The launch of the Optimist Junior Sailing programme will take place on Saturday, May 4, in Carlingford Sailing Club along with the Sail Spree 2013 which is all about having fun and trying something new.
The aim of the programme is to encourage young people to get out and enjoy sailing activities on the water. All are welcome to come along to enjoy what their local sailing club has to offer them for the summer ahead.
The programme began 2 years ago, with 12 junior members of between 8 – 13 years getting their first taste of sailing.
The club now has 25 junior members and has continued to build on this success by adding to the numbers of children who are learning the key skills under the watch of the club rescue boat.
Optimists dinghies are the ideal boat in which to teach children to sail and former Optimist sailors made up over 50 per cent of the dinghy skippers at the last Olympics.
These flat-bottomed dinghies sport a single sail, are safe and simple enough for an 8-year old to manoeuvre, while being challenging enough to keep a 15-year old interested.
There is no need to buy an optimist as the club has boats available to members and you are more than welcome to come to the club and try out sailing.
The sailing programme starts by the junior members joining the club at a special reduced rate of €35.
If you choose to purchase an Optimist dinghy it is subsidised by the club, and €500 buys the boat, complete with sail.
The dinghy is constructed by experienced club members, who give their time voluntarily to the project.
All that remains is for the new junior members to paint the boat in their choice of colours, a fun project that is completed in the boat yard over a series of Saturdays, and with the help and supervision of existing members.
Once the Optimists are ready, the club will begin a series of training sessions from May to September which are free for members to attend.
The training runs on Saturdays with timing depending on the tide and is fully supervised with lunch provided by way of a barbeque on the slipway.
Junior membership of Carlingford Sailing Club includes membership of the ISA (Irish Sailing Association) along with use of the facilities which include changing rooms, showers, boat park and slipway.
There will also be club events and camp out opportunities to socialise with other junior members, as well as discounts on ISA summer training camps.
So come along to the Carlingford Sailing Club Open Day on May 4 and have a look at some of the Optimists.
Bring old trainers, a towel, swimming gear and wet suit or old top and trousers with you.