The Gibsons Sailing Club is gearing up for its second season and introducing more boats, more dock space and – hopefully – adult sailing lessons.
Founders Andrea and Bruce Kerr started the club last year as a not-for-profit to provide sailing lessons for kids after the Gibsons Yacht Club had to discontinue its lessons.
“We’re hoping to get a racing program going for adults and for kids,” Bruce Kerr said. “Last year we did CANSail one through four. This year we’re hoping to add five and six – we’ve got an instructor lined up for that. CANSail five and six is geared more towards racing, which really just means being able to operate a boat at a level where you can go faster and be able to race it.”
Kerr said the club is in the process of acquiring more sailboats and will have a little over 40 in its fleet.
Just over 100 kids took sailing lessons at the Gibsons Sailing Club last year, but the Kerrs found that there were more kids interested in sailing lessons than available boats. Kerr said people who were trying to schedule lessons for July were being pushed back into August.
“The big purchase for this year is we bought another dock,” Kerr said. “Our dock island is put together with about six docks, so we’re replacing one of the smaller ones with a slightly larger dock so we can up the capacity by about 50 per cent.”
Lessons are for kids aged eight to 17. Kerr said that last year they were open to five- and six-year-old children as well, but they found this age group was a little too young to be sailing.
Kerr also said there was significant interest in adult sailing lessons, which the club is working to establish this year.
“We’re hoping to add adult sailing – that’s our next stage,” Kerr said. “But our priority remains the kids’ sailing.”