Eager beginner sailors have a new home in Gibsons.
The Gibsons Sailing Club officially received its non-profit status this week, meaning it is full steam ahead for the new club.
In February when the Gibsons Yacht Club announced that after 30 years they would no longer be offering youth sailing programs due to a lack of a volunteer base, it was uncertain if anyone would pick up the torch.
Bruce and Andrea Kerr, who ran programs a few years ago for the Yacht Club, decided to step up, taking out a loan and purchasing all the assets, and will be offering much the same programs this summer through the Learn to Sail programs.
“We’re excited at the opportunity and the challenge,” Bruce said. “When no one wanted to take the program over, they looked at us. We have a 12- and an eight-year-old, both very active in sailing. We could take them to West Van, but that is a lot of travel, and then they won’t be out enjoying the water here with their friends. It just seemed like the right thing for us to do.”
Registration for all programs starts Friday, May 1 at the club’s new website: www.gibsonssailing.ca. The Kerrs hope to start programs on June 29 and are asking anyone interested in sailing lessons for a student this summer to contact them through the website. This way they will be able to build the sessions, hire coaches, etc.
Depending on interest and instructor availability, the Gibsons Sailing Club hopes to offer Introduction to Sailing for ages 6 to 9, Cansail 1,2 for ages 9 and up, Cansail 3,4 and Advanced Sailing/Racing Skills.
Sessions will run Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be two weeks in length with the exception of Introduction to Sailing. Fees are $250 per week.
“The buzz so far has been great. We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t think it would work,” Bruce said.