SCHOONER KIDS CELEBRATES SOLSTICE WITH 2ND ANNUAL DAYSAIL
Midcoast, Maine— Eighty teenagers from Portland and Rockland will celebrate the longest day of the year sailing aboard two of Rockland Maine’s iconic windjammers as part of the Schooner Kids program, an invitational event hosted by the Maine Windjammer Association that encourages Maine’s next generation of sailors to experience traditional sail.
While all of the teens have taken lessons in either Opti or 420 sailboats through their local sailing programs, few have ever stepped foot on a large traditional vessel like the American Eagle or Isaac H. Evans, the two National Historic Landmark schooners that will host the group on June 21.
Captain John Foss, owner of the American Eagle, says, “Getting the next generation of sailors onto the water via Schooner Kids is a great way to inspire young people who might want to pursue a career in the windjammer industry.”
The Schooner Kids idea originated in 2014 when John Hanson, Publisher at Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine, reached out and encouraged the Maine Windjammer Association to get involved with youth sailing programs around the State, an idea that resulted in 86 teenagers from Portland and Rockland enjoying a hands-on daysail around Penobscot Bay. “Last year’s kids were great,” said Captain Brenda Thomas of the Schooner Isaac H. Evans, “They tried their hand at everything, from steering and raising sail to furling and knot-tying.” This year, sailors from Portland’s SailMaine and the Rockland Community Sailing Programs have been invited to sail aboard the American Eagle and Isaac H. Evans out of North End Shipyard in Rockland. Plans are already in the works for 2016, with two schooners from Camden volunteering to host next year’s Schooner Kids.
The Maine Windjammer Association includes 8 traditional sailing vessels that offer 3- to 6-day adventures out of Camden and Rockland, Maine, from May to October. For more information about windjamming, visit www.sailmainecoast.com.