WEEKSVILLE — Hot temperatures did not phase the kids assembling in the middle afternoon in Newbegunland on Wednesday. They, after all, were about to hit the water.
The Pasquotank River Yacht Club is holding its annual sailing camp this week and next, attracting 47 kids. The goal of the camp is to teach the basics, and depending on a young sailor’s size and skill, there was a boat there for them.
From the small, boxy and slower Optimist pram, to the bigger, heavier and faster Sunfish, there were lots of colorful sails and racing going on.
Campers range in age from 9 to 15 and came to learn the finer points of sailing.
“Some of my friends did it before and said I should try it,” Emma Teachey said.
Techey, 10, a first-time sailor who is learning in the prams, also plays tennis and takes dance. She thinks those activities have helped her in the boat.
“When you are sailing you
can’t just sit there, you have to move around so you don’t get hit in the head,” Teachey said, adding that she indeed had been taken off guard by a couple of sails. “It didn’t hurt bad.”
While most campers are from the area, some ventured here from as far as South Carolina.
Noah Giltmier, 11, is from Pauley’s Island, S.C., and takes advantage of the camp while visiting his grandparents.
“I like being able to get out in the water and have fun,” said Giltmier, who has been sailing for three years and this year is learning in a Sunfish. “The Sunfish, compared to the pram, the Sunfish is a little bit more of a challenge, which makes it a lot more fun.”
Giltmier enjoys racing and is planning on competing in the Hospice Regatta on the Pasquotank River in August.
“I haven’t done the Hospice one, but I raced in another one in the prams last year and I won,” Giltmier said.
While racing is a still popular activity at the camp, the end goal of teaching sailing goes far deeper, according to camp director Carol Terryberry.
“Racing is a great part of it,” Terryberry said. “It would be great if they would race and contribute to the racing scene, but for me to have kids out there enjoying it is half of it. I had one girl yesterday saying, ‘I don’t think we’re going to get there.’ ‘We just need to get going.’ I said, ‘When you’re sailing, you’re already there.’”
It seems to be working. Both Teachey and Giltmier say they will continue sailing.
“I would like to get up and start sailing the 420s and even bigger boats after that,” Giltmier said.