Instructors at the John R. Turney Sailing Center completed an intense, two-day long course Monday and Tuesday for their United States Sailing Association Level 2 certification. During the course, instructors learned about the importance of safety and rescue techniques.
The Level 2 certification is only for instructors over the age of 18, so only four of the instructors at the sailing center were able to attend, one of them being A.J Smith, head instructor.
“I gained more knowledge and skills that I can use to teach these kids,” Smith said. “I just learned so much these two days, I didn’t even know that was possible.”
Instructors at the sailing center teach three classes each day, with varying skill levels. The hands-on course gives the instructors the opportunity to actually practice the drills on the lake and allows them to replicate real life situations, so they are prepared for anything while on the water.
“We want to advance the level of sailing we are teaching here,” said Sailing Department Director Kirk Kelly. “This course is good for our instructors and improving their teaching levels.” This course did not come without its challenges.
“I almost didn’t pass the written portion of the test,” Smith said. “Overall, the course was fun, though.”
Kelly’s difficulties had less to do with the course and more with preparations.
“Logistics was tough and the course being one week before the season starts doesn’t help,” Kelly said. “We got the facilities in order before the course, which was great.”
With their newly gained knowledge, instructors will be able to add more races and activities to the classes they will be directing. The instructors are ready for the season and teaching all summer long. Kelly said his goals for the summer are to have a “safe and productive summer.”
He also wants to increase enroll- ment number for the classes the Sailing Center offers. Like Kelly, Smith has similar goals.
“Have fun, be safe and teach a lot of kids how to sail,” Smith said.