2024 Interscholastic Sailing Season

OBX NOW HAS HIGH SCHOOL SAILING!

Sailing is a lifelong adventure like no other. Hundreds of kids from all across North Carolina are participating … and now so can you.

Open to 8-12th graders from First Flight, Manteo, Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Homeschools => Last year Hatteras Community Sailing and Colington Yacht Club leadership worked together to spearhead the first ever High School Sailing effort for the Outer Banks. Kids from First Flight and Cape Hatteras participated, learned from scratch and competed against schools from Raleigh, Wilmington, Lake Norman, Beaufort NC, Charleston, Beaufort SC, Hampton and New Bern!

The regattas were pretty massive! Lots of great sailors from the entire Southeastern Atlantic. The “Away Game” schedule is set by the parents and kids involved, and forming now for schools across our region. Hopes are that teams will bubble up out of Manteo, First Flight, Hatteras, Ocracoke, and even Southern Shores/Duck! Until such time that each school gets enough interest to have its own coaching staff and boats, the coaching effort will stay centralized and be managed by Hatteras Sailing. This does not mean that all practices will be held in Buxton. We rotate practices between the different locations. Last season, we practiced at Colington and Hatteras Sailing. This year we hope to get cooperation from the Town of Manteo and hold practices in Manteo as well. There is limited space because of the number of boats available, so its important to let us know now if you are interested! Read more about our first season.

Here on the Outer Banks, we are surrounded by some of the best Wind and Water in the World! Let’s take advantage of it. Sign up now for High School Sailing! Grades 8 through 12 are eligible. Elementary ages (8-12 yrs) can sign up for little league sailing which trains up sailors to grow naturally into high school sailing and jr. coaching during high school.

Sign Up Here

    Fall ’23 was our first season. Here is what we learned…

    Getting into the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (SAISA) and lined up to compete against other High School Varsity and Junior Varsity teams was a real learning experience with tons of rules, procedures, management issues and much more. But all said and done, the kids and parents learned and had a great time. They made huge leaps in their sailing skills, made many new friends, and had huge fun!

    Interscholastic Sailing Competition is really unique and not something available to kids who don’t live near water. Hatteras Sailing Program Director, Meg Phillips, jumped into the administration last year, and we are all are so glad she took the initiative. Living in a place with great wind and water access is a blessing that should not be taken for granted. There are a litany of bureaucratic hurdles and challenges that kept her busy through the year in 2023, but now the Outer Banks are all set up and ready to open up the team to sailors from across Dare County.

    SAISA rules are carefully arranged to make sailing more accessible to public, private, and homeschool youth –and to support the parents and coaches. Here are some highlights from 2023 and our very small initial sailing team. The Outer Banks could send send a Varsity Team (9-12th grade) and a JV Team (8-10th grade) from each school to each regatta. Each sailing team must have 4 participants to register for the games, but JV teams are allowed to form composite teams with sailors from more than one school. There is no upper limit on how large each team can be, and the sailors rotate in/out of the team’s boat after every few races so that more kids can get a change to sail in the regattas. We would love to see teams from each of the three School Districts in Dare County participating. If the kids want to participate, you can bet that we will do anything and everything possible to help make it a reality for them. Sign up below, and we will include you in our team parent/sailor orientation meeting where we set the regatta schedule and go through the logistics of participating.

    Years of laying a foundation

    Since 2019 Hatteras Community Sailing has been laying the groundwork needed to support youth and adult sailing here on the Outer Banks and facilitate steady growth in the coming decades. Each season, with the help of generous individuals, business sponsors, volunteers and the professional staff of Hatteras Sailing, we have been able to broaden the program to be more inclusive for all age groups and fitness levels. In addition to the 5 boat 420 Fleet we put together in 2021, last year we acquired larger boat assets including the fast and furious Melges 24 and the “Yachty” Sabre 42 Offshore Racer Cruiser. The infrastructure is in place to support a well-rounded program for youth and adults well into the future including:

    • 501(3)c Nonprofit Status
    • US SAILING Membership
    • SAYRA Membership
    • SAISA Membership
    • Insurance
    • Acquisition of the Sailing Center in Buxton with land storage, boat ramp, and boat slips
    • Boats
    • Sails
    • Certified instructors for all levels

    The Outer Banks now has the tools to broaden adult and youth sailing programs to include into BIG BOAT OFFSHORE RACING & CRUISING TRAINING and HIGH PERFORMANCE KEELBOAT TRAINING. While a number of high schools and colleges within our region offer these programs within SAISA and throughout the United States, the hosting clubs are long established sailing programs with decades of history. We are proud of this achievement and want to get the word out to kids and parents that this amazing opportunity is here on the Outer Banks for youth who want to experience hands on learning in seamanship, safety at sea, and competitive sailing.

    Sailing Teams do not require big numbers like Football, Soccer or Baseball – just 4 Sailors from each school make a team, but High School Sailing is a team sailing format so we are not limited to just 4 kids from each school. The Sailors learn to rotate in/out of the boats at practice and regatta. Because the sailboat is a two handed boat, some sailors skipper, or steer the boat, in the aft position and others crew, work the sails in the forward position.

    What is the next step?

    Sign ups close on Feb 28th. After that, interested parents and sailors will be invited to attend an orientation meeting for each team – Manteo, First Flight, and Hatteras. At that meeting we will go through all the questions parents and sailors have regarding logistics and commitment and vote on the “Away Game” schedule.

    For the first time in ever, there is a cooperative effort between Colington, Hatteras, and Manteo sailing programs to make this available to as many kids as we can manage with the training boats and facilities we have available. Our goal is to keep the cost down for local kids and parents. Boats, travel, coaching and maintenance are costly. If you are interested in supporting the high school sailing program, we have a scholarship program where a donor can pay the way for one or more sailor’s participation. Every little bit helps! Financial support is not the only way you can help.

    Here are some ways you can help make Sailing available for Dare County Youth & Adults:

    • Become a Member: Yearly dues add up to help pay the insurance, facility and boat costs, and it comes with membership discounts and benefits.
    • Volunteer: Donate or provide a scholarship: Hatteras Community Sailing is the Organization spearheading this effort County Wide. We go to the kids and can coach in Colington and Manteo as well as down on Hatteras Island or even Ocracoke! HCS is a 501-3-c non profit established to nurture maritime heritage in our community through hands on experiential learning opportunities.
    • Sponsor our Regattas: Business Sponsorships are tax deductible or we can put your company logo, banners, and branding on the boats, committee boats, race marks and all over the website and social media posts!
    • Spread The Word: Keep up with our social media posts, articles and information and share it with your friends.
    • Participate: If you are a kid or adult we have programs designed and tested successful for ages 6 and beyond. More sailors in the community help us support the youth sailing program with skippering with new sailors at practice, chaperoning, assistant coaches, and facilitating practices and regattas. Let us know if you want to help out and we will put you to work!
    • Chaperon: We always need drivers and chaperons for the kids when we go to Away Games in Lake Gaston, Hampton, Charleston, Beaufort, Wilmington, and beyond!

    A note about Safety. Safety is our foremost concern and focus. To date, Hatteras Community Sailing has coached hundreds of individuals and maintains a perfect safety history. Sailing is a sport on the water and is subject to completely crazy Outer Banks weather variations. We will do everything in our power to educate local youth and parents how to be safe on the water. This is done using the wealth of experience and knowledge shared through US SAILING, Coach Safe Powerboating and Instructor Certification Courses, and by maintaining safe and proper training equipment (i.e. sailboats with dependable rigging and sails, and an a recommended ratio of sailors to coaches and coach boats on the water) Wind, weather, water, and rigging challenges make sailing a sport for the hardiest type of individual. Sailing is builds resilience. It is a sport for youth and adults who want to challenge themselves, their knowledge, seamanship, safety skills, resourcefulness and leadership skills. In dinghy sailing there will always be water, dampness, cold, wind and sun exposure, bumps, bruises and sore hands. Passing a swim test and pfd test is mandatory and practice attendance required. Coaches make the call on which team sailors are ready to sail in the regattas.

    Sailing is a lifelong adventure that can take you places you never imagined (including fun and lucrative work right back home on the Outer Banks). If you are interested in participating in our 2024 Spring Interscholastic Sailing Season please let us know ASAP and we will followup with you and your parent or guardian with more information about how the program works.

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