The Inverness Yacht Club is gearing up for the 55th summer of its Youth Sailing program. From late June to early August, over 70 youth sailors ages 10 to 17, some newbie and some skilled, will be experiencing the joy of wind and water on Tomales Bay. The program is organized and overseen by our youth sailing committee, which is active the year-round. During the summer program, a skilled team of 16 highly experienced and enthusiastic instructors ensure that the campers are safe, learning good sailing and boating skills, and having fun. All of the instructors are graduates of the program and many grew up sailing on Tomales Bay.
Over the past several years, this summer sailing program has become increasingly popular. Many of the sailors return each summer for several years and describe their time as the most exciting and fun thing they do all year. Around half of the summer sailors are from local West Marin families and the remainder are from the rest of Marin, the greater Bay Area, and even from out of state. This year’s program has a long waiting list. Members’ children and grandchildren have priority in registration, so a good way to insure a slot for those who are interested is to join the yacht club, a wonderful community of sailors and non-sailors alike. There are plenty of activities and social events to which all members of the community are welcome. If you are interested in joining the club, check out our website at invernessyachtclub.org.
The Youth Sailing program offers a substantial number of scholarships for youth from families that can’t afford the tuition, which pays for a three-week camp that runs five days a week. The program provides for all of the instructors, boats, club facilities and several special activities. This year, 11 sailors will receive substantial support from the scholarship fund, which exists as a result of generous donations from families and from two yearly fundraising events. Every summer for the past five years, Luc Chamberland and his Saltwater Oyster Depot have hosted an event not to be missed. Like the summer sailing program, these events are a sell-out. In addition, for the last two years, the program has presented a Scottish music concert featuring Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Hass. These concerts were fantastic events and also completely sold out. For more information on the fundraisers, again, go to our website.
Remember, when you are out and about during late June through early August, look out onto Tomales Bay and you will likely see a gaggle of white sails racing around. If you are lucky to be close enough, you will likely see some very big smiles.
Bob Stephens has served on the Inverness Yacht Club’s youth sailing committee for many years, and has sailed Tomales Bay, San Francisco Bay and much of the world for more than 40 years. He lives in Inverness and Berkeley.