How AYS Got Underway
In 2017, Asheville Sailing Club developed the opportunity, through a generous grant from Buncombe County Parks & Recreation, matching funds, and sponsorships, to establish the Asheville Youth Sailing program. In its inaugural year, the 2018 Learn to Sail Scholarship Program helped new sailors, ages 10 -14, learn the sport, hone their skills, spend time outside on the water, and become sailors for life. In 2018, the program was run entirely by volunteers from the Asheville Sailing Club. Each participant received safe and friendly instruction on Saturday mornings and pushed the sailors to try their new sport to build the skills and confidence they needed to independently sail a small dinghy on their own.
Now, The Learn-to-Sail Program has taken shape in a more traditional weekly session model so there are not days-at-a-time in between skill-building sessions. Participants move quickly to sailing independence and have the opportunity to improve over four-week’s time if they enroll in consecutive sessions. Still staffed by volunteers and a head instructor, the 2021 Learn-to-Sail Program staff includes US Sailing Certified Instructors, Junior Counselors, and Craft and Activity Coordinators. The program is sponsored by local companies who have chosen to “Sponsor-a-ship” for a season as well as through donations to the Asheville Sailing Foundation.
About Asheville Sailing Club
Founded in the 1960’s on Lake Julian, The Asheville Sailing Club Sailing promotes and encourages competitive and non-competitive sailing in the Western North Carolina area. With over 50 members, sailing a menagerie of one-design dinghies and daysailers, Asheville Sailing Club is the perfect venue to learn good sportsmanship and skill improvement through practice and sharing. A lot of the sailing is social, but the club hosts racing regattas on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of each month from April thru October.
Asheville Sailing Club prides itself on its friendliness so even beginner sailors can learn to sail or even race. The club is thrilled to be able to host the new Asheville Youth Sailing program.