Silvio Conte, NYC Vice Commodore - Education
It is a great pleasure to be responsible for the National Yacht Club's education programs, for both adults and young learners. I have personally been a member of the club for over 20 years and have played a role on our Board of Directors for the past 3 years. National Yacht Club was first established in 1894 and has grown over the years to a premier club in the heart of downtown Toronto. NYC's Sailing & Racing School has run a very successful program for over 60 years and is open to members and non-members age 7 to 18. Many of the kids who sign up come back year after year to work their way through the CANSail levels, from beginner level sailing all the way to our competitive race team. So, whether your child wants to learn the basics or is ready to race, we have programs for everyone.
Safety is key in all our programs while also allowing young people to learn to sail and have a fun summer. Our camp leaders are all certified CANSail instructors who have been trained to introduce and develop sailing skills both through interactive on-land lessons as well as on-water sessions. Our instructors are all first aid trained and familiar with the latest boating safety techniques. Not only do campers learn the sailing basics - balance, sail trim and steering - they are also taught terminology, how to tie knots for rigging and boating safety procedures, like how to capsize and recover their own boat.
For our beginner level I CANSail and CANSail 1&2 sessions, students are introduced to fundamentals of dinghy sailing in our fleet Optimist dinghies. A small and stable 8-foot boat that can be sailed with a partner or solo. Our intermediate CANSail 3&4 participants as well as our advanced CANSail 5&6 sailors sail on C420 dinghies, 14-foot boats sailed by two people. Both types of boats are ideal for sail training and are commonly used in learn-to-sail programs.
Our CANSail 5&6 youth racing program is one of the best around! This advanced sailing program emphasizes sailing theory, teamwork, racing tactics and strategies.We always have top caliber coaches and are our sailors are often leading the fleet in local and regional regattas. We have even had several NYC sailors represent our club on the Ontario and Canadian Sailing Teams over the years, with sailors from our program qualifying for the Ontario Sailing Development Team for the last four years. If your child is just starting sailing, they certainly have good role models in our advanced level sailors.
Not only do our campers learn how to sail, they also have a blast doing it! Our instructors plan theme days, organize sailing trips to the Toronto Island beach, lead nautical arts and crafts activities and play games on and off the water. If you want your child to have a unique camp experience and learn something completely new while enjoying the outdoors in Toronto, this is the camp for you!
If you are thinking of enrolling your child in any of our sailing programs, I invite you to come down to the Club for a tour. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and show you our facilities. We look forward to being part of your child’s education and fun summer activities!
Vice Commodore Education