Students become teachers

Published 6:42 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Contributing Editor

“Safety — that’s their jobs,” said Art Manella when asked what’s the first priority for instructors who teach the basics of sailing.
The No. 1 responsibility of a sailing instructor is to provide a safe environment for his or her students, Manella said.
Manella, an instructor-trainer with the U.S. Sailing, was in Washington last week to help train and certify instructors in the Level 1-small boats category. He has more than 17 years of experience teaching instructor-certification classes.
Last week’s class was the first of its kind ever in Washington, according to the Little Washington Sailing Club. Some of students in the four-day course will serve as instructors in the club’s summer classes for beginning sailors.
The 40-hour course included classroom instruction on hands-on instruction on the Pamlico River off the Washington waterfront. The hands-on instruction includes a series of drills and on-water formations for the instructor-trainees to perform.
“Patience. Creativity. Enthusiasm for the sport and their students,” Manella replied when asked what key qualities a good sailing instructor should possess.
Manella said his job with the instructor-trainees is “to teach them how to teach” and the value of teamwork.
“We try to teach them to be effective leaders,” Manella said.
Student Kevin Clancy, a Washington resident, said the four-day course was demanding.
“He’s a great instructor,” Clancy said Saturday while stowing the sails from his 14-foot-long Vanguard sailboat.
Another of the students, Monty Rish will be the lead instructor during LWSC’s summer series of sailing classes for young people learning to sail. Rish is a teacher at John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School.
The first of the two-week courses in beginning sailing begins at 8:30 a.m. June 14. The other courses begin June 28, July 12, July 26 and Aug. 9.
Rish will be supported by LWSC members, many with years of sailing experience.
In 2009, 42 young people took the two-week course for beginning sailors, receiving certificates attesting to their successful completion of the course. The course is geared to youths from 10 to 18. The requirements are they must be weight more than 70 pounds and be able to swim. The fee for the course is $200 a person.
Bill Walker, LWSC chairman, advises that it is important to submit applications as soon as possible because many of the early slots are going quickly.
For more information, visit and click on Little Washington Sailing Club, where one may download an application for the course. Applications also may be obtained at the Washington Visitor Center at the intersection of South Market Street and Stewart Parkway or by contacting the Washington Harbor District Alliance, P.O. Box 1988, Washington, NC 27889 or by calling 946-3969.
The club’s mission is to provide a sailing program for youth that encourages them to enjoy recreational sailing along the city’s waterfront and Pamlico River. The program is designed to promote self-reliance, teamwork, safety awareness, sportsmanship and self-confidence.
In addition to Rish and Clancy, the following students took course to become certified Level I instructors: Kathryn Bentley, Eastern Shore of Virginia,; Don Dow, student, Kill Devil Hills: Gail Kenefick, LWSC assistant instructor, Bath; Dan Shivone, Riverside Adventure Co., Bald Head Island; Adam Rieth, Chapel Hill, Camp Manito-wish YMCA, Boulder Junction, Wis.; Susan Larkin, LWSC, Washington and Greenville; Michael Williams, LWSC sailing activities, Washington; Jules Norwood, LWSC steering committee, Washington; Suzanne Lea, LWSC.