Youngsters wanting to learn the ropes have many optionsBy DAVE ELLIS
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 24, 2002
Programs that teach the sport to children and teens, some for tikes as young as 5, are available in the Tampa Bay area.
The courses will require participants to demonstrate they can swim. A few supply life jackets, but they will be the bulky ones, so taking one with the child's name on it is worthwhile.
Suntan lotion and healthy liquids are essential for the youngsters' comfort and safety. Eckerd College has an available child care program, but other courses are not licensed as all-day care centers. Some programs are designed to give a taste of the sport. Others are more geared to those wanting to go on with competitive sailing. All programs have trained instructors. Here is a general list of programs:
BOCA CIEGA YACHT CLUB has classes for kids from Gulfport. For information, call Arlan Briley, 894-4047.
CLEARWATER SAILING CENTER on Sand Key has classes year-round for individuals 9-15. Beginners, intermediate and more experienced participants sail Optimist Prams, Mini-Fishand JY-15.
Programs are scheduled for June 10-August 2. The one-week class costs $110 for Clearwater residents and $125 for others. For information, call (727) 642-6368.
CLEARWATER YACHT CLUB has one-week sessions for sailors 8-12.
Beginning Sailing, Intermediate and Learn to Race courses are scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in June and July. The cost is $140. Optimist dinghies are supplied. Bring lunch and life jacket. There are a few openings available, and club membership is not required.
For information, call Lynda Barrett (727) 447-6000.
ECKERD COLLEGE'S summer multi-faceted waterfront program includes Sailing Fun and Skills, for individuals 6-11, and Children's Advanced Sailing, for participants 7-12.
Learn to Race, for sailors 8-12, is a new class instructed by Eckerd coach Scott Norman. Each week's class costs $125. A wind-surfing class, for individuals 9-and-older, is $150. For information, call (727) 864-8288.
ST. PETERSBURG SAILING CENTER continues its well-known junior program.
Individuals 5-7 sail 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays from June 12-July 31. Opti's are used for the 8-12 group Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Friday for two weeks.
For sailors 11-16, the 420 sloops are used with the same schedule as the Optimist dinghies. The cost is $150, with a $350 family cost option that includes the parents' membership. Learn to Race is available for all ages.
Registration begins 8 a.m. May 4. For information, call (727) 822-3113.
TREASURE ISLAND TENNIS & YACHT CLUB continues its lessons June 11-July 30.
Sailing is 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday under the experienced eye of Les Lathrop. The cost is $90 per week for those not members of the club.
For information, call Sarah Harvey, (727) 367-4511, ext. 11.
CITY OF SAFETY HARBOR classes, for those 10-and-older, are at Philippe Park on the weeks of June 10, 17 and 24.
Clearwater Prams are used in classes, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $115, plus $50 for those not Safety Harbor residents.
For information, call Debbie Matera, (727) 724-1545.
TAMPA SAILING SQUADRON, the state's foremost Sea Scout base, is offering Learn to Sail to individuals 7-17.
Prams and Sunfish one-week classes are scheduled for June 3-July 29. The cost is $150, including a T-shirt.
Registration is set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 11 and 25. For information, call Susan Bishop, (813) 634-1203.
DAVIS ISLAND YACHT CLUB continues its junior program. It features two-week courses for beginners, intermediates and racing.
Optimist Dinghies are used for teaching. The cost is $160 per session, plus a $25 Sailing Foundation membership fee per family. Learn to race is $85.
Since registration started April 20, the classes could be filled. For information, call (813) 251-1158.
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