Youth Sailing Program

Outer Harbour Water Sports and OHCC’s Youth Sailing Program

By Alan Hall; excerpts from Federation Clubs. January, 2011 Flotilla

In 2010, our club supported the Federation’s first ever Water Sports Initiative, and it has expanded its own Youth Sailing Program. Here is an overview of what is being accomplished, what is being planned and where all this may go.

Community based water sports initiatives on the North Shore have been driven by individual club initiatives. Before updating you on OHCC’s Youth Sailing Program for 2011, I want to stress the support OHCC has provided the Federation Water Sports Program and highlight the efforts of our partner clubs on the North Shore to work with Community based groups and provide pro­grams for inner city youth.

In 2010, OHCC provided financial support to the Federation’s first ever Water Sports initiative to ensure that inner city kids had an opportunity to participate in structured sailing and rowing programs. Judging by their comments, it was well received: “I love capsizing,” “I love the teamwork,” “I love everything about sailing,” “I love being on the water” are just a few comments from keen participants in the summer camp for disadvantaged teenagers. The conclusion: the Federation ran a successful pilot summer rowing and sailing camp for inner city youth.

The pilot program consisted of four one-week camps: A “Learn-to-Row” camp in July and three “Learn-to-Sail” camps in August.

First off the mark was Hanlan Rowing Club with ten participants – all high energy, all with a great sense of humour and all with a real interest in tackling and mastering the basics of sweep rowing. Rowing is a particularly tricky sport ; not only do you have to learn the technique but you have to execute that technique in perfect sync with the other rowers in a boat … very tough for beginners. But not for this group! By the end of the week, they were rowing beautifully as an eight, a few had conquered the basics of sculling, and everyone rowed to the Eastern Gap to see the city skyline. Take ten great kids, add some enthusiastic instructors, Lake Ontario, picnics, watermelon and Tim Tams and … you can’t help but have a great week!

Each week of sailing had eight participants, who quickly bonded with each other and the instructor, Tom Udale-Clough. They sailed (sometimes in quite challenging conditions), capsized, went swimming, ate lots of hamburgers and when the winds got too strong, learned knots and played card games. Much fun was had by all and many were impressed by how much they had learned. All the participants got a certificate for completing the first level of sailing competency (White Sail I) and some achieved a higher level.

This pilot program was made possible by the support of the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation and the involvement of many vol­unteers in planning the program, instructing, and assisting on shore including providing surprising amounts of food, financial contributions, use of the Toronto Multi-Hull Cruising Club’s club­house, and the use of boats and equipment. Next year it is hoped that the program will run again on a larger scale, building on what was earned from this successful pilot project.

Community Initiatives

Moordale Sailing Club also provided a program for kids participating in a Community based program. For two years on a row campers from Centre 55 had the opportunity to have a sail­ing experience in the Outer Harbour. This year Mooredale sponsored two days of sailing experi­ence for summer campers from Centre 55, which is the Beaches Community Centre, located at 97 Main Street. Nineteen campers came to Moore­dale on July 12th when Instructor Joshua Chiddy gave them a primer lesson on sailing and rigging Albacores. With the help of a dozen club member volunteers, the campers, aged 14 and 15, rigged up nine boats and headed out into the Outer Harbour with a coach, where each camper had an opportunity to helm and crew an Albacore. Josh kept an eye on things from the club crash boat. While the winds died to very light, the kids enjoyed the experience and learned a little in how to sail and maneuver the boats, and getting them­selves into and out of the water fights that cooled everyone down. They very much enjoyed the day, and apparently it is one of the highlights of their summer camp experience. A second event for another 20 campers was held August 9th.

The Windsurfing Club operated three youth windsurfing camps, teaching kids the basic windsurfing skills. Three week long day camps for children 12 years and older took place on July 26, Aug 16 and Aug 30. Their CYA certified staff taught children windsurfing skills in a fun and safe atmosphere for learning. TWC uses a four-lesson approach to teach the basic windsurf­ing skills to newcomers. The four-part lesson was developed by Bill Quantock in 2005. Bill is an avid windsurfer, enthusiastic CYA Instructor and educator. The lessons (max 12 students per session) follow the CYA windsurf instruction guidelines. Students are windsurfing on their first day of lessons, and they learn many important safety guidelines and skills that enhance their windsurfing experience.

Outer Harbour Centre Board Club expanded its Youth Sailing Program in 2010 in a com­bined effort supported financially by sponsors Hub International Limited and individual dona­tions from club members and Navy personnel to make it possible for Navy League Cadets to take White Sail lessons at Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club. The program, which included a day of introductory sailing hosted by OHCC members for Navy League Cadets, their families and offi­cers, was deemed a success. Through discussions with Lt Commander Russ Arnold, Navy League Cadet Corps Enterprise 29 and representatives from Young Station, a newly formed charity, our club Executive is planning an expanded Youth Sailing Program for 2011. It is hoped that with your endorsement, fund raising and the continued support of our sponsors, this program will serve an additional 80 navy league cadets in 2011.

OHCC/TSCC 2011 Youth Sailing Programs

Teaching a life-long love of sailing

At Outer Harbour Centreboard Club/Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club we offer Toronto’s best Learn-to-Sail programs for youth ages seven to 17, Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm, starting June 27 to August 26. Parents can take advantage of an Early Drop Off program starting at 8:00am and Late Pick Up until 5:30pm and optional Daily Lunch program. Club membership is not required to enroll in our programs. The whole family can learn to sail

Outer Harbour Centreboard Club / Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club are able to help the whole family learn to sail in a friendly family-oriented atmosphere.

The Optimist Racing program is designed for youth from 10 to 15 years old who have achieved Optimist Skills III or White Sail III level. The Bronze Sail programs are designed for youth from ten to 17 years old who have completed their White Sail III level. Students learn ad­vanced sailing skills and an introduction to racing in TSCC’s fleet of 420’s. The Silver Sail VI and Gold Sail VII are eight-week programs designed for youth 15 to 18 years old. Students compete in multiple regattas during the summer. Racing rules and advanced tactics are taught.

OHCC is pleased to offer this program to develop the potential of young sailors who get access to an excellent youth sail program in a “Development Centre” supported by the Ontario Sailing Association. Go to our website to register online or download the registration forms and additional information, or contact Alan Hall at