09/15/2019

OYC NEWS: Optimist (OPTI) Youth Learn to Sail Program

By: Kevin Sheehan, Opti Program Chair
Photos By: Linda Calabro

Summertime at Albemarle Plantation is always a special time of year for residents and their visiting families alike, with a host of summer activities for all. The Osprey Yacht Club (OYC) sponsors many of these activities, including two sessions of the Optimist (OPTI) Youth Learn to Sail classes designed to introduce sailing to the children and grandchildren, ages 9-13, of our club members. This summer’s OPTI classes took place the first and last weeks of July, with six students completing the first session and five more completing the second session.

Each week-long session was focused on teaching the basics of sailing and seamanship to our young students, as well as stressing boating safety while allowing the students to experience the fun and excitement of skippering their own OPTI sailboat.

Students began the week with a short classroom instruction that included identifying parts of the sailboat, understanding wind and its effect on the boat, learning basic knot-tying and seamanship, and finally, getting their first opportunity to sail a boat in the community pool. From there, the next four days were spent on the waters of Yeopim Creek, with students practicing what they had previously learned on the 8’ OPTI sailboats, always with an instructor close at hand, and the safety observation boat also monitoring activities. The fun-filled week wrapped up with a graduation ceremony in the OYC Meeting Room, with certificates of completion and photos presented to each student by his or her instructor.

We’re pleased to announce the following students who completed the OPTI Youth Learn to Sail classes and as such, represent our newest fleet of sailors.

Graduates from Session One were: Emma Jennings, Raffaele Starenko, Grayson Ellis, Ashley Kelly, Michael Harrell, and Jaise Carroll.

Graduates from Session Two were: Allen Raymond Miles, Jeanine Miles, Nicholas Pomp, Kayla Cassidy, and Zoey Reinecke.

We are extremely proud of these young sailors and look forward to seeing them in future classes or out sailing the Sound. It is obvious from the many smiles on the faces of the students that they were not only having a great time but also learning much about the art of sailing and, most importantly, making new friends.

A special thanks to all our OPTI program volunteers: Allen Miles, Charles Prewitt, Tom Lampley, Mimi & Vic Galgano, Buzz Savage, Bob Petersen, Nick & Linda Calabro, Jeff Winter, Kellen Sheehan, John Pynn, JE Darnell, and Jock Muir, all of whom selflessly donated their time and skills to make the OPTI program a huge success.

Dates for next year’s OPTI classes will be available shortly, and notifications will be sent to all OYC members in September, along with information on how to register and deadlines for submission. Around early December, any remaining slots will be offered to AP resident nonmembers.

Fair winds and following seas to all our new sailors!

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