Sailing classes

Yacht Club offers sailing lessons | Community

NEWPORT — The Yaquina Bay Yacht Club (YBYC) is offering adult beginner sailing lessons beginning in August.

Classes are open to anyone interested in sailing. No experience is necessary, although participants should be somewhat agile and comfortable in the water.

“We’re just trying to get things back on track after the last year and a half,” said Greg Krutzikowsky, president of yacht club racing and crews. “We haven’t hosted a class in a while, and now was the time to host this class.”

Although there are opportunities for children to learn to sail through the Oregon Boating Foundation, there haven’t been many options for adults to learn to sail in the past two years. .

Laurie Weitkamp, ​​one of four US-certified sailing instructors for the class, said these sailing lessons are a great opportunity for people to learn a skill for life.

“Sailing is the quintessential green sport,” Weitkamp said. “It’s great exercise, and it’s so much fun.”

Krutzikowsky agreed that sailing is a fun hobby people of all ages can enjoy. “And they can be active in sailing all their lives,” he added.

Instruction will include classroom sessions on Theory of Sailing, Rules of the Road, Boating Safety, Aids to Navigation, and Tides and Currents. Students will also gain hands-on experience on the water.

“Sailing is best learned by doing,” Krutzikowsky said. “Learning concepts and theories is good, but people learn more by doing.”

YBYC has eight boats and students will learn on Club 420 boats. Club 420 boats are an internationally recognized class of boat, also known as dinghies. This is a small two-person boat commonly used for training.

“A lot of people use the 420 class boats in races and regattas,” said Terry Lettenmaier, certified instructor and husband of Weitkamp. “The advantage of using smaller boats is that they are generally easier to learn and sail. The principles are the same for small sailboats and large boats. You have to react quickly and directly.

Weitkamp said smaller boats are also more exciting. “On the biggest sailboats, everyone has a job. But on the little boat, you do everything. You can either take all the credit…or all the blame,” she said.

The ability to go fast when the winds are strong adds to the level of excitement. “Small boats can come out of the water and hover on the surface,” Lettenmaier said. “They can go very, very fast.”

The wind is obviously an important factor on the performance of the boat. “The wind is the engine,” Weitkamp explained. “Will it be a stock Honda Civic or a Maserati? It all depends on how the wind blows. Light winds can provide a peaceful and scenic excursion – a different but still enjoyable experience.

An important class lesson will be how to handle a capsized boat. The water in Yaquina Bay is quite cold and learning how to turn a sailboat upside down and out of the water is an essential skill for anyone.

The six-day course begins August 12 and ends August 26. The course fee is $400 for non-members or $200 for members – 50% of the fee may be applied to a new YBYC membership for non-members. Registration is due before July 31.

Instruction will take place at the YBYC clubhouse on Bay Boulevard and on Club 420 boats in the Port Dock 7 marina. Participants should bring their own wetsuits, shoes, gloves and a life jacket. Sailors in training should also bring a lunch bag and a change of clothes.

The yacht club is always looking for new members and boat ownership is not required. Membership benefits include reciprocal rights at many yacht clubs around the world, discounts on clubhouse use, free entry to weekday yacht races, invitation to all club socials and volunteer opportunities and the use of some of the club’s sail and motor boats. Members also receive a monthly newsletter regarding club events.

Weitkamp said people shouldn’t be intimidated by the name “yacht club”.

“It’s not like anyone here is a millionaire,” she explained. “It’s a relatively inexpensive sport to play. Old dinghies cost a penny by the dozen, but the hobby can last a lifetime.

YBYC membership is $290 per year for everyone in your household, or $240 for an individual membership, both subject to a one-time $100 initiation fee. There are also memberships available for students, active military, and aircrew.