SIMPSON BAY--The St. Maarten Yacht Club launched 11 newly acquired boats during the Progress Ceremony of the Sailing School. It also served as an opportunity to recognize the success of 4 months of free sailing classes offered to 2 primary schools, introducing 24 local youngsters to sailing.
Six of the new boats are RS Zests, which are replacing the Laser Pico Fleet. These boats are great for children as well as beginner adults. In addition, 5 Sail Qubes were purchased to add to the Optimist Fleet for our younger and beginning sailors. With these new boats the Sint Maarten Yacht Club will be able to continue growing its Primary School Sailing Program, allowing for more local youth to be introduced to sailing and the marine industry.
A total of 24 students from the Seventh Day Adventist School and the Sister Regina Primary School have been enjoying free sailing classes on a weekly basis for the last 4 months. In previous years this Program has been supported by the private sector through sponsorship from ACE, Liccom, Ice and Kooyman. This year the SMYC applied for additional funding from the World Trust Fund, with assistance from R4CR, serving 3 main goals; expansion of the SMYC fleet, adding an extra school to the primary school sailing program (12 extra students) offering free sailing classes for a school year, and introducing the ‘Swim 2 Sail’ program.
The ‘Swim 2 Sail’ program provides swimming classes for those children who require to develop their swimming level before they can start sailing. In collaboration with Mr. Busby as swimming teacher, four children participated in this program and developed their swimming level with the goal to join the sailing program when their level is good enough.