The lucky few get to turn their passion into a profession, and the more than 40 sailing instructors gathered at Annapolis Yacht Club’s (AYC) Junior Sailing Center June 16 to increase their specialized knowledge, share their experiences, and sharpen their skills at the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association’s (CBYRA) 2016 Instructor Clinic.
The clinic’s presentations included sports psychology by Tim Herzog, a counselor and mental performance coach who discussed how to appropriately handle fear in a young sailor, marine debris in the Chesapeake Bay and environmental education, weather patterns of the Chesapeake, what makes an innovative sailing drill effective, and powerboat safety and troubleshooting (by AYC Waterfront Director Charlie Arms).
CBYRA was founded in 1914 to promote fair yachting competition by supporting standard yacht racing rules and coordinating racing and regatta schedules for the Chesapeake Bay region. Its more than 70 member clubs are located in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and portions of eastern North Carolina.
AYC Sailing Director Jane Millman said clinics like these are important to the coaches, instructors, and, in fact, the future of sailing instruction and junior racing on the bay.
“Sharing a common goal of providing and facilitating opportunities for juniors and adults who sail on the Chesapeake is something AYC strongly believes in and wants to help support in any way,” Millman said, noting the clinic’s opportunity for instructors and coaches from many clubs to share ideas and best practices at a location convenient to most CBYRA members.
North East River Yacht Club (Cecil County, Md.) sailing instructor Jordan Fisher said the camaraderie leads to professional development.
“Instead of just doing things one way, you get a different perspective and ideas,” he said. “You gain understanding from other people.”
Maura Matthews, a sailing instructor from Rock Hall Yacht Club in Kent County, Md., enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces.
“Any time we can connect is a benefit,” she said.
The end result, Millman hopes, will be that the coaches and instructors “will leave with the knowledge that they have a network close by to continue to share ideas, experiences, and work together to improve the quality of sailing here on the Chesapeake.”