Learning how to sail: it's a breeze say young Yukoners

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Learning how to sail: it's a breeze say young Yukoners

Learning how to sail: it's a breeze say young Yukoners

You're far more likely to see a canoe or kayak in Yukon than a sailboat — but this week the sails were flapping on Schwatka Lake.

 A handful of young people learned the basics of sailing. That includes tying knots, learning to 'scull' and learning about wind patterns.

They also practiced capsizing and righting boats on the lake. 

The territory doesn't have a certified sailing instructor and so a visiting instructor was brought in from B.C. for a five day series of courses. 

'Captain Redbeard' at the helm

Michael Luczak works with the Mobile Opti Sailing School, so named for little 'Opti' boats the students use.

He's been wearing a pirate hat all week. The children call him Redbeard — Captain Redbeard.

"We have a number of kids sailing solo today which had not sailed at all, before the beginning of this week," he said Friday as the courses wrapped up. 

Luanda Provonost was there to help keep children safe during the course. 

She's 13 and wants to become a sailing instructor herself. 

"It's really good for kids to know. They can't drive a car but [with sailing] they can drive something," she said.

Provonost said every effort is made to keep children safe. All wear life-jackets and she follows the little dinghies in a Zodiac.

"We have the safety boat, or else nobody can go out. We have trained coaches, I have all my lifeguarding courses so everyone is pretty safe," she said. 

Whitehorse's sailing club has its own headquarters and storage facility on Schwatka Lake. The group is called the Yukon Breeze Sailing Society.