Youth sailing program to return to Manitoulin Island this summer

MANITOULIN—The CANSail youth sailing program, organized by the Little Current Yacht Club (LCYC) on Manitoulin, will be returning this summer to both Little Current and Kagawong.

“Last year we just didn’t have anyone to take it on (from an organizing standpoint) and registration was low,” explained LCYC Commodore Jim Corless. “This year Tracey Chapman has come forward to get the program going again. We hope there is some interest and we hope we will be able to bring it back. Boating in general is a great team-based sport for kids.”

Ms. Chapman told The Expositor that both her daughters were in the sailing program in the past and that knowing the benefits of sailing, she felt it was important to help get the program back on its feet on Manitoulin.

“My two girls have always been in the sailing program, starting with the Wetfeet program, and were working on their CanSail 2,” said Ms. Chapman. “It is a wonderful program—it gets kids outside, meeting other youth, being active—and it’s a life-long sport. After it was cancelled last summer, I offered to try and get it going again. Right now we are advertising for an instructor. We really plan on advertising the program a lot—making sure it gets a lot of exposure and tapping into the schools, cottage associations etc. We also want to have a boat set up and a ‘meet the instructor’ at Low Island Park on Canada Day weekend.”

“A lot of the time kids often sign up for the one week course and love it, but then they don’t have the opportunity to sail again throughout the summer,” continued Ms. Chapman. “One of our ideas is to hold a sailing night once a week, giving youth the chance to keep sailing.”

She said she hopes that by promoting the program, and through efforts to give youth more opportunities to sail throughout the summer, the program will be able to make a resurgence.

The program typically runs the first week of July to the last week of August, but more information will be available next month about the summer schedule, with registration starting mid April.