Rockland Community Sailing’s high school sailing teams will host a spring potluck dinner and kickoff meeting for students interested in joining the fun, growing sport of sailing.

The informational gathering will be Thursday, March 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the RCS Sailing classroom at The Apprenticeshop office building, 643 Main Street, across from Dunkin' Donuts.

Midcoast students in grades 7-12 and their parents are invited to learn about high school sailing activities, meet current sailors, parents and coaches, and find out how to get involved.

This year both Camden Hills Regional and Oceanside high schools recognized high school sailing as official club sports. These school teams join the longstanding RCS conglomerate team which is open to all interested high school and middle school students.

Teams practice together in Rockland Harbor on 14-foot, two-person fiberglass 420 dinghies during spring and fall seasons. The newly-expanded seven-week spring practice season runs April 2 through May 16 on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Teams race in five to seven regattas a season.

No experience is required to join. Sailors and parents finish the season with a bonfire awards party on Thursday, May 23.

Practices are coached from safety motor boats by RCS sailing coach Patrick DiLalla, Camden Hills sailing advisor Bob White and Oceanside sailing advisor Ken Pride. More than 150 students from Rockland, Camden, Thomaston and Waldoboro schools have sailed with the team since it began in 2004.

High school sailors compete against others from all over the Northeast and travel to regattas along Maine’s coast, including Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Portland and Mount Desert Island.

On May 12, RCS will host the third annual Breakwater Blast High School Regatta, which involves 12 teams and more than 60 sailors racing in Rockland Harbor.

High school sailing has existed since the 1930s, but has experienced considerable growth in the last 30 years. The Interscholastic Sailing Association governs high school sailing in the United States, includes 350 teams nationwide, and hosts national championship races in both two-person and single-handed boats. There are approximately 85 teams in New England and 18 active teams in Maine.

Rockland Community Sailing celebrates its 15th anniversary this year teaching adult and youth sailing lessons at The Apprenticeshop, a nonprofit school teaching traditional boatbuilding and seamanship. Since 1972, the organization has offered hands-on programs dedicated to inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community and the traditions of the sea.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.