The Calgary Yacht Club (CYC) Body held an open house July 28 to let the community explore the fun of sailing and the other activities available at the club.
“Today we are just opening the doors to the community to let them experience the club and sailing and paddle boarding and kayaking and all the things we have to offer here,” said CYC Manager Laurie Dunn.
Dunn said that sailing offers both fun and a challenge for anyone looking to get out on the water.
“Sailing is really more about engineering how the boat works, how the wind works, how to go fast, how to not go at all…if you have to stop a sail boat,” she said.
“It’s more than just jumping in the boat and pushing go,” said Dunn.
“If you’re a sailor your probably not a power boater, it’s just two different mindsets,” she said.
The CYC hosts summer camps for kids and runs adult learn to sail classes that are available to the public, but Dunn said that a person needs to be a member to take full advantage of what club has to offer.
“Obviously we want people to be members we want to have families here to come and enjoy the club and all the things that we do have to offer,” she said.
Kids in particular really enjoy learning to sail said Dunn.
“It’s like a freedom sort of thing,” she said, “For kids its exciting when they can get out on their own sailboat and they’re eight.”
“And then once they catch that bug it’s a skill they have for life.
“How to rig a boat, how to read the wind how to gain self-confidence and it just carries on,” said Dunn.
At the open house, people had the chance to go out with an experienced sailor, helping them sail around the lake for about a 45-minute sail.
People could also use the paddle boards and kayaks and enjoy lunch on the club’s deck.
“The main goal is to kind of get people to experience sailing,” said Dunn.
The event was also to raise the profile of the club in Chestermere.
“We’ve been around for 85 years and it’s amazing how many people still don’t know we’re here,” said Dunn.
As far as that goal goes, the club seems to be getting the word out.
Last year when the held a similar open house to celebrate Canada 150, Dunn said they had about 130 people.
“This year we have 230 people signed up so it’s going to be a much busier day,” she said.
The club was fortunate in the weather, sunny with just enough wind to sail by.
“We have wind so that’s half the battle,” said Dunn.
“And not too much wind ‘cause that in itself presents another problem, people don’t want to go out on the smaller boats ‘cause they’re afraid,” said Dunn, “and we don’t want them to have a bad experience for their first experience,”
Brad Simpson and his family took advantage of the open house to go sailing. The family has a power boat and usually like to go fast on the water but said that sailing was a nice change.
“It was pretty neat, relaxing, peaceful,” said Simpson, “It was…a good experience.”