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Youth Sailing Camps - Summer 2024

The Town of Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with the non-profit Cape Fear Yacht Club’s Youth Sailing program to provide U.S. Sailing certified instruction for both new and experienced sailors using Learn Sailing Right! curriculum. An additional Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) curriculum is being adopted and implemented to enable campers to gain insight on sailing fundamentals. The program is called REACH and is a national curriculum that connects academics and sailing through authentic learning experiences and will inspire students to become environmental stewards and socially responsible individuals.

The Learn Sailing Right! instructional books are the industry standard for small boat education, with step by step guidance for beginner and intermediate sailors. Campers may become a certified Smallboat Sailor by completing the requirements in the Little Red Book, US Sailing's Small Boat Sailor Certification Record Book, supplied and validated by your US Sailing instructor.

While sailing fast is appealing to a select group, harnessing the wind, waves, and the mechanics of sailing are natural motivators for all youth to pursue sailing (and science) as a life-long interest.

Sailing programs are rich environments for STEM learning. Every time a student steps into a boat, pulls the tiller, or trims a sail they are experiencing powerful lessons. The weather above, the water below, and everything on the boat in-between can provide daily, real-world science lessons. Connecting these hands-on, experiential learning experiences to educational objectives can open up a whole new world of learning and opportunity to sailors.

What is the right boat?

Optimist dinghies are an entry level sailing boat that can be sailed single-handed by children ages 8 to 15 weighing between 80 and 125 pounds. 

Club 420s are sailed double handed by all ages, including intercollegiate racers. Ideal combined weight ranges from 154 to 242 pounds. Collegiate racing teams can be higher.

Sunfish sailors can sail single or double-handed. The ideal combined weight would be 145-185 pounds. Crew (single or double) must demonstrate ability to right the boat. 

Camp sailors must pass a swim test in order to participate.

Sailors are required to bring a life jacket, water shoes, hat, sunscreen and an inexpensive water bottle.

Week #1

Start date: June 24

Boats: Optimist Dinghy, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Measuring Wind; Buoyancy

Week #2

Start date: July 8

Boats: Optimist Dinghy, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Sail Area and Perimeter; Simple Machines on Sailboats

Week #3

Start date: July 15

Boats: Optimist Dinghy, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Water Quality Testing; Marine Debris

Week #4

Start date: July 22

Boats: Club 420, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Upwind Sailing Angles; Land and Sea Breezes

Week #5

Start date: July 29

Boats: Club 420, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Wind Power

Week #6

Start date: August 5

Boats: Club 420, Sunfish

STEM Topics: Underwater Exploration

All six weeks

Register for all six weeks and get one week free. Campers who complete all six weeks will receive a US Sailing REACH STEM completion certificate.

CYC Regatta

Dates: August 3-4

Campers will be given the opportunity to race at Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach

Ed Harper Regatta

Date: August 10

One day of racing on ICW between South Harbor and Southport marinas. Free for all sail camp participants. Hot dogs provided, trophies awarded.