Junior CANSail Program

2020 Summer Sailing Program for Kids

Special Section on 2020 Program Planning

We have been working with Sail Canada and Ontario Sailing to define a program that would work under the guidelines the government has documented to-date. I want to give you an overview of the possible structure and then ask you to reply to a short survey so that we can gauge the interest of running a program this summer.

I want to begin by telling you that we do not have permission to open yet.  In Stage 1 of the provincial reopening plan, which began on May 19th, the activity of sailing was allowed but camps associated with the sport were not.  The Ontario government indicated this week that day camps will be allowed to open in Stage 2 under “strict guidelines” and on the approval of our local Medical Officer of Health.  We are researching the details of what this means. Plus, we do not know when Stage 2 will begin.  It depends on the trend of new cases and on the results of the Stage 1 openings.  It is possible that Stage 2 will not be announced in time for us to run a program but we wanted to develop a plan in case it was.

Assuming that current social distancing guidelines would be part of the “strict guidelines” for operation, based on our discussions with the various sailing organizations in Canada and our own planning, here are the basic parameters on which we developed our proposed program:

  1. Only single-handed boats and double-handed boats sailed by family members could be used, as it is not possible for two sailors in one boat to maintain a two metre separation.
  2. Social distancing of two metres must be maintained onshore and between boats on the water.
  3. The teacher/student ratio should be reduced as much as possible to adhere to the “bubble” size requirements
  4. Use of indoor spaces should be restricted as much as possible
  5. Boats and equipment must be cleaned after each use

Using these policies as our framework, we developed the following plan:

  1. The program would be limited to experienced sailors as basic skills are required to maintain enough control on the water to reliably maintain distancing rules and, more generally, to operate a single-handed boat safely.  As such, only those who are working on their CANSail 2 or above would be eligible to attend, unless they have siblings in CANSail 2 or 3 who could sail with them in a double-handed boat.  
  2. We would use the following boats:  
      Boat # of boats Level Laser Radials 6 4, 5, 6 Optis and Byte 5 3 Picos (with no jib) 9 2, 3 Fevas (2 or 3 per boat) TBD 1, 2, 3  
  3. Sailors would not be allowed in the buildings except to use the bathroom – with controlled access. Instructors would get rigging materials out of the lockers and put them in the boats prior to the arrival of the sailors.
  4. Because of the boat restrictions, we would only be able to accommodate approximately 30 sailors.  As a result, if there was more demand than spaces available, we would run both a morning and afternoon session to ensure as many sailors as possible are able to register.  The program structure would be the same for each session. The instructors would sanitize the boats between the morning and afternoon sessions and at the end of the day.
  5. To maintain social distancing when rigging and de-rigging boats, we would have two or three staggered start times in each session for each boat type. This would result in sailors being at the club for 2.5 hours.
  6. Because of the social distancing rules, we would not be able to have our normal large group activities – flag raising, games, swimming, movies nights, dances or regattas. However, we would plan to have some type of safe game within each of the small teaching groups. Although many aspects of sailing club have to be changed to comply with government health directives, the instructors are working hard to make sure it would still be a fun, exciting place to spend a summer! 
  7. Because students would not have access to indoor teaching spaces, as well as for general safety reasons, the program would not be held in high winds or inclement weather. A decision would be made the night before and sent to the parents.
  8. The fee would be $40 for each day that the program operates.

The overriding goal is to ensure the safety of the sailors and the instructors while providing some sailing instruction and fun out on the water. We will publish more detailed procedures regarding such things as arrival and pickup, launching and docking, and general social distancing rules, if we decide to open.  And if we do, we will ask the parents to discuss these with their sailors and agree to them at the time of registration.

Again I want to stress that we do not have permission to open yet, but we are putting these plans in place so that we are ready to run a program if: (1) we are allowed to by the government; (2) we feel we can do so safely and under the required guidelines; and (3) you, the SLSC parents and sailors, want to participate under these conditions.

Normal Program Information

Welcome to the Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club’s summer sailing program. SLSC offers a variety of youth sailing programs to accommodate a range of ages and skill levels. Whether you are joining us for the first time or you’re working towards a CANSail level already, there is a fun and exciting sailing experience here for you!

We offer:

  • A Safe & Fun Environment for children & Teens
  • The Sail Canada CANSail program and certifications
  • High-Performance Race Programs
  • Home & Away Regattas
  • Sail Canada Certified Instructors

More information about SLSC can be found in our Parents Handbook.

If you have any questions about our summer programs, please be in touch through the Contact banner on this website.

What can sailing do for your child?

Being on the water can really help a child appreciate the natural world around them. The importance of clean water becomes apparent and children become connected to nature through an understanding of wind and weather.

At its most basic, sailing is about learning to make the wind and waves work for you. Becoming a sailor helps children gain confidence as they learn to be self-sufficient and make informed choices. Children who go beyond basic sailing will learn to race sailboats. They will learn other skills such as: honouring the racing rules, competing against others fairly, using tactical situations to make quick and responsible decisions, and developing teamwork skills as skippers and crews learn to work together. SLSC has been introducing Kawartha kids to the joy of sailing for 60 years and holds a very special place in the hearts of its sailors.

Age Requirements

Generally, SLSC offers programs for kids aged 8 to 16. However, we accept registrations from any child who turns 8 before the end of the year and encourage our veteran sailors who have turned 17 in 2019 to attend.  In summary, anyone born in the years 2002 through 2011 may attend.

Enrolment Limits

The unfortunate downside to the tremendous popularity of the club is that we must institute enrolment caps for our programs, to ensure that our instructor resources are not spread too thinly, that your children can have the best possible experience at the club, and that we maintain optimum ratios for on-water safety.  In our experience, there have only been a few occasions where we have reached the caps in the past.  Wait lists will be offered if enrolment reaches the cap in any program. If we are able to shuffle resources to accommodate additional sailors, we will notify those on the waitlists as soon as practicable.  Our online registration system will clearly show how many spots remain available in each program.

What to Bring

Here is a list of things that kids should bring with them each day:

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or Higher, Waterproof is recommended)
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Closed toed shoes that can get wet
  • Change of clothes
  • Snacks

Typical Day

The following is a schedule of what our typical day in our program looks like. All times and daily activities are subject to change and are weather dependent.  For all sailors in Wet Feet, and CANSail 1 through 3, the usual morning routine looks like this:

08:30 am      Sailors Arrive
08:30 – 09:00 Rigging 
09:00 – 10:00 Flag Raising, Attendance and Morning Games
10:00 – 10:30 Lessons
10:30 – 12:00 Sailing
12:00 – 12:30 De-rig and de-brief

For sailors registered in the CANSail 4-6 program, sailing time is extended by one hour to 1:30 all days except Wednesdays.

On Wednesday, the club offers a pizza lunch, included in the fees for the morning core programs, served around 12:30 pm with sailors ready to head home around 1:00 pm.

Concussion Protocol

Certain aspects of Rowan’s Law came into effect on July 1st, 2019. This is what it means for you as a participant in our program. Sailors and parents must read the appropriate section of the Ministry Approved Concussion Awareness Resource and agree to the Ontario Sailing Athlete Concussion Code of Conduct. These can be found on the Ontario Sailing Association Concussion Protocol website.

Sailor Expectations

Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club is a place where children learn to sail in a fun-loving and caring environment. It is a place where children can learn to foster their independence, develop self-esteem and resilience, and build lifelong friendships. To ensure that the SLSC community continues to flourish, we have created four simple guidelines that we ask all parents and sailors to read before participating in the activities of the Club, Sailor Expectations 2019 (pdf). Parents will be asked to confirm that they have read and agree to the guidelines during the registration process.

Returning Sailors

If your child has sailed with SLSC in the past or any other CANSail program then they should already have an account created on the Checklick system. If you need to update address, emergency contact or health card information for your child you can do so by logging into your account on the Checklick site. The site also allows you to see what CANSail levels your child has completed and how they are progressing on their current level.


Wet Feet: Where Young Sailors discover the joy of Boating

Recommended Age: 8-9
Skill Level: New to sailing
Prerequisites: None
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 12:30
Fees: $210/wk

Our Wet Feet group is a fun program designed for our youngest sailors. This program introduces children to sailing in the Optimist Dinghy in order to establish comfort on the water in a fun environment with a strong emphasis on water safety. A typical day may include activities such as: swimming, sailing, games (on and off the water), boat trips across the lake, and much more!

Wet Feet Registration

CANSail 1-2: Basic Sailing Skills

Recommended Age: 9+
Prerequisites: None
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 12:30
Fees: $210/wk

The CANSail 1 and 2 levels introduce sailors to the fundamental sailing skills in the kid-friendly Pico dinghy. Lessons are creatively delivered by our team of qualified and experienced instructors both on and off the water. The focus is on fun and building confidence on the water, where young sailors will work on boat safety, balance, sail-trim, basic boat-handling skills and seamanship. On land, sailors will learn basic terminology, rigging, knots, and water safety.

CANSail 1-2 Registration

CANSail 3: Intermediate Sailing Skills

Recommended Age: 11+
Prerequisites: CANSail 2 level completed
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 12:30
Fees: $210/wk

CANSail 3 progressively builds and develops the skills in CANSail 1 & 2, with a focus on keeping the sailor engaged with appropriate challenges and learning opportunities. The program introduces sailors to the RS Feva dinghy, to more advanced sailing skills, and to some of the skills, rules and tactics needed to compete in club races.

CANSail 3 Registration

CANSail 4-6: Senior Race Team

Recommended Age: 12+
Prerequisites: CANSail 3 level completed
Hours: 8:30-1:30 daily except Wednesday 8:30 – 12:30
Fees: $245/wk

In CANSail 4, sailors will develop advanced boat handling skills in a variety of conditions and be introduced to trapeze and spinnaker flying in the RS Feva or 420 dinghies. CANSail 4 is the minimum sailing level required to become a Sail Canada certified instructor.

The CANSail 5&6 levels fully integrate advanced boat handling, sail trim, and rig tuning, with racing tactics, rules and strategy. Sailors will learn about proper teamwork and advanced techniques for trapeze and spinnaker in the RS Feva or 420 dinghies. CANSail 5&6 are required for those wishing to instruct more advanced CANSail levels.

Race Team members may have the opportunity to participate in local regattas (Civic Holiday, Mid Ontario, Sunday Afternoons), as well as travel to various regattas in Lake Ontario and cottage country. Parents will be needed for travel planning, chaperoning, pulling trailers, and assisting at regattas should sailors choose to attend. Please note that regatta fees and travel expenses (transportation, lodging, food) are not covered in the program registration fee. Parents will be needed for logistical support and to chaperone at regattas away from SLSC. Coaching will be provided.

CANSail 4-6 Registration


Participants working on their CANSail 2 or 3 level in the morning program are invited to participate in our afternoon programs, which will provide extra training to get sailors to the next level.

CANSail 2 Development Program

Recommended Age: 9+
Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in the CANSail 1-2 morning program at SLSC and have completed CANSail 1.
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 – 4:00
Fees: $35/wk

The CANSail 2 Development Program offers sailors an opportunity to develop their sailing skills further in the Opti, Pico or Feva dinghy in a small group setting.  Sailors may be introduced to some introductory racing skills in a fun and non-competitive environment to allow them to feel more comfortable participating in local regattas.

CANSail 2 Development Program Registration

Feva Race Team 

Recommended Age: 11+
Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in the CANSail 3 program at SLSC and have completed CANSail 2
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30 – 4:00
Fees: $35/wk

Team members will continue to work on boat-handling skills with a more focused approach to racing. Students will be introduced to race theory, tactics and drills that simulate racing conditions and experiences.  As always, the emphasis is on improving confidence and enjoyment of the sport, and not on winning and losing. Students may have the opportunity to participate in regattas pending their coach’s approval.

Team members are expected to commit to a minimum two weeks participation.

Feva Race Team Registration

If you have questions about the program or have issues with the online registration please fill out the form below

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