my 2 older boys just finished up the 1st week of sailing camp this year. similar to last year, we have them enrolled in a 2-week session of junior sailing at Pontiac Yacht Club. our 13-yr old seems to be getting a lot of opportunities to sail on 2- or 3-person sailboats, and our 9 1/2-yr old is still on the smaller boats (but he’s still a small guy, so it makes perfect sense).
Pontiac Yacht Club is home to the largest fleet of Lightning sailboats in the world (60+ registered boats). there are a whole slew of them at the docks, and a bunch more up on the shore on trailers.
a few weeks earlier, I ordered both boys a shorty wetsuit (2.5 mm neoprene) – it has been a cooler summer, and I was afraid the water temperature would be cooler. after the 1st week, it seems like maybe they didn’t need them after all – as it has been warmer this week, and the water temperature hasn’t bothered them.
Monday: 13-yr old sailed most of the day in a Club FJ with one other student, spending most of the day controlling the jib sail. 9 1/2-yr old sailed an Optimist all day, also with another student, each taking turns with the controls.
Tuesday: 13-yr old was stoked when I picked him up – he had a chance to sail a Laser for the first time, and loved it! his exact words were: Club FJ = terrible, Laser = awesome! 9 1/2-yr old sailed an Open Bic for the first time, and he loved it as well – he said he was FLYING across the water! (I was a bit concerned that he might get stuck in Opti’s for this whole session, so I’m glad he is getting experience in other boats.)
here is a picture of the bigger boats our older son is getting some experience with — on the left is the Club FJ and to the right is a 420 sailboat. he complains about how the FJ handles – he says it turns too slow, but he really enjoys sailing the 420.
Wednesday: 13-yr old sailed the Laser some again (flipped it twice in the heavier winds!), and also got to ride in a 420 sailboat. he mainly skippered the 420 with 2 other students riding along. this was the 1st day that my 13-yr old wore his wetsuit – he said it worked great, and he could still move comfortably in it while sailing. 9 1/2-yr old was back in the Opti with a partner, but he skippered most of the day. here is Wednesday’s wind forecast (via the Windfinder app):
Thursday: 13-yr old was only on the 420 this day, mostly as skipper, but a bit of time controlling the jib sail. 9 1/2-yr old sailed a bit in both the Opti and the Open Bic.
Friday: 13-yr old again was a mix of skipper and crew on just the 420 today. 9 1/2-yr old was in the Opti with a partner, but he skippered most of the day. he is our 9 1/2-yr old helping to put away one of the Open Bic sailboats.
overall, it seems like another great week of sailing – they spend most of the day out on the water, and are getting a ton of experience with the boat handling. I’m pretty happy for them, and a bit jealous of all the sailing they are getting to do!