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Stockton Sail Camp a Success

Eighty kids enjoyed learning on Stockton’s warm, fresh waters.

© 2009 Peter Allen

A week after hosting 35 boats worth of young-at-heart sailors in the Delta Doo Dah, Stockton Sailing Club members recuperated enough to play host to another group of 80 sailors who acted like kids — for good reason: they were kids!

Parents and kids alike got in on the action.

© 2009 Peter Allen

Sponsored by SSC, Richmond YC and Santa Cruz YC, the annual Stockton Sail Camp ran July 12-18, teaching kids (ages 8-14) of all experience levels, from Novice to Advanced, on Optis and El Toros.

Several experience levels were represented, from Novice to Advanced, which meant everyone had a great time.

© 2009 Peter Allen

Days started early with breakfast at 7 a.m. By 9:30, the kids were sailing, having already participated in "chalk talk" classes. After lunch, a second "chalk talk" session allowed them to digest their food before heading back to the boats for the afternoon.

Once back at the docks for the day, "life jacket tests" — which we can only assume means getting shoved in the water by your new best buds — were apparently pretty popular. Each evening featured a different activity, from Movie Night to ‘Root Beer’ Can Races to skits to model boat races to a dance. After a day like that, it’s a sure bet that most kids were asleep before lights out at 9:30 p.m. The camp culminated in the Junior El Toro NA Championship Regatta (click here for results).

West Marine’s Chuck Hawley taught the kids how to properly heave a line.

© 2009 Peter Allen
Stockton SC’s lawn became a tent city to accommodate all the campers.

© 2009 Wayne Craig

Camps such as these are a great way to introduce kids to the sport of sailing, as well as helping them meet new friends and spend quality time outdoors. But it’s not just the kids who got out of the house. "The great thing about this camp," said Novato’s Tim Stapleton, "is that it’s almost completely volunteer-run. From instructing to cooking, the parents do it all!" 

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