Why should you sail?
“Sailing is a sport that will last you the rest of your life. You can race sailboats into your 90s. It’s is a high school, college and Olympic sport,” said Nick Kaschak, Director of Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation.
Everyone has a reason why they love sailing. “The frigid mist that occasionally blankets the face along with the utter yet refreshing shock of giant waves crashing down onto both you and your teammate truly invoke a sense of life. It makes you think ‘I’m alive’,” sophomore sailor Patrick Tanner said.
Where to get started if one is interested in sailing in Santa Barbara? There are two main programs that offer sailing experiences, Santa Barbara Sailing Center (SBSC) and the Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation (SBYSF).
Both offer summer camps and after-school sailing opportunities.
While both programs offer sailing camps, there is a big difference between them, mainly the types of boats they use. Different boats specialize in different fields of sailing.
The Sailing Center uses keelboats and cruising boats, while the Youth Sailing Foundation uses dinghies.
Keel-boats are larger boats with a keel—a sort of board below the boat with a heavy bulb on the bottom used to stop the boat from flipping over, making the boat very stable. Dinghies don’t have these stabilizing keels.
Dinghies are quite common, require more athleticism, and are used for high-school races.
Another difference between the two programs is that the center is focused on boat charters and rentals, while the foundation focuses on racing.
The foundation runs all the high school sailing teams in Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara High School, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos.
The center offers everything from “Learn to Sail” summer camps to boat charters. They provide paddle-board and kayak rentals.
Their instructional programs include American Sailing Association certified courses which allow people to learn how to sail and rent sailboats upon completion as well as non-certified courses which allow people to learn how to sail without the pressure of certification.
After completing the “Learn to Sail” course, which covers the basics of sailing, one could choose to transition to leisure sailing on the open water.
Santa Barbara Sailing Center offers Kids Summer Sailing Camp for kids ages 7-15.
The foundation, on the other hand, runs programs in two different types of dinghies. One is the Optimist, for children 5-15 the other, for children 13-18, which is called the Club Flying Junior or CFJ.
After completing either course, racing programs are available. The foundation and the center offer after-school sailing as well.
The foundation’s sessions are broken up into two-week pieces over the summer and have sailing Monday through Friday in both the afternoon and morning according to the sailor’s level.
There are many positive reasons to go sailing, so take advantage of one of the various sailing programs in Santa Barbara.