I just wanted to offer a quick recap of this year’s sailing classes and a list of thank-yous to all the generous people who made them possible.
This year we taught a total of thirty-nine new sailors. Most were brand-new, but a few were existing members back for a refresher. We conducted a women’s class, a kids’ class for ages 8-13 over the first weekend, and an extensive (21 students!) coed adult and teen class during the second. You can see them all pictured in the header photo above.
Winds were remarkably favorable for both classes. Our women and kids classes had a bit more breeze, but cooler temperatures and cloudy skies on the first weekend. The coed class had plenty of sunshine and good wind for the first two days, with lighter air on the third. Our students were wonderfully game, and we had probably the most extensive volunteer instructor crew in recent memory.
Members should keep in mind that we now have a lot of new sailors at the club. These guys were great students, but we packed a ton of information in their brains over three days, and they’re not going to remember all of it. So please be willing to jump in and lend a hand or answer questions if you see them puzzling over rigging, docking, or struggling upwind.
Here are a few of my standout memories from the two weekends:
- Watching all the classes progress from the inevitable “scared of the capsized drill” phase to confidently sailing upwind in some juicy breeze!
- The epic campfire music fest and sign-along on the last Saturday evening.
- Watching our students compete in a sailboat race for the first time. We had some remarkably on-point starts and tight finishes!
- And as much as the sailing was terrific, some of the best moments were simply getting to know a bunch of wonderful people while hanging out between class sessions.
- Watching the teens work tirelessly to restore Lucky, the fifty-plus-year-old Skipjack, to some semblance of her former glory
As always, the list of thank-yous is incredibly long. It really does take a village to make these classes happen. So following is my best attempt at acknowledging all the people who made it happen. Thanks to:
- Our instructor crew for volunteering over two three-day weekends during the too-short Alaskan summer. That includes Brie Busey, Christopher Cryan, Courtney Ruckel, Addy Wright, Steve Ryan, and Cathy Wright.
- Our intrepid new sailors for all their heart and positive attitude. Teaching you guys was a blast!
- Gabe Black, Cedar Ruckel, and Oliver Wright. All three are graduates of ASC classes who are now volunteering as counselors-in-training. They were inspiring for our younger kids, and we hope to repeat this pattern in the future. It’s great to see the ASC teens really step up!
- TL, Teri, Camille, and others for the shore support during the classes. And TL for letting us use his Whaler during all three courses!
- Zan for cooking the class lunch on the first weekend, and Nancy for cooking on the second weekend.
- Steve Ryan for a Herculean amount of work getting all the boats prepped, rigged, and ready for the class.
- The Black clan (Nancy, Darren, Jake, and Gabe) for the non-stop work on everything from mowing the grass to rigging the boats. You guys are amazing!
- Past Commodore Matt Flickenger for having the crazy idea of purchasing a used Lido fleet in Californian and then driving all six boats from California to Alaska. These boats have transformed our teaching program!
- Oliver Wright, Gabe Black, and their merry band of teens for bringing back Lucky from the dead. This allowed us to pull two people off the waiting list for our Coed class!
- Elias Soule for splitting and stacking an impressive amount of wood!
- All the tired and sunburned sailors who stayed after class on Sunday to help me rearrange boats so that the club Lidos could sit next to the hoist.
- All ASC board members (present and past) for the behind-the-scenes work keeping the club afloat during both good and challenging times.
And I’ll leave you with a video of this year’s youth class doing what they do best!