In Coronado, “happy people sail.” That’s the motto of the Coronado Yacht Club, whose goal is to get everyone in Coronado into the water. Since 1932, when six yachtsmen leased a section of the Hotel del Coronado Boat House and invited members to join, Coronado has had a strong connection to sailing.
Coronado Yacht Club currently serves 899 members as well as a junior division. Regular junior sailing programs take place to teach kids even as young as six to be comfortable on the water. The Junior program, which serves more than 375 kids, strives to operation a safe and organized sailing program and promote sailing as a lifelong activity. It aims to teach youth to maintain and be responsible for themselves and their equipment as well as instill teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship.
The junior program’s mission is to instill an abiding respect and love for sailing and the Corinthian ideals of achievement and sporting conduct. Many of CYC’s junior graduates have gone on to achieve many great accomplishments, including Olympic gold medal winners Robbie Haines and Ed Trevelyn. A number of their graduates also have gone on to the U.S. Sailing Team and the America’s Cup.
Sailing is an extremely advantageous activity for kids and offers many benefits. It increases self-confidence and helps kids (and adults) develop a greater sense of spatial awareness. A sense of direction, weather knowledge and attention to the care of the boat and equipment are other takeaways for kids who develop sailing knowledge.
This spring, several private and group sailing instruction opportunities will be offered. Sabot sailing, which is geared toward kids 8-12 years old, offer a challenging experience and help prepare sailors for more advanced boats and techniques. Sabot sailing instruction ranges from Bronze level, which is intended for kids with little to no sailing experience, to Sabot C3, which is an introductory racing class.
Laser and Laser Radial sailing teaches more advanced sailors who have mastered the sabot and are looking for a faster, more challenging experience on the water.
Spring sailing classes are offered once a week from February 17-May 8. Registration is currently open and can be completed online at www.CoronadoYC.org. Private lessons are also available and can be split up between 4 kids, for a minimum of 2 hours.
Summer instruction also offers the above classes plus a youngster program, Scallywags, geared toward six year olds. It emphasizes fun and safety on the water and even includes a Pirate day and a trip to Stingray point. Summer registration begins in March.
“Sailing is unique. It really forces kids to be independent,” said Becky Nygren, Director of Junior Sailing at Coronado Yacht Club. “We don’t let 8 year olds drive but they can sail. It’s a really cool challenge.”
Coronado Yacht Club also offers sailing scholarships for first time sailors, with a preference given to those in 5th grade. Prospective scholarship recipients are asked to share how sailing will benefit them. Coronado Yacht Club strives to award scholarships regularly throughout the year, and raises funds to do so through monthly fundraising dinners and from donations from CYC members to the Coronado Maritime Foundation. This past week, CYC hosted a dinner that raised $2,800 for scholarships, as well as funds to defray the costs for boat maintenance and coaching.
Coronado Yacht Club is also host to the Coronado High School Sailing Team, which competes both regionally and nationally. The CHS sailing team is represented at regattas at the varsity and JV levels and has placed in the top 10 at National Championships three times since 2011.
Says Nygren, “Kids come here to have fun and to be a part of something fun. They’re creating happy lifetime memories.”
In addition to spring and summer instruction, Coronado Yacht Club hosts regular events including fundraiser dinners, family nights and regattas. And in August 2016, CYC will host the U.S. Sailing Youth National Championships for the first time.
Additional upcoming events include Family Pasta and Movie Night on February 15th from 4-8 p.m. CYC’s special Wednesday night events include Maine Lobster Night (February 11), Trivia Night (February 18) and Prime Rib Night (February 25). Guests do not have to be a member of CYC to attend. Additional event information can be found online.
For more information about the junior sailing program at CYC, visit www.CoronadoYC.com.
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