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Sails unfurled during Nanaimo Yacht Club open house

Allison Walters, left, Maddy Jones, Julia Morris and Sarita Sillem sail back to port as fellow sailing student James Laird prepares a dinghy for a training sail Monday. Nanaimo Yacht Club is hosting an open house Saturday (May 10).  - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
Allison Walters, left, Maddy Jones, Julia Morris and Sarita Sillem sail back to port as fellow sailing student James Laird prepares a dinghy for a training sail Monday. Nanaimo Yacht Club is hosting an open house Saturday (May 10).
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Yacht Club plans to drive public interest and draw fresh blood into its sailing programs with an open house on the weekend.

The club hosts the event Saturday (May 10) 1 - 4 p.m. when the public can go down, get a tour of the club's facilities and meet some of the young athletes who are training to qualify and represent Nanaimo in the B.C. Summer Games sailing competitions.

"We have an Optimist [class dinghy] team, which is 8- to 14-year-olds and then we have a 420 [class dinghy] team, which is 14- to 19-year-olds," said Jill Christie, head coach and sailing program coordinator.

Aspiring athletes will be training in their craft and visitors will have the opportunity to try their seamanship with the club's sailboats.

"We want them to come and get in a boat, whether it's on the dock, beside the dock or go and sail with an experienced sailor," Christie said.

The club offers beginner to advanced sailing programs for students age 5 to adult, so many of the experienced sailors helping out with the open house are yacht club students and sailing team members.

The open house will be great opportunity for families interested in learning to sail to sample sailing first hand, Christie said.

"You don't have to be a [yacht club] member to come and take lessons and I think that's the big thing, that people don't realize that," Christie said.

For more information about Nanaimo Yacht Club, its programs and the open house, please visit the club website at www.nanaimoyc.ca.

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