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Former mayor to cast off with Junior Sailing Club

Former mayor Robert Quaiff is saying ahoy to children and teens who want to learn to sail the waters surrounding Prince Edward County.

While on vacation in Florida, he learned the Prince Edward Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing Program could hit the rocks and capsize if a director was not found.

Noting it would be a shame to see the popular program close, Quaiff dropped anchor to become the director of the Junior Sailing Program and upon arriving home, immediately rigged up a partnership with the Children’s Foundation.

“The Children’s Foundation will assist in sponsoring families that need support to participate,” said Quaiff. “I’m very pleased that no child will be excluded because their family can’t afford it.”

Quaiff, who grew up in Waupoos, developed his love of sailing in 2000, through an invitation from councillor Gord Fox, a long-time sailor and Yacht Club member, who suggested some relaxation from a busy day of council business.

“I’ve been hooked ever since,” said Quaiff. “It’s just you, the sail and the water, and is one of the most relaxing experiences ever.”

Two years later, Quaiff bought a 22-foot Tanzer and named it Susie Q, after his wife, and still sails it every summer. In the last six years, Fox and Quaiff have competed in yacht club races and secured wins as overall club champions.

And while the Junior Sailing Club director position has no pay cheque attached, Quaiff is looking forward to showing youth the joys of the sport at a much earlier age.

“It is something they’ll be able to do for the rest of their lives,” he said. “To hear and see the children enjoying the water, and the sport, is reward enough for me.”

The camp runs in July and August in one-week blocks for about 20 sailors between the ages of 10 – 18. Instructors are Sail Canada trained and certified. Young sailors will learn basic boat handling and sailing skills, safety on the water, knot tying, basic terminology and rigging techniques.

For more information and to obtain an application, visit peyc.ca/sailing-camp/

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