Tacoma Yacht Club offers junior sailing lessons in July and August

The Tacoma Yacht Club will offer its two-week junior sailing program in July and August.

The club has been providing sailing lessons at its Wollochet Bay location for more than 25 years, said Margaret Paterson, one of the organizers for the club. The instructors are certified by U.S. Sailing and the program uses U.S. Sailing instructional materials.

Participants will be taught seamanship and sailing skills at four skill levels, Paterson said.

This summer, the club is accepting students ages 10-15 who are considered independent boaters and could be in a small sailboat by themselves, she said. Students will be placed with instructors and in groups depending upon their level of skill and ability regardless of age.

The program’s level of instruction include:

Novice: This is for students relatively new to sailing. They will start in Optimist class boats and later in our 420s or Flying Juniors. This level focuses on basic skills and seamanship. Upon completion, participants will have the skills needed to single-hand a small dinghy. Concepts that will be taught include capsize recovery, steering, sail trim, terminology and safety.

Intermediate: This class is for both single- and double-handed sailing. Teamwork, communication, and enhancement of sailing skills will be emphasized, Paterson said. Students will complete a series of drills to increase boat handling and sail trim experience. Students who are ready, will have opportunities to practice beginning racing skills.

Advanced: Experienced students will develop racing skills by sailing around a course with other boats. Emphasis will be put on the rules of racing, tactics, starting strategy, rounding a mark and boat speed.

The cost is $260 for club members and $270 for non-members. The fee must be paid one week before the start of each session.

Students who sign up for a morning session should bring their own lunch. All students should bring snacks to eat during the day. Water will be provided at all times.

The club will provide transportation from Tacoma to the Wollochet Bay outstation in Gig Harbor and back each day.