MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The young community around Marquette was learning the ins and outs of sailing firsthand with the Marquette Junior Yacht Club.
The art of sailing combines skill with observation, especially when maneuvering on the biggest great lake. Rah Trost is the head instructor with the Marquette Yacht Club and with over 45 years of sailing experience, she commented that a new passion has sailed further than she expected. “We teach sailing in a fun safe way so that when they leave they’ve got the skills and ability to go out and feel comfortable in a boat, we just have a lot of fun too,” commented Head Instructor Rah Trost.
These boats might not seem that big, and it’s because the sailors aren’t that big either. The Marquette Junior Yacht Club is a nonprofit program with sessions that run for 4 weeks through the summer, teaching ages 8 through 17 how to sail. For young sailor Oliver Bell, this isn’t his first time on a sailboat and has no problem directing the crew. “They’re pulling up the sail, right now they’re putting in the rudder and the rudder and tiller just turn it,” explained Bell.
“It’s really exciting as an instructor to see these kids come along and learn how to sail in a week’s time,” continued Trost. In those weeks, each student learns about tying knots, proper sail trim, water safety as well as how to rig and de-rig boats.
“Use the wind to propel your boat and then also safety positions and if you want to stop or what you do if the wind gets out of hand and you feel overwhelmed,” said Instructor Lauren Anderson. Sailing solo on small boats coined as “little opti”, the students learn to feel more in control of the vessel, building on their confidence in the water on the boat.
“So there a single-person boat with one main sail and so those are like great starter boats…I really like how this program has a small-town feel, the instructors care so much about their students,” continued Anderson.
Click here to view more information on the Marquette Yacht Club.