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Implemention of CYC Junior Program is Underway

As the new year approaches we are moving into high gear with preparations for the 2011 Junior Program at CYC Shilshole. Fundraising has started and in just a few short weeks we have a good start on the effort to raise approx. $100,000 to start what we hope will be a world class junior sailing program.

The discussions to seriously pursue starting a youth sailing program started in the spring of 2010, when Commodore John Rahn and I had numerous opportunities to talk at length about the prospects of reforming a CYC program.

Countless hours were spent discussing potential program objectives and by August we began to reach out to numerous program directors nationwide to get their input on how to best build a program that would become an integral part of the fabric of the club.

A great deal of advice was provided by staff and members of Sail Newport, Royal Vancouver YC, St. Francis YC, San Diego Yacht Club, NYYC, SSA in Annapolis, Cedar Point Yacht Club and the Oakcliff Sailing Center on Long Island in NY. Additional input came from US Sailing and the ISAF.

While many of these clubs had some unique input, there was near consensus on the core attributes of a strong club based program. Among these was the need for exceptional, experienced instructors, a clear path for young sailors to follow from single handed Opti’s to Club 420’s (both Royal Van and Royal Vic are moving back into Club 420’s in 2011 and have placed orders for boats this December).

Based on information we provided to experienced program directors they advised us to run two-week, all day camps. They found this to be a solid formula and the one most likely to see kids return for later camps.

Once the skeletal framework and platform for the program was complete we sought out Tine Moberg-Parker with the help of returning member Erik Bentzen. Tine has built the curriculum for the outstanding Canadian program and she enthusiastically agreed to assist us in drawing up program guidelines and working to train our staff for the coming season. Additional consultation will be done with Pablo Weber, one of the world’s foremost youth coaches. Pablo was responsible for the wildly successful programs in Bermuda and the Dominican Republic and is heavily involved in the YCA program in Rio de La Plata in Argentina (we’ve all seen the pictures).

Pablo will be working with us and the parents of the kids in the Opti Sailing Team for a number of clinics during the season and will be providing some additional feedback on our program as we get started.

Working together this next month Dan Falk, Erik Bentzen, Tine Moberg-Parker and myself will complete the work on our draft curriculum. Once complete we will take stock of our fundraising and order boats for the spring. We hope to have an initial order for 4 to 6 Club 420’s and 8-16 Optimists.

The two week CYC camps will be less than the cost of two similar one-week programs at other area clubs, and we will provide more hours per day of instruction than competing programs adding value for both parents and our participating youth. Each child entering the program will become a Junior Member of CYC after paying an initial one-time registration fee of $40 for their first program.

Registration for subsequent caps will be free for Junior Members.

Registration and payment for all camps will be handled online using the club’s new Regatta Network based payment and registration system.

Club members will be able to join in on the fleet purchase if they wish to purchase a boat. There will be deep discounts for those who participate and an additional savings on shipping.

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