The Sarasota Youth Sailing Program’s annual summer camp allows students ages 5-18 to gain sailing experience and knowledge on land and out in the water. These campers enjoy sailing a variety of boats based on their age and skill level. They learn basic nomenclature, seamanship and sailing skills, all while sailing in the beautiful Sarasota Bay.
The camp has two time slots from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday — and has a total of five sessions ending Aug. 10. Many of the students return year after year, starting their days as Tadpoles and working their way up the ranks to Level 1 and 2 Optimist and Level 1 and 2 420.
Alexander ‘Seaweed Man’ Vafeas, 9
Fourth year at sailing camp
What’s the coolest thing about sailing?
The coolest thing about it, really is that we get to go out in the water and go to different places out in the bay and we get to learn new things about sailing.
What is a sailing term and what does it mean?
When you “hike out” that means that when your boat is tipping over you go out over the side of the boat.
Do you want to sail when you grow up?
Yes, I want to come back here when I am older and teach kids that used to be just like me how to sail.
Owen Heinz, 6
Second year at sailing camp
What is the best part about camp?
Going in the water every once in awhile.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a sailboat?
Help pull the ropes.
Where is the coolest place you’ve sailed to?
A sand bar.
BY THE NUMBERS
90 — Fourth session campers
30 —Total hours on the water
12 — Coaches helping with camp
10 — Manatees spotted in last two weeks
25 — Dolphins seen in last two weeks
2 WEEKS — Length of each session of sailing camp
75 — Boats used each day
2 — Watermelons consumed on ‘Watermelon Wednesday’