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Celebrate summer with Sail and Paddle

By Avery Wageman

Contributing Writer

Green Bay non-profit Sail and Paddle is celebrating summer and sailing as a part of the global Summer Sailstice event on June 24.

From beginners to experts, young and old, Summer Sailstice is an opportunity for the community to test the waters in Sail and Paddle’s kayaks and catamarans.

“It’s all about getting out on the water, having fun, sailing, and enjoying life on the summer solstice,” said Becky Paul, Board Treasurer at Sail and Paddle.

Intro to Sailing and Intro to Kayaking courses will be conducted from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., as an opportunity for people who have little to no experience sailing or kayaking to give it a shot and learn the basics from a certified instructor.

Skills taught at this session include understanding wind directions and sailing angles, steering the tiller, and sailing a figure eight.

For those that are self-certified or have completed Sail and Paddle’s Basic Sailing One course, kayak and sailboat rentals will be available from 1-4 p.m.

Adults scouting out date-night ideas can register for Couple’s Night, an introductory sailing lesson for couples to learn to sail a catamaran together from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

As the sun sets on the longest day of the year, participants will be given a $15 gift certificate for drinks at the nearby Paradise North Distillery.

Throughout the summer, Sail and Paddle hosts a wide array of events and courses for anyone 8 years of age and older, to expand accessible sailing for the Green Bay community.

For those that enjoy the Summer Sailstice event, or want to broaden their sailing skills, can register for Basic Sailing One, a three-session course that builds on the skills cultivated in the Intro to Sailing session.

Students may then continue on to Basic Sailing 2, and subsequently, Intermediate Sailing, both of which are also 3-session courses. Additionally, students gain access to sailing rentals throughout the summer upon completion of Basic Sailing One.

Sail and Paddle also offers several classes catered specifically to women. After completion of the Basic Women’s Sailing course, women can move on to Intro to Racing to learn the rules and strategies of sailboat racing, or to Women’s Cruising, a more leisurely approach to learning advanced boat handling skills. All women’s courses are structured into five, three-hour sessions.

Throughout the summer, there are several opportunities for kids to try out sailing in addition to Sail and Paddle’s courses. STEM camps are offered to kids ages 8-13, and Narwhal Kids Club gives kids who have completed week one of STEM camp or Basic Sailing One a chance to build their skills and get more sailing experience.

Courses can also be tailored to people with disabilities with one-on-one sessions to better meet individuals’ specific needs. Paul explained that sailing can even be a therapeutic activity for some.

In pursuit of making their sailing resources more accessible to the community, Sail and Paddle offers scholarships and financial assistance for students who may not be able to pay full price for registration.

“We provide fellowships to individuals that are unable to afford the full class,” said Paul. “We do ask for individuals to contribute what they can or to list what they can contribute to the class, because, you know, we are a non-profit. But, we remove the barriers of financial restriction.”

The admission fee is $55 for the Summer Sailstice Intro to Sailing and Intro to Kayaking event, $50 for kayak rentals, $60 for sailboat rentals, and $140 for Couple’s Night.

For more information about courses, prices, registration, and more, check out https://www.gbsail.org/.

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