4.5 C
Friday, November 15, 2019
Connecting Our Communities

Setting sail for summer fun


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

End of an era for MP

Two weeks having passed since the federal election, Harold Albrecht has had time to reflect on his...

Candidates make pitch to voters in Woolwich

Largely sticking to their respective party lines, the five candidates running in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding made their one all-candidates...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...


overcast clouds
4.5 ° C
6.7 °
1.7 °
64 %
90 %
3 °
1 °
2 °
4 °
3 °

The club harbours a collection of boats for its members and students.
The club harbours a collection of boats for its members and students.

Whereas many summer activities have been interrupted due to the rainy weather, wetness alone doesn’t faze the K-W Sailing Club’s daycamps and lessons. In fact, getting into Conestogo Lake is precisely the goal.

Hot and sunny weather, however, are likely big motivators for those looking for a summertime diversion. Learning to sail is a fine idea for kids and adults alike, suggests the club’s sailing teachers.

Head instructor Spencer Gough and senior coach Sam Parker note that parts of sailing just come naturally.

“The first day you’re out on the water. Sailing, if you think about it theoretically it’s kind of hard to grasp the physics and all, but once you get out in the boat and there’s an instructor to help you along, it comes along pretty quickly,” Parker explained on July 9.

Gough and Parker sat at a picnic bench beneath the club house’s upper deck on Conestogo Lake, as their students sailed on the lake in front of them. Gough’s beginner students were on the lake on Tuesday afternoon.

“They are out sailing around right now and they are having no trouble at all going around the course, but when I start quizzing them on the sail theory – say, ‘what part of the boat is this?’ – sometimes they are a little bit lost,” he said.

To get an idea of what the sport is about, prospective students can get a free boat ride on the weekends before signing up for lessons. Gough and Parker both agree nothing compares to the feeling.

“There are a lot of people that get into it for cruising, that relaxing-sunset kind of thing. But there are people like us who got into it – well, I got into it because I was afraid of water and my parents bought a boat – but it’s the rush when you know you are going really fast,” Gough said.

“Sailing is a sport where it doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, if you are disabled or not. I’ve seen people paralyzed from the neck down sailing. You can do endless different modifications to your boat,” Parker added.

The average day at the youth camp starts with a shuttle bus that picks up kids from Kitchener at the Aud, Waterloo at Ecole L’Harmonie near Bridgeport Road, and Elmira on the way up to Conestogo Lake.

Lessons are the first order of business, followed by some sailing time, lunch, more sailing and games in the afternoon. A favourite with the students is dodgeball.

“On a rainy day we’ve got a big upstairs area with a TV so we can do some sailing videos and some indoor games we can play as well,” Gough said.

It’s not all fun and games, however: there’s always theory and skill to be taught as well, as students move through CANSail levels.

CANSail Dinghy Progamming was updated in 2012 for Canadian sailing schools. The new rules take into account the traditional White, Bronze, Learn-to-Race, Silver and Gold program created by the Canadian Yachting Association (now Sail Canada) and were formed to teach proper yacht handling skills. The K-W Sailing Club teaches levels one through four of the program. This means youths and adults can move from the basics to beginner racing techniques.

The youth day camp runs 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., with evening adult lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays and all-day Saturdays for students over 18.

On Tuesdays the instructors run a training night for students who want tips on their sailing. Gough monitors the sailors and comes around to their boats while they try their hand at various techniques.

For more information, visit www.kwsailing.org.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


New watering system is powered by the sun

Many hands may make light work, but automating the process really lessens the load. That’s especially helpful when the work involves relying on volunteers to provide the manual labour.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Junior girls’ capture EDSS’ first WCSSAA basketball title

In a season that already saw the team rack up win after win, the EDSS junior girls’ basketball team reached new heights...

Woolwich stays course with economic development

Woolwich’s vacant economic development and tourism officer (EDTO) position will be retained, councillors decided this week despite any numbers or measures to show...

New St. Clements fire station officially open for service

The new fire station in St. Clements was officially declared open for service last Saturday. The $1.3-million project...

EDSS looks to make use of new push for skilled-trades training

With measures taken on the provincial level to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades, EDSS is in the process...

Woolwich adopts new landscape guidelines for subdivisions as part of greening initiatives

Talk of trees right now typically involved the adjective Christmas, but Woolwich council is focusing just now on guidelines for planting in new...

Wellesley rec. complex project moves into fundraising mode

Wellesley Township having cleared the way for a potential new $22-million recreation complex, the focus is now on putting together a fundraising campaign...
- Advertisement -