Rockland Community Sailing Upgrades Racing Fleet
Great news! Rockland Community Sailing (RCS) at The Apprenticeshop is starting 2013 with a “new to us” fleet of twelve 420 racing sloops! They come with newer sails and bright colored numbering for team racing. Six boats have spinnakers and rigging. Equally important is the uniform condition of the fleet which will make racing more fair and teaching more effective as students all use the same gear.
The 420 sloops were acquired from Mount Desert Island Community Sailing Center and North East Harbor Sailing Center, both in Maine. MDI/NEH purchased the 420s new in 1999 and they have been sailed and maintained together. They share the same rigging, sails, and performance level. This is critical for regattas when each boat needs to be equal for fair competition. The better overall condition means fewer maintenance headaches, less boat down time, and increased safety. These factors will improve the quality and enjoyment when learning to sail. (RCS is selling the old fleet, see sidebar. Please contact us if you know any people or programs looking for 420s.)
Growing the fleet from 10 to 12 boats meets the increasing demand for youth sailing. In 2012, we served 215 youth sailors, up from 120 in 2009. Over a hundred more participate in regattas and related sailing events. The High School Sailing program in particular has taken off with more than 50 sailors on the roster last year. Furthermore, both Rockland and Camden high schools adopted sailing as an “official club sport.” Each has a designated Sailing Team Advisor who recruits students and assist Coach Pat DiLalla on the water. With HSS an integral part of school sports, more students are expected to join.
The new boats are already generating great excitement, anticipation, and action. Numerous volunteers and supporters, including Lyman Morse Boatbuilding and Jeff’s Marine in Thomaston, are taking boats into their shops to spruce them up to tip-top condition for our first HS practices in April. Summer youth sailing instructors stopped in over the holidays to help assess and organize all the new boats and dream about racing in the new fleet. And other Maine sailing programs that sail with us in Rockland have sent congratulations. We just can’t wait to get everyone out sailing on these boats!
In 2012 we enjoyed another year of solid growth, energy, and enthusiasm for our sailing programs. The new 420s represent The Apprenticeshop’s ongoing commitment to supporting our youth and adult sailors on Rockland Harbor. We are extremely thankful to all involved who work so hard to make these programs and dreams a reality here in mid-coast Maine.
To get involved and learn more about RCS sailing and racing, visit our website www.apprenticeshop.org Check us out on Facebook: “Rockland Community Sailing”.