Sailors have a good time despite rain

Squalls, doldrums and rain; sailing students braved it all at Jackson’s Beach last week.

By Katie Schmidt
Squalls, doldrums and rain; sailing students braved it all at Jackson’s Beach last week.

Faced with tough weather conditions, the Island Rec/Sailing Foundation Intermediate Sailing Class nevertheless spent the week on the water.

The third in a series of four classes designed to hone young sailors’ racing skills, Intermediate Sailing is geared toward more advanced students ready to face saltwater sailing conditions on Griffin Bay.

At Jackson’s, the students sailed Vanguard-15 sailboats. These 15-footers are fast with a large sail area and a flat hull designed to allow the boats to plane in moderate to heavy winds. They are sailed by two people with two distinct job descriptions: skipper and crew. This meant that students had to learn two roles in the boats and two different sets of strategies for sailing.

Last week, the class had eight students, most of whom have taken sailing classes before.

All week long, they were faced with challenging weather. Plagued by heavy winds, rain, or no wind at all, the class still found ways to have a good time.

Among the highlights for the week was sailing to Fourth of July Beach for a picnic on Thursday, an event called the “destination sail” that the Intermediate class does every year. Another highlight was taking advantage of the light wind on Friday to do barrel roll races, upside down races, and capsizing in the boats.

Robby Miller, one of the students in the class, said, “The destination sail was awesome and I really like sailing the Laser.”

Unfortunately, Advanced Sailing, the class that was intended to follow this one, has been cancelled this summer. However, there will be a team racing class catered to the same students who might have been interested in Advanced Sailing next week at Jackson’s Beach. High school and college sailors on the island will be available to help younger sailors perfect their strategic racing skills.

Every afternoon from 3-6:30 p.m. for the first two weeks of September, Island Rec sailing instructors will help intermediate alumni and any other aspiring young sailors get out on the water a final time this summer.

Students are encouraged to come after school any days that they can.

For more information about the clinic, call Felipe Lopez, 378-3127; or Dez Bridgmon, 378-1015.