Students take to water at Rockland sailing program

Jul 30, 2014
Twelve middle school and high school students recently learned to sail at Rockland Community Sailing.

Rockland — On June 23, Rockland Community Sailing, a program of the Apprenticeshop, and Youthlinks, a program of Broadreach Family and Community Services, collaborated for the seventh consecutive year to provide an opportunity for the young people of the Rockland area to learn about sailing.

Through support from Machias Savings Bank and individual contributions, the collaboration between the two programs was able to provide an experience on the water for 12 middle school and high school students.

This year, Head Instructor Devon Gordon and Assistant instructors Aidan Gordon, Tricia Towey, Will Foote and Randy Mercer lead students through this week-long program. In addition Sarah Woodman and Alyssa Sweet, both Program Managers from Youthlinks, played a significant role in assisting daily with the camp. Students first learn the basics of sailing through the direction and support of the dedicated RCS instructors. The younger students and those with less experience began sailing a one person, single sailboat known as Optis. Older students and those with more experience are paired up to sail the larger, two-sailed-boats, known as 420s. On the first day of camp students take turns being towed by a motorboat to learn the feel of being on a boat and how to use a rudder to steer without the pressure of manipulating a sail. By day three students are able to tack and jibe through the inner Rockland Harbor.

This week-long program was an opportunity for students to connect with the area’s marine heritage and their community. For many students the experience of learning to sail in Rockland Harbor placed them outside their comfort zones and by the end of the week these young people had developed a new sense of confidence and learned new skill sets that they can carry with them as they grow.

To be a part of the positive change in the lives of our young people, help support future collaborations between Youthlinks and Rockland Community Sailing contact the Apprenticeshop at 594-1800 or Youthlinks at 594-2221 to learn more about how you can help us continue these experiences for young people.

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