Boats waded through the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s pool waters on Saturday to kick off 60th anniversary celebrations for the Glenmore Sailing Club in Calgary.
Organizers said the indoor sailing event was the first of its kind for the city and its earliest ever start to the sailing season.
Six boats, along with safety instructions, gave young sailors a chance to learn the basics of the sport while a wall of industrial fans provided wind along the length of the pool.
“A couple of them have had a rough few moments, but it comes pretty quickly and they’re out having a good time now,” said Nollind van Bryce, a club board member.
“They go from being very unsure of getting in a boat to within two, three minutes, they’ve got a smile pasted on their face.”
The indoor environment brings a new element to the process of learning to sail.
“The biggest difference here is that we’re sailing back and forth, we’re not sailing upwind and downwind, but the mechanism is all the same. You steer the boat the same, you adjust the sail the same,” van Bryce explained.
As it celebrates 60 years, the Glenmore Sailing club is becoming a community-oriented organization. van Bryce said the mandate is shifting from requiring club members to be boat owners to allowing community members to use the club’s boats.
According to van Bryce, the club’s sailing school started in the early 1960s, was transferred to the City in ‘70s and started the Disabled Sailing Association in the ‘90s.
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