NAWILIWILI — The weather was perfect for sailing on Monday, as the Kaua‘i Sailing Association opened the first day of its sailing camp to a full house of young sailors at the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor.
“We have about 30 youngsters, and another 10 volunteers,” said Carl Andersson, one of the lead instructors for KSA.
Sailing camp was also the perfect opportunity to inaugurate the 10 new, 9-foot, O‘pen Skiff boats KSA acquired in April.
“The Kaua‘i Sailing Association is a nonprofit organization that teaches kids life skills through marine awareness,” said KSA President Chris Jordan. “KSA sent four of their kids — Stella Fornari, Sofia Brosius, Archer Prentice and his younger brother Xavier — to San Diego to race in a regatta at the end of April.”
Jordan said the kids had a “blast” sailing over the three days for three to five hours a day.
“This was their first time on these 9-foot O‘pen Skiffs,” Jordan said. “And, their first time ever in a regatta where they finished in the middle of a large fleet of 85 boats.”
“As the Kaua‘i Sailing Association is expanding to accommodate more kids, they decided that they needed more boats,” Jordan said. “The O‘pen Skiffs are great for training, but they are also fast and exciting for the kids.”
Jordan said following the regatta, KSA was able to acquire 10 of these “amazing” boats at a discounted rate.
Monday was the first day all 10 of the O‘pen Skiffs were used with the young sailors, adding excitement to the already exciting familiarity with capsizing, and being able to raise the downed Topper.
“These are exciting boats,” said a parent who dropped off a child and stuck around to watch. “I used to race in college. I guess they’ll use the Toppers for the beginning class and the intermediate kids get to use the O‘pen Skiffs — even their sails resemble wind surfing sails. And, they’re supposed to have Lasers as well.”
The excitement caught the attention of Shin Kawamoto, one of three Japanese nationals sailing around the world aboard the 47-foot yacht Yuimaru, which arrived in Nawiliwili Harbor on Saturday.
“How old are these boys and girls?” Kawamoto wanted to know as he and his host Derrick Nordmeier worked to refuel the Oceanis 473 Clipper.
Jordan said the Kaua‘i Sailing Association has after-school camps for sailing, school break camps and summer camps for sailing.
“They go out to Nualolo and clean the beach and do a reef study over five days in the summer,” Jordan said. “They do marine education with science programs and also community outreach, collaborating with more than 20 other organizations.”
Summer camp continues through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For information on other programs the Kaua‘i Sailing Association presents, or to donate to their efforts at educating Kaua‘i’s youth, visit their website at kauaisailing.org.