Keeping our local kids off the electronics and into our great Hatteras Island outdoors is an ever challenging task. We need Sports! In an effort to contribute in one small way, Phillips Boat Works is donating use of its Charter Cat and other small boats to initiate a fun new option exclusively for our local island youth. We are calling it “Hatteras Island Junior Sailing” and the goal is to provide a fun outdoor learning activity for our kids.
There are countless reasons our Island Youth should have intimate knowledge of Seamanship, Boating and Sailing. Currently there are some fun one week camps and private lesson services available, but we feel a strong need to create a longer term learning experience that can progress into competitive sailing and one design sailboat racing opportunities.
The starting date is Saturday Aug 29th in Avon. The program’s first class will be for 4th and 5th grade age youth and will run from 9 am to 11 am every Saturday morning for the following 6 weeks. If demand exists, the program can expand to other classes for 2nd-3rd grade age and another for 6th-8th grades and another for High School (9th-12th). The online registration process will help us decide how much interest exists for additional age groups, which would also happen on Saturdays… We picked Saturday because it is the flip day for rental properties and many parents need a drop off activity for their kids.
The program is being spearheaded by Capt. Jay Phillips, who runs the catamaran charter from Avon and who has a deep background in powerboat and sailboat instruction, yacht racing, and boat building. He will be initially taking youth out on the Catamaran to introduce them to the sailing experience, basic seamanship and safety skills. Over the winter the group will work together to build the introductory level Optimist Sailboats, similar to how the Manteo Youth Sailing program made their first junior boats. Parents, who are financially able, are encouraged to purchase the small Optis, 420’s or Hobie Cats for their kids if they want them to practice sailing on their own outside the class schedule. Similar programs currently exist in Manteo, New Bern, Beaufort, Oriental, Edenton, Little Washington, to name a few. With other Junior Programs nearby, there are opportunities for the kids to have competitions and other joint activities.
Hatteras Junior Sailing will be using the well established training materials from US SAILING, the organizing authority for competitive sailing in the United States. They write the manuals and offer the training programs for instructors, organization managers, junior programs, race committee members, and are involved heavily in the US Sailing Olympic Team qualifications and training. USSAILING.org
The program currently only has equipment for 6 youth per class. Community support and involvement can help this to expand if needed. There is a registration fee of $35, similar to Baseball or Soccer, which will be put in the fundraising kitty for new equipment and expenses such as insurance and US SAILING membership.
Hatteras Island Junior Sailing has a Facebook Group called “Lets Start the Hatteras Sailing Team” which can be found by typing that into the Facebook Search Bar. Any parents with an interest should make contact through the Facebook Group or contact Capt Jay directly at firstname.lastname@example.org 252-489-8193 Official registration and waiting list form is online at https://phillipsboatworks.com/product/hatteras-island-4-5-grade-sailing/