Ready? Set? Hoist!

Ahoy hoy,

Thanks for visiting our brand new blog (aka the Captain's Log)!  This is where you'll be able to find news on our courses and adventure holidays, trip reports, race results, and plenty of musings on the sport of sailing and life on the water on Canada's west coast.  Mostly it will be written by Katy, our owner and head instructor, since she's into the whole blogging thing.  Here we go!  

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It's a rainy, grey afternoon here in Vancouver, and some of you may be wondering why Sea to Sky Sailing is holding its first Quicker Crew course at the end of this month.  Surely heading into winter is a time for jammies in front of the fire, eating too much cheese, and binge watching Netflix?  

Absolutely.  I am in fact in my jammies at this very moment, sitting in front of the fireplace (no fire though, this is October in Vancouver not Whitehorse.  Let's not be overly dramatic).  But I would strongly disagree that hibernation is the only thing that autumn and winter have room for.  No.  There is plenty of room for more exciting things, such as...

Becoming a Quicker Crew! 

Our Quicker Crew Beta course is a brand new program that we're trying out in an abbreviated format (hence the 'beta' name).  Of all the sailing organizations around the world, very few offer any kind of structured introductory training for racing in keelboats (the less pretentious word for 'yachts'.  Or to dinghy sailors, 'the big boats').  So, we have taken on the task of putting together a really cool curriculum that will give you the basic skills to be part of a crew on a racing keelboat.   

First of all, don't be alarmed by the word 'racing'.  Keelboat racing is not just this: 

For one, I don't have a cheeky Kiwi / Aussie / French / Swedish accent, so I sound much less intense when teaching you how to trim a spinnaker in Canadianese.  Like any sport if you take it all the way, the racing side of sailing can be adrenaline-fueled excitement over the edge of the world and beyond.  

Otherwise, keelboat racing is just like any other community-oriented sport.  Like playing volleyball in the summer at Kits.  Or like dragon boating or rec-league soccer, hockey, softball, etc.  Basically you get an excuse to go play outside alongside a bunch of other people that also like playing outside.  Only in this case 'outside' is not just out the door but off the shore and on the water!

This winter, we're offering a sampler of our Quicker Crew course over a single weekend.  Anyone can try out keelboat racing for the first time on our safe, easy-to-sail race training boat.  With a small crew of 4, plus one of our instructors, you will have a whole Saturday of step-by-step instruction on the water.  You'll learn how crew members work together across different positions on board in order to form a cohesive team that can actually get the boat moving quickly! 

Then on Sunday, you get to put your training to work.  We participate in one of the super-casual, fun and friendly races put on by a local yacht club.  

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Don't worry!  You don't have to wear nautical stripey shirts (unless you really want to), as there is no snobbiness involved.  

After racing, we can even head back to shore where you can meet the other crews over lunch at the club restaurant.  

These winter races are the best possible opportunity to get into sailing and especially keelboat racing.  By the time the warm winds of summer roll around, you'll be ready to take on some of the marquis racing events that people travel from all over the west coast to attend!  Sea to Sky Sailing will be heading to some of the best events in our neck of the woods like:

Round Salt Spring Island Race
Round Bowen Race
Whidbey Island Race Week
SOAR
... and of course many more!  You can learn more about the Quicker Crew Beta course and also register here.

See you on the water,
Katy