Sixteen junior sailors had a great day on and off the water attending a Storm Trysail Club Junior Safety at Sea seminar hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club. Aged 12 – 17, the junior sailors got a taste of big boat racing while learning important lessons on how to safely cruise or race offshore.

Most of the day long activities were outdoors, taking advantage of a spectacular summer day in Chicago.  Participants learned about inflatable PFD use and maintenance, getting hands-on training in how those devices work. US Coast Guard fast response boat from nearby Wilmette Station visited, and the USCG members  and give a brief safety talk and let the participants board their boat to better understand the role of the USCG in marine safety.  Proper use of flares were demonstrated, and the participants then tried their hands at using hand held, parachute and orange smoke pyrotechnics.  LMSRF and their supplier, Wolverine, donated an inflatable life raft and MOM for use.  The participants observed the deployment of the life raft, and were able to learn how to right an upside down life raft, and practice getting into the life raft with their PFD’s inflated.  Proper use of VHF radios was demonstrated so the young sailors knew how to call for help if needed. 

During lunch, STC member Jim Murray, presented a talk on his recent Trans Pac race aboard his Pac52 Callisto.  This was a highlight of the day – for the juniors and for the adult STC member volunteers as well!

In the afternoon, the participating junior sailors learned safety and big boat racing aboard three J/88s generously lent to us by their owners.  Under the supervision of the owners and STC coaches, the on the water session included reefing main sails, and MOB practice both upwind and downwind. 

A good time was had by all, and the participants are now prepared for a safe and confident offshore race.

Thanks goes out to the boat owners and coaches who volunteered their time, to the Chicago Yacht Club and its staff led by STC member Skip Dieball for their support and to  LMSRF and Wolverine Inflatables for graciously donating the use of a raft and MOM-8.