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Youth Sailing Program Starts In Oriental
Kids 7-15 learning to sail
June 4, 2008

About a dozen businesses in the area came forward with still more money to defray the costs. Their names line the sides of the boats. George and Sherri Homme donated the funds for the safety boat, to be named Stefan’s Spirit, for Stefan Homme.

Three friends, Geoff Hollings, Hank Metzger and Bill Bullard are sponsors of the boat, Three Muskateers. Geoff contributed a teak dinghy to a raffle that raised money for 5 scholarships.

And given the mission of teaching as many children to sail as possible, other contributors have helped build up a kitty for scholarships for those children whose parents cannot afford the $200-per-week camp.

“We have scholarship money,” Edwards said Sunday, emphasizing that he didn’t want the cost to be an obstacle. “We are looking for kids who want to sail,” he said. “Any child who wants to do it, can. “

Caption 1: Susy Smith with Dopey.
Caption 2: Susy and Jimmy Smith with the light green boat that the Provision Company sponsored for the Youth Sailing Program. Jim Edwards who runs the program says his daughters thought up the idea of giving 7 of the boats the names of Snow White’s dwarves. Were the names given randomly?

Already, 20 children have taken part in “Capsize Clinics” using a few of the dinghies in the more controlled environment of the Village Club pool. Many of them, Edwards said, “had never been in a boat before.” For a few hours they practiced righting a boat and then were “scooting down the pool” and taking part in relays.

And starting Monday, they’ll be learning in more detail about the very thing that has brought so many people to Oriental.

The bows.

Edwards says he has 8 students lined up for one week, and 6 for another and that he has been getting calls from parents who found that other sailing programs in Beaufort were filled up. And he’s looking forward to getting still more students, either from here in Pamlico County, or children from away.

The sterns.

Those interested in signing up children 7-15 for the Bow to Stern Youth Sailing Program may contact Jim Edwards at 252-474-6000 or email – BowToSternYachts@aol.com for more information.

This year’s Green’s Creek Challenge may just have more competitors and maybe, just maybe, the graduates of the Youth Sailing Program may help lower the average age of sailors here.

More photos of the Optimists are on Page Three.

Posted Wednesday June 4, 2008 by Melinda Penkava

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