well as visit www.sookesailingcoop.com.

 

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read