St. Croix Yacht Club held a Girls’ Introduction to Sailing Day on May 4th. The event was sponsored by the Women’s Sailing Foundation and allowed the club to provide a free day of sailing to girls from all across the island between ages 9 to 12. Twelve girls participated.
It was a beautiful day for sailing in the Caribbean, with 10-15 kt breezes and sunshine. The girls arrived at 9am for check-in where they received the AdventureSail shirts as well as SCYC water bottles and dry bags. After a brief introduction of all the wonderful volunteers and safety rules of the club, the girls got to know each other a little better by playing a fun “human knot” icebreaker, then were fitted for lifejackets.he rest of the morning was spent sailing on two Rhodes 19s and two Optis. The girls split into three groups, with two groups of four girls sailing on the Rhodes with volunteer skippers Meg Deegan, Deborah Swanson and Lake Sanford. The other group of four girls were able to try out the Optis with our high school sailor volunteers and organizer SCYC Summer Waterfront Manager Kelley Severns. Each girl on the Rhodes got a chance to “drive” at the tiller as well as crew with the main sheet as they sailed around Teague Bay. Girls on the Optis were able to learn about wind direction, tiller steering and tacking during a land drill and then were able to try their hand at a capsize recovery and finally sail the Opti themselves with an instructor.
A great lunch of pasta and salad was served from the SCYC Galley while the girls listened to the high school sailor volunteers, Elyssa Franklin, Ariana Schwartz and Alex Tonintalk about their experiences sailing and opportunities they have had to travel to regattas.
After lunch the girls rotated groups with those that sailed on the Rhodes in the mornings trying out the Optis in the afternoons and the morning Opti group getting the chance to sail on the Rhodes. We rounded out the day with a fun swim in the bay and a bounce on the club “bongo” water trampoline. Finally as parents and guardians arrived, each girl received a certificate of participation as well as a folder with information on the SCYC Summer programs and the NWSA junior membership and scholarship information. Overall the girls had a fun and safe day of sailing and most all reported that they loved it and wanted to sail more in the summer! It was a successful day of introducing young ladies of St. Croix to sailing!
Kelley Severns – St. Croix Yacht Club Summer Waterfront Manager. See more about AdventureSail.