The first day of classes is an exciting day for us at WHYC. Here is some information that may be helpful to those of you looking to literally 'gear-up' your children for day 1:
1.) BOAT AND RIG READY. Regardless of what class your child is starting in, having boat and gear ready is critical for a successful for summer.
2.) LABEL EVERYTHING. Avoid telling a sailor "Remember that we put your sail right here..." Use colored electrical or duct tape, spray paint, or a marker to make it as easy as possible to find the appropriate boat, sail, and boards.
3.) Swim Assessment. Small Fry, Opti 1, and Opti 2 classes will have a swim assessment on the first or second day. It is an opportunity for our instructors to see the strength of the swimmers in the class as well as their comfort in the water. Small sailboats do capsize, quite regularly. No different than falling over on your bike, we simply get back up again. That being said, the comfort of a child around the water plays a large factor in a how we address and respond to these instances.
4.) PFD. All sailors are required to have USCG approved PFD (Personal Flotation device.) To see if your PFD is Coast Guard approved, please look inside the jacket. We highly encourage your sailor to have a whistle attached to their life jacket. The best place to get an inexpensive PFD on short notice is Ocean State Job Lot; however, if you are looking dress like a pro consider purchasing an MTI, Stohlquist, or Gill lifejacket from an online realtor.
5.) GEAR UP. What to wear.
Closed-toe shoes are required (sailing boots, crocs, old sneakers, keens, water shoes, etc)
t-shirt or uv-protective sport shirt
sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen
Bring a re-usable water bottle, especially on the hot days
6.) Arrive 5 minutes early for most intro-level classes (opti 1/2, hunters 1/2) and 10-15 minutes early for all other classes where rigging is required before class begins. Your instructor will provide more detail on this during their first meeting, but in general, higher level classes have the expectation that sailors are ready to sail when class starts.
7.) A normal day consists of a lesson on land, an opportunity to practice out on the waters of Wild Harbor, and a de-brief upon return. Sailors will be dismissed by their instructors following the de-brief.
8.) Questions. If you have any questions please come visit us, stop by the club, talk with the program director or your child's instructor. Communication only helps us give your child a better experience.