Launching 1st Week of April ! Optis for 8 kids available, first come first serve! Signup now!
Ocracoke Junior Sailing
40 Parents and Kids attend Fall Expo Weekend
Update January 11, 2022
Our visit and sail expo turned into an exciting and fun weekend in Ocracoke. About 30 – 40 people turned out on Saturday to check out the sailboats and give it a try. Winds were up a bit high, so we decided to leave the boats in place for one more day and see if it died down on Sunday and it did.
Most exciting moment. William’s son, not even 5 years old, hopped into an opti and was a natural! He sailed solo from one side of Silver Lake to the other…..a few times.
Biggest wake up moment. Goldie basically took the 420 tiller right out of my hand and said. “I’ve got this, let me drive”. And she did! Really confidently and competently! Way to go Goldie
Most expected response. The older kids. High School age kids generally need to show us how cool they are by acting uninterested. So they did. Except one brave soul.
Bravest in the fight against peer pressure: I dont remember his name (and dont want to embarass so he will remain annonymous for now) , but while demonstrating to the older kids, the first question I asked all of them was – how many of your parents forced you to show up for this. All of them, of course said they were forced. Except for one! Amongst the cool kids proving their disinterest, a brave soul made it clear that he came because he thought it was cool and wanted to learn to sail! Good job!
What happens next for Ocracoke ????
Starting a Sailing Program comes across as overwhelming, but its really not, when taken step by step. Its a big responsibility and lots of work? Right? Not really, when you have a big brother organization, who has a much bigger US SAILING Program helping it out. Hatteras Sailing would like to help out the first year (or season or as long as needed and we are able) to foster growth of a program on the island, so parents and kids can get a comfort level with the commitment while starting to understand the rewards.
How? Some of the expensive hurdles we had to climb that we had to overcome in Avon on year 1 can be temporarily spared the folks interested in Ocracoke. Things like the $250 US SAILING organizational membership; having to have a US SAILING Certified Instructor on site; the $3500 per year Community Sailing Insurance Policy that covers all boats, people, directors, instructors, property and kids; the website and effective communication system that has been key in our rapid development at Hatteras Sailing; enough boats for teaching all the kids who want to participate! Here are some possible answers to your startup problems to make things pretty easy, but hopefully not so easy that you dont have enough skin in the game to be motivated???? Membership and registration fees from Ocracoke participants will help us pay the increased cost of these expenses, but the participation cost is intentionally kept very low.
- HatterasSailing.org can host an Ocracoke Website on our servers and do the Social Media and Promotions
- 3 Ocracoke Residents have purchased Optis, but more are needed. Hatteras Sailing can loan boats… we now have extras. This is great and more than Hatteras Sailors did in 2020! Only one member bought a boat in 2020 in Hatteras.
- Focus on the Opti Age kids and maybe get one or 2 boats for the older kids. If the older kids, except 1, are too proud to participate its their great loss. You cant really force teens to much of anything. Let the young kids grow into the bigger boats as the organization grows. Any older kids are welcome to come over to Buxton and participate with our 420 program.
- Meet for practice one day per week. We can help coach if its not on a Saturday in case there is an issue or overlapping commitment. Worst case scenario is that the kids might need to come to Buxton for an occaisional practice.
- Practice time commitment is One Day per week 2 – 4 hours…. really not so much. This first semester program is an interest builder, not a Varsity Team Practice. Offer a sample, and leave them wanting more. Kids who join and are members have the benefit of free use of the Optis at their own discretion as long as they take good care of them.
- Members get reduced cost programs and discounts on clothing and rentals. Membership to Hatteras Sailing for a “”LOCAL”” Family is $100 per year. Memberships are automatically renewed on Jan 1, each year unless otherwise indicated. This is for your whole family and compares to Chesapeake sailing organizations as a fraction of their cost. Our commitment is to be INCLUSIVE and not let finances be the reason anyone does not participate, as well as race, skin color, or other reasons.
- Class Registration Fee. Registration for Ocracoke is $35 per child for members and $70 per child for non members. We suggest hosting a concurrent 8 week program with Hatteras Sailing so our kids can coordinate visits and friendly competition events with each other.
- Future Sailing. Short term or abbreviated programs are what seems to have happened on the Outer Banks in the past. While it is always nice to introduce youth to sailing, its a bit disappointing to leave them hanging with no other option but to be self motivated to continue learning on their own…. it basically rarely happens and the new boats sits unused and the desire to sail is extinguished. Alternatively, if a small persistent program is encouraged, then youth can grow into a future on the water doing a myriad of things. After a few seasons, they can help coach the younger kids and take some of the pressure off the parents… this becomes a paying job as your club grows. They can help with rental boats that will be a fundraiser for the program. Numerous colleges and universities have highly competitive sailing programs and offer scholarships for strong competitors….. way easier than getting a soccer, football, or basketball or baseball scholarship. No one is getting a lacrosse scholarship here unless you practice in Kill Devil Hills Lacrosse Club, or start your own.
This is more than a sport when you live on an island. For parents, its one way to open the door for you children to increase their love for the Island and the Ocean. It increases chances they can (financially) live near you in the future. There are ample high paying professions for skilled and competent watermen! Captains, Instructors (sail, kiteboarding, windsurfing, SUP, surfing), Boat repair and building, sailmaking, ferry service, charter fishing, commercial fishing, and seafood farms… REAL WATERSPORTS reports that their top kiteboarding instructors start at over $50k per year as of last year, for example. Thats really not bad for a single 19 year old !!!! Just one example.
Building the Pyramid. With almost all things that you wish to keep going, if you dont teach the children, the activity will end up fizzling out, as one generation gets older. Of all the sports we can take advantage of on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, one of the most pertinent and long range rewarding ones is sailing. All…. yes ALL, of maritime heritage started with sailing. Its how people originally settled the area and managed to get mail and commerce. Its our heritage. Now we can take advantage of what is offered by US SAILING. Easy, smart and successful sailing programs, that teach kids how to be THE BEST ! and to HAVE FUN doing it!
There will be some organizational discussions going on this month in Ocracoke, they may be in person or virtual. I would anticipate that registration for a spring program will open very shortly, maybe in the next week or 2. There will be about 8 – 10 boats available, so a single class is limited to one kid per boat and will be 8 – 10 spots available on a first come first serve basis.
Sign up Now! Let us know now if your interested
SPRING SAILING SEMESTER (Ages 4 to 14) $35 for members. $70 for non members. 8 weeks. One day per week. If you have an older youth, from 13 – 19 years old, please fill out the interest form and let us know. We always try to accommodate everyone as best we can.
Interested? Sign up here.
If you would like to participate – sailing or spectating, please text us at 252-999-9659 or email us via the form here.
Do a little background research before the event
For Ocracoke Sailors, if you are interested in learning more, about the sailboat racing, check out this cool series of Videos produced for the 36th America’s Cup:
Ocracoke Expo, Fall 2021 – Big Potential !
The conditions were windier than we expected, but the turnout was excellent. Ocracoke had a large group interested in sailing with somewhere around 18 total students from Ocracoke, 10 for Optimist and 8 for 420.
Hatteras 420 Sailors spent most of the day sailing silver lake taking Ocracoke sailors on demo rides, including some adults and even the high school principal.
Meg Phillips, from Hatteras Sailing, and Thurston Sumner, from Ocracoke, spent the afternoon in the shallow water giving Ocracoke optimist sailors a chance to learn to steer and pilot and opti without sails and introducing the proper posture and movements involved in a tack.
Beau Phillips, a 7 year old Hatteras Sailor, sailed optimist inviting interested Ocracoke Opti sailors aboard for sails around Silver Lake.
Altogether this was a very lovely event. Hatteras Sailing is grateful for the new friendships and looking forward to attending regattas next year with our new Ocracoke Sailing friends!
**photo credit: Brandi Bullock