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Sailing school kicks off registration for adult, youth courses

For more than a decade, Little Washington Sailing School has been the place for kids and teens to learn to sail in Beaufort County. Next month, adults are invited to learn the art of sailing as well, as the nonprofit offers its second round of adult sailing classes.

“Last year, we pioneered adult sailing over three weekends,” LWSS Director Kevin Clancy said. “It’s been really exciting — our instructors are loving it and our adults taking the class were loving it.”

With 17 of 18 spots filled during the three weekend sessions last fall, adult sailing classes have been well-received so far, prompting the nonprofit to offer three more sessions in May. Taking place over the course of three days, from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, the course utilizes the U.S. Sailing Association curriculum to provide both classroom time and on-the-water instruction on Vanguard 420 sailboats.

“It’s based on the same weeklong class the kids do, but we’ve got adults who can pay a little more attention,” Clancy said. “They’re into what they’re doing, they’ll read the material ahead of time — it’s really exciting to watch this hunger for sailing in the adult community also.”

In addition to introducing more people to sailing, Clancy says he hopes to see these courses generate more interest in Washington’s waterfront and encourage more people to get on the water in some form or fashion. With paddle and power boat rentals available at businesses throughout the county, Clancy says he would like to one day see the sailing school offer a community sailing program.

“That’s something we’ve had interest in for years,” Clancy said. “Where that is in our future, whether four years or 14 years, I don’t know. That’s a model we see around the country and talk to people about, is they have a community sailing center.”

While it may still be a few years before the average Joe can rent a sailboat on the Washington waterfront, the time is right to learn the basics. Adult sailing courses will be offered May 10-12, May 17-19 and May 24-26, at a cost of $250 per person. Registration is also open for summer classes for kids and youth.

Little Washington Sailing School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more information on LWSS and its mission, or to register for classes, visit www.littlewashingtonsailingschool.org.