Summer Sailing School 2024

Sailing Lessons for Children and Youth ages 9 to 19

Welcome to Salt Spring Island’s Sailing School! We offer summer sailing camps in July and August for youth ages 9 – 19 interested in developing strong sailing skills and having a lot of fun.

Our Sailing school offers safe instruction by Sail Canada trained and certified instructors. Classes introduce basic sailing skills, develop existing skills in a safe and fun environment.

There is no requirement to be a member of the Saltspring Island Sailing Club to take part in lessons. Our sailing school is organized by the local community. Priority will be given to local residents. Applicants from outside the Southern Gulf Islands will be placed on a waiting list and admitted as space allows.

We offer two programs: The Opti Program and the Dinghy Program. The Opti Program is designed for younger sailors using Optimist boats which are the most widely used sailing dinghy in the world and excellent for smaller sized sailors. The Dinghy Program is designed for teens who are large enough to safely sail our fleet of 420 and Zest boats. Both programs are full day programs and provide sailors with the opportunity to complete Sail Canada’s CANSail levels at their own pace and with support from skilled instructors. Please see course descriptions below.

How to choose a sailing program:

Matching sailors with the appropriate boat and course for their body size is important for safety and to creating an enjoyable camp experience for everyone.

Please follow the guidelines below when registering your child.

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Sailors who are at the weight and height criteria may be considered for the Dinghy Program even if they are underage. Please contact the Sailing School for more information.

Does your child require specialized instruction or attention?

If Yes, please contact the Sailing School to discuss.

If No, please continue with registration.

Course Descriptions

CANSAIL OPTIMIST PROGRAMS (Ages 9-12)

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All Optimist programs are one week courses. Classes run from 9 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday (unless otherwise noted).

The Opti Basic and Intermediate courses provide opportunity for attaining CANSail levels, but some sailors may need to take the program twice to achieve the level.

The Opti programs are taught in the Optimist boat.

Opti Basic (ages 9-12)

Basic sailing course for new sailors or those with limited sailing experience. Children will learn safety, crewing, steering and seamanship. Sailors have the opportunity to complete their CANSail 1.

Opti Intermediate (ages 9-12)

Pre-req: CANSail 1

Opti Intermediate continues to develop their skills in the Optimist dinghy as single-handed sailors. Sailors have the opportunity to complete their CANSail 2 and some may take this course twice to complete the level.

Opti Advanced (ages 9-12)

Pre-req CANSail 2

Opti Advanced is for the confident Opti sailor who want to learn how to sail fast. We will be introducing elements of racing, sportsmanship and teamwork.
Sailors have the opportunity to complete their CANSail 3.

Opti Racing (ages 9-12)

Pre-req CANSail 1

A week to focus on strengthening racing skills. This is a recommended course for Opti Race Team members and those preparing for fall regattas.

CANSAIL DINGHY PROGRAMS (Ages 12-19)

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Our sailors use 420s and Zests and may be sailing single-handed or double-handed.

Dinghy Intro – 1 week

An introductory sailing course for first-time sailors or those with limited sailing experience that provides the essential skills for on water safety, technical knowledge, and practical ability. No prior sailing experience is required.

Sailors in this course have the opportunity to complete their CANSail 1 level. Some may need to take this course twice to complete the level.

Basic – CANSail 2 – 2 weeks

Pre-req: CANSail 1, intro or equivalent sailing ability

For somewhat experienced sailors. Over a two-week period, sailors will be introduced to a variety of basic and intermediate single-handed sailing skills in the 420. Sailors in this course have the opportunity to complete their CANSail 2 level.

Intermediate/Advanced CANSail 3 & 4 – 2 weeks

Pre-req: CANSail 2 or CANSail 3

Sailors build on existing skills in all types of conditions. An introduction to elements of racing and a greater understanding of how sails work and how a sailboat moves in a 420. It is recommended that sailors take this course twice in order to achieve both CANSail 3 and 4 sailing levels.

Intermediate/Advanced CANSail 3 & 4 – 2 weeks

Pre-req: CANSail 2 or CANSail 3

Sailors build on existing skills in all types of conditions. An introduction to elements of racing and a greater understanding of how sails work and how a sailboat moves in a 420 dinghy. It is recommended that sailors take this course twice in order to achieve both CANSail 3 and 4 sailing levels.

Race CANSail 5 & 6 – 2 weeks

Pre-req: CANSail 4 or CANSail 5

Race incorporates the higher level racing and sailing skills. Focus is on integrating boat handling and fast sailing skills with fun. Centered around the training camp atmosphere, sailors will refine advanced sailing skills and learn tactics, strategy, racing basics and regatta preparation.

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Cancellation Policy:  A cancellation fee of $50 will be charged on cancelled registrations. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than 14 days before the course start date.

For more information, contact the Sailing School Coordinator.

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