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Prime Time for Youth Sailing

“Starboard!” Kids will be learning to sail all over the Bay this summer. Seen here are young salts from Tiburon YC.

© Pat Lopez

Summer’s here and the time is right for . . . youth sailing. Here in the Bay Area there are dozens of opportunities for kids as young as 9 to take a break from TV and video games and enjoy some healthy outdoor fun on the water.

You’ll find them all listed in the 2009 Sailing Calendar and YRA Master Schedule, which is produced each year by Latitude 38.

While there is a cost to most programs, organizers do their best to make youth access to sailing as affordable as possible, and many programs offer scholarships. With only a few exceptions, you do not have to own a boat. A case in point is the Tiburon YC’s Opti program (June 27 through August 23) which is now taking sign-ups for kids 8 to 13. Started last year with a fledgling fleet, Youth Sailing Director Pat Lopez has just added 10 brand new boats.

A typical day begins at 10:00 a.m. with a short chalk talk to go over the day’s lessons with a coach, followed by a morning sailing session within the Paradise Cay area and out on the Bay. After lunch at the clubhouse there’ll be an afternoon sailing session, then young salts will de-rig, wash down and debrief the day’s progress with coaches. Sounds like a lot more fun than watching cartoons all day on the boob tube. Contact Pat for details on Tiburon’s program — (415) 435-3650 or  (415) 272-6222 — or see the full list of offerings online for an opportunity close to your home. We strongly advise you not to procrastinate on signing up, as all programs have limited availability. The time is right for a new generation of sailors to discover the joys of sailing on the Bay!

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