Kids rig up their sailboats in preparation for some time on the water.

Kids rig up their sailboats in preparation for some time on the water.

Youth take to the seas

Learn to Sail program in Ladysmith

Many kids dream of a life on the high seas.

 

And a program from the Ladysmith Yacht Club is helping many make that dream come true.

 

Christine Devlin, vice-commodore with the club, said their junior yachting program is a great way for youth to learn about sailing, and all the work that comes along with it.

 

The program gives youth a chance to, pardon the pun, dive into the world of sailing and get a better grasp of what is involved.

 

“Definitely knot-tying, safety and the rules of the water,” said Devlin of some of the skills kids learn.

 

“They learn all the basics of sailing and what the different parts of the boat are called and what they do.”

 

The first day and a half are spent in a classroom setting where kids are given the basic before heading out into the harbour.

 

“After that they spend pretty much the entire time on the water.”

 

Once the kids get a little more confidence, the young sailors head into the Transfer Beach area.

“It’s a little more open and there’s a little more wind.”

 

The program, for kids age 9 to 16, wavers in popularity from year to year, with some sessions being sold out and others with barely enough to continue.

 

There are currently six kids enrolled in the Learn to Sail program.

 

“It’s not looking too big this year.”

 

Devlin said an uncertain economy might have to do with fewer junior sailors in the program this year.

 

The club runs four two-week sessions each year. The first one is usually empty, she said, because it starts just after school lets out.

 

The Yacht Club also has an adult program in the summer over certain weekends.

 

For more information on the program, or to sign up, please call the Frank Jameson Community Centre.

 

As for the Yacht Club, Devlin said they currently boast around 130 members.

 

“And we are getting new members all the time.”

 

The club is serving as a good social group, said Devlin and their events have been very popular.