Category Archives: Pre-2018 Posts

2016 Course Dates

2016 Course Dates

The CANSail 1 and 2 courses for junior/intermediate sailors will run on 3 separate weeks in July and August. These are combined courses – matching newcomers with seasoned sailors on each boat. In addition to level 1 and 2 courses, advanced sailors have a choice of 2 dates in August. These courses will run at the same time with separate instructors for the CANSail and Advanced groups.

For Junior/Intermediate Sailors

  •          The 1st combined session will run from Monday July 11th to Friday July 15th.
  •          The 2nd combined session will run from Monday August 1st to Friday August 5thth.
  •          The 3rd combined session will run from Monday August 22nd to Friday August 26th.

For Advanced Sailors

The club will provide two weeks of advanced courses using Lasers (1 week for each course). These courses will use a separate instructor for the 5 boats of solo sailors.

  •          The 1st Laser session will run from Monday August 1st to Friday August 5th.
  •          The 2nd Laser session will run from Monday August 22nd to Friday August 26th.

Other Info

CANSail 1 and 2 groups will use Flying Junior boats while advanced sailors will use Lasers.

All groups will be taught by CANSail approved instructors.

For CANSail participants we combine more knowledgeable sailors with “newbies” (generally 3 persons per boat) to provide new comers with a guiding hand in the first few days. Our instructors are certified by BC Sailing under auspices of a national program. Junior and Intermediate sailors in the CANSail 1 and 2 programs will be evaluated on the Friday afternoon after our traditional picnic on Mortimer Spit. They are eligible for competency certificates from our national sailing organization.

The Advanced course taught on Laser sailboats relies on elements of the national program but has limited racing aspects. As a result, we do not offer nationally recognized certificates for participants.

Courses run from Monday to Friday inclusive.
* The Monday class starts at 9:00 AM to allow registration and runs until 3:00 PM.
* Tuesday through Friday courses run from 9:30 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon, with an hour off for lunch on the beach.

All courses are C$125 per week with registration on May 1st for all programs.

Courses in 2016

Our courses follow the latest guidelines of Sail Canada (previously called the Canadian Yachting Association). These guidelines were developed to ensure consistent teaching approaches across Canada. In addition to new course designs, a central registry ensures students have portable accreditation which is recognized throughout North America.

Pender Island Junior Sailing is a participating member of Sail Canada, following their approved methodology. Our instructors are trained and certified by BC Sail which falls under the guidance of Sail Canada with individuals certified for each level of instruction.


Three courses form the current curriculum:

CANSail 1 is targeted to beginners and provides the basics of safety and sailing. The course emphasizes sailing and safety fundamentals.

Monday morning starts with the basics of sailing and rigging a boat. After instruction on the basic controls, balance and sitting position in the boat, students should find themselves on the water. Weather permitting this is generally on the first afternoon. Sailing is under the supervision of an instructor and, when deemed advisable, a competent adult will accompany a group on the first day. By Tuesday, sailors will be on the water by themselves (3 to a boat).
The week is spent reinforcing safety habits including sailing in every direction relative to the wind. You will learn to tack, gybe, sail upwind and how to recover from a capsized sailboat.

By the end of the course teams should be able to sail with minimum input from our instructor.


CANSail 2 builds on the prior course, honing capabilities to allow students to sail in a variety of winds and seas. Graduates will be able to sail confidently by themselves.

The course expands on the foundations of CANSail 1, emphasizing controlled responses to changing conditions using sail and boat trim, centerboard settings, and the basics of heeling. The focus is on safe boat control in various weather conditions including a person overboard safety drill. Students will be tested near the end of the week to assess their CANSail 2 certification readiness. We generally aim to end the week with a short multi-leg race where skills are showcased.

Our aim is for you to have the skills, control and confidence to sail without supervision.


The Laser course is designed for advanced sailors who can single-hand dinghys and competitively handle their vessels in competitive conditions.

Sailing is in more challenging waters near the entrance to Browning Bay with participants approaching the stage of competitive dinghy racing.

The aim of this course is to advance students beyond the fundamentals and potentially transition their skills into group racing. Emphasis is on optimizing boat speed, ensuring secure vessel handling in tight quarters and competitive sailing to a marker buoy. Terminology, Laser boat rigging, and sailing fundamentals will already be part of the participant’s repertoire. While the fundamentals will be reviewed, this will be in the context of optimizing efficiencies. The emphasis will be on boat control in close quarters and challenging sea states.

Teaching will focus on boat trim, heeling, centerboard use, sail trim and sailing efficiently to a course buoy. Basic skills will be enhanced through a process of self-evaluation and on water instructor evaluation. New topics will likely include controlling sail shape and tacking and gybing using heel and roll tacks.

This course adopts elements of the CANSail course but does not include the full CANsail 3 curriculum. While highly popular, we do not offer a CANSail 3 certificate on course completion.