Sailing is nearly a century-old tradition at Club Nautico de San Juan (CNSJ), in Puerto Rico, Now, the launch of a new Sailing Academy in May puts CNSJ in an excellent position to continue to produce future world champion sailors.
“The Sailing Academy provides a platform for young kids and adults to develop into experienced sailors. Eventually, the Academy looks to establish itself as the center of a sailing community in the metropolitan area of Puerto Rico. For the Caribbean, the Sailing Academy is focused on training the next generation of sailors that will compete and represent Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in regional and international regattas,” explains Academy assistant director, Marco Teixidor, an All-American sailor in college and bronze medal winner at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC).
Teixidor reports to Academy director, Pedro Luis Fernandez, who won medals at the CAC and Pan American Games and more recently served as Puerto Rico National Team Sailing Coach during which time his sailors earned six medals, including four gold, at the 2010 and 2014 CAC Games.
CNSJ’s Sailing Academy offers a summer camp and sailing lessons year-round aboard a fleet of 20 Optimists, 20 Lasers, four 420s, and six IC24s.
“The Academy looks to make sailing a more popular sport in Puerto Rico and to increase its participation not only by teaching but also by hosting numerous regattas. To that end, the Academy will look to bid on hosting international championships in the future, such as an Optimist or Laser North Americans. We have everything that is needed: the facilities, resources, experienced staff, and perfect all-year round conditions. The channel right off the Sailing Academy offers flat water conditions perfect for teaching new sailors, while advanced sailors have excellent challenging conditions in the Atlantic Ocean off the El Morro Fort,” says Teixidor.
CNSJ’s new Sailing Academy will serve as the host site for the 2015 Caribbean Dinghy Championships, set for October 17 to 18. This will be the first time that Puerto Rico has hosted this event, which is held under the auspices of the Caribbean Sailing Association and hosted in rotating island venues since its inception in the 1980s.
Many of today’s regional and international sailing champions have grown up and trained at CNSJ. These include sailors such as Raul Rios, who won the 2008 Optimist World Championships and gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 CAC Games, and Juanky Perdomo, who won the 2013 ISAF World Youth Championship in Laser Radials.
“Sailing is and will remain an essential part of Club Náutico de San Juan,” says CNSJ commodore, Alberto Gual Rexach. “Since the beginning of the Club in 1930 we have sponsored and promoted sailing educational initiatives and events. We will continue to support sailing as a basic and important discipline within the nautical scope.”
For more information, visit www.nauticodesanjuan.com/sailingprogram
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.