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Antiguan Children Learn to Sail with Jolly Harbours Free Lessons

JHYC’s Youth Sailing Program is now well underway at North Beach, Jolly Harbour. The club’s goal is to provide a structured course covering all aspects of dinghy sailing including basic sailing theory & practice, rigging, capsize drill, helming and single handing.

The young participants receive “Certificates of Achievement” as they progress through the course, and completion of the course will be the instructor’s acknowledgement that they are competent to sail a Laser Dinghy on their own. The enthusiastic, qualified instructor is Tony Isaac who is RYA certified and was with Sunsail for 10 years.

An added feature of the Youth Sailing Program includes free swimming lessons as the participants must be able to swim 25 yards with a buoyancy aid which must be worn at all times on the water. Swalings is generously providing this service in Jolly Harbour, making it very convenient for all involved. Currently, there are 10 children in the dinghy sailing lessons and 12 children in the swimming lessons every Saturday. There is a maximum of 12 children per session and the sessions typically last for 12 weeks.

A recently published Government Draft Proposal indicates that “Sports Yachting” is to become a national sport, and a young Antiguan could be trained to a level where they could represent their nation. JHYC will be coordinating efforts with AYC for further training once the children have graduated from the program.

The Youth Sailing Program is an ambitious undertaking for JHYC and involves effort and contributions in many areas of training, organization, publicity and sponsor support. Generous donations have been made by Swalings, Foredeck Bar and Sign Pro to name a few. The club has been working with several Antiguan youth organizations, but all Antiguan-born children between the ages of eight and 18 are welcome.

For enrolment or further information, contact Pippa Pettingell at 268-722-8468 or e-mail pippapettingell@hotmail.com.

Report submitted by Jolly Harbour Yacht Cub

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