Courses help kids to go aboard


March 27, 1994|By NANCY NOYES

The first spring breezes are blowing, and hopefully the last of the snow is behind us, so it's time to think about summer sailing programs for kids.

Some young sailors already are on the water, in Annapolis Yacht Club's and Severn Sailing Association's after-school programs for teens, but for youngsters 6-17, there are plenty of options for summer fun, sail training and safety education. The entry deadline for the club programs already is upon us.

The first step for any parents interested in a summer junior program is to talk with the junior sailing representative from their yacht club, or to contact other parents whose children have taken part in junior programs.

It's important to understand your child's level of interest and commitment to learnhow to sail to select the program that will satisfy the child without subjecting him or her to too much pressure.

For serious young sailors interested in a summer's worth of instruction, training not only in the basics of sailing and water safety, but also in competitive skills, some clubs offer multi-week programs, primarily from late June to early August.

They include the Annapolis Yacht Club, Severn Sailing Association and Cape St. Claire Yacht Club, and many clubs will accept non-members' children as space allows.

Some clubs, such as the Magothy River Sailing Association, offer sessions during a week or two, which still offer a chance to learn on the water in a fun environment. MRSA's program runs June 20-July 1.

Virtually all of the summer programs offer a chance to complete the required instruction and take the test for a certificate of completion now required for young boaters under state law.

Contacts for these club programs include Rob Shapiro at Annapolis YC, (410) 263-9279; Charlotte Robinson at Severn SA, (410) 268-8744 or (410) 269-6744; Marsha Law, Cape St. Claire YC, (410) 544-6613; and Bud and Nancy Elsaesser, Magothy River SA, (410) 544-9781.

Commercial youth sailing programs are available from operations such as Annapolis Sailing School's Kid Ship operation and Chesapeake Sailing School's Kids on Boats.

The Kid Ship fleet consists of Hobie One-Design 14-foot, 12-foot and 9-foot dinghies.

These boats are fast, responsive and are a comfortable size for small hands.

Kid Ship offers a two-day weekend beginner course as well as a variety of weekday schedules that are meant to be flexible enough to fit any youngster's summer schedule.

There's also a Kid Club that allows graduates to return for supervised practice at reduced rates throughout the summer.

Ten- or 15-day membership offers include any basic course plus additional instructional days in skill clinics, introductory windsurfing and regatta races with parents as crew.

For more information on Kid Ship, call (410) 267-7205 or 1 (800) 638-9192.

For this year's Chesapeake Sailing School Kids on Boats program, the boats to be used are Expo Solar Sailers, with a color-coded sail trim system designed to make sailing easy to learn.

Among the course offerings are three-day basic and advanced courses, five-day basic and advanced, and a five-day, half-day program.

Times are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended child care available from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Courses will be held primarily on Harness Creek, based off the docks at Quiet Waters Park, although sessions on Back Creek near the school's Port Annapolis headquarters also are available.

The school also will offer training in Lasers and Optimists for young sailors who are headed for programs in these boats at other junior sailing programs, such as the one at Severn Sailing Association.

For information on the CSS Kids on Boats program, call Bruce Krause, Dick Lean or Winston Kinard at the Chesapeake Sailing School, (410) 269-1594.

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