ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The Atlantic Highlands Sailing Education Program, AHSEP is well underway at its new location at Popamora Point, Highlands, and Program Director Sarah Milne is enthusiastic about the high standards of sailing knowledge young sailors are getting in the program.
The Program includes two week sessions where students between the ages of 8 and 15 are separated by experience into three different divisions.
The Novice program is open to youths as an introduction to sailing, where students learn the basics of sailing, including safety, boat nomenclature and the various intricacies of rigging, sailing knots, capsize recovery, and teamwork. The program is geared to that teen who has never sailed or only has limited experience or participated in one class previously.
The Intermediate class focuses on sailing skill improvement and is open to teens between 8 and 17. During these classes, both on land and in Sandy Hook Bay, students learn more advanced sailing skills, more skilled teamwork and crew responsibilities, and enhanced boat performance as well as an introduction to racing. This class is open to students who have completed several other AHSEP courses in the past and are comfortable sailing solo and competitively.
The Advanced class is for graduates of the intermediate program and continues to enhance their skills in both racing and boat handling. It includes on-the-water coaching and instills more confidence in sailors ready to face heavier wind conditions.
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AHSEP even offers a Parent or Guardian orientation class to ensure parents know the intricacies of the program and the benefits for students to enroll. All classes included both Chalk Talk, sessions on land, as well as as sailing in the bay.
Now in the first of the three separate weeks of sessions, applications are still being taken for the remaining season.
Milne herself is a graduate of the program and enjoyed it so much and gave her so much confidence that she is back as the instructor and Program director. The attractive vivacious young woman just earned her degree in accounting from Providence College in Rhode Island and in the fall will begin her financial career at Ernst & Young. But for the summer, she is concentrating on the sailing program at Popamora Point.
The program is sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club and Club members Sue and Wayne Tidswell and Christopher Stone are co-chairmen of the non-profit organization that runs it. Mary Guerrera is in charge of the program and offers the orientation and information on all aspects.
The program is taught by US Sailing certified instructors using US Sailing’s proven techniques. Students do not need to own a boat, as they are provided in the program in cooperation with the age and skill of the students, with three classes of boats generally used, including Optimist, single sailing small boats for novice class, 420, two person boats which are used in high school racing, and Laser which are one person boats with a weight minimum because of wind conditions and balance, as well as Sunfish.
Persons wishing to know more about the program or to donate to the 501c (3) organization, can contact AHSEP at PO Box 43 Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716, or make donations through PayPal or check.
Further information on the program is available at www.ahsep.org