Aidan Almeda scampers in from the dock in Key West Harbor and tells The Key West Weekly, what he will remember most about summer sailing camp is the regatta.
“It was so fun! I actually got first place when I didn’t think I could,” Almeda remarks clutching his trophy in one hand, wiping the sweat from his brow with the other.
Summer sailing camp has concluded, but instructor Stephanie Watkins says the 86 students enrolled this session have caught the wind of some lifelong skills.
“Sailing has many levels,” Watkins notes. “It teaches them independence, responsibility, to be mindful and respectful of each other, and to overcome their fear.”
On the first day, the sailboats are capsized and they must flip them back over and use buckets to get all of the water out.
They are also instructed how to rig their boats, their relationship to the wind, and knot tying.
“We go over the bowline, square knot and cleat hitch,” Watkins goes over on her fingertips.
Some of them, like Aidan, figured out tactics on their own.
“I tried to keep myself on the beam reach and positioned myself on the buoy,” Aidan shares his strategy for capturing the regatta cup. “It was a lot more efficient. Everyone else was zigzagging, but I just headed straight for the buoy.”
His cousin, Julian Almeda can’t contain his excitement.
“It was just fun and peaceful. It’s just having fun on the water.”
Key West Sailing Club Summer Camp Regatta Finishes
1.) Aidan Almeda
2.) Dustin Eamilao
3.) Joseph Foster
4.) Stephen Foster
5.) Gunner Foster
6.) Dylan Canizares
We live in the Caribbean, so the masts won’t be hibernating. If you are skipper missed out on the summer session, you can register him or her for winter. Registration is October 10 and 11. Call Stephanie at 766•7816 sign your child up or for more information.
Sailing Instructor, Stephanie Watkins (middle) with her two mates. Cole McMullin (left) lent his hands for boat repair. He is holding the KW Sailing Club mascot Nella. Talis McMullin acted as Watkins assistant instructor. Stephanie says the six-week course heightens the students’ sensitivity to the environment and the water.