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 CANSail1, emphasizing controlled responses to changing conditions using sail and boat trim, centreboard settings, and the fundamentals 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. 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. Tactical racing decisions including rules of the road and competitive decisions in racing scenarios will prime candidates for future advanced courses.
Both CANSail 1 and 2 are offered to kids aged 9 and higher, teens and adults. Depending on the skill set of registered individuals, Flying Junior boats are generally used in both programs. Childrens programs assume 3 individuals to a boat with one week of land/water training.
The Laser course is open to teens and adults. Particpants are assigned individual high-performance Laser boats used for the one week session. This final session is run concurrently with a CANSail 2 program with a dedicated instructor for each course.