CANSail? Yes, I can, and you can too!

Imagine summers out on the water learning to sail and even racing a sailboat. Learning to sail is fun and exciting, even if you don’t (yet) have a boat! To enable the best learning experience for Canadian youth, Sail Canada developed CANSail Dinghy, the leading sail training initiative, offered by yacht clubs across the country.

CANSail means lots of time spent on the water in a fun, safe, and active learning environment. With the flexibility of learning in almost any type of boat, each level builds up from the fundamentals, adding key complex skills and experiences gradually, as you improve and gain confidence.
Still not sure and just want to just test the waters? Sign up for CANSail 1 – see what sailing’s all about, on the water, in a boat, of course!
So you’re intrigued and ready to begin? Here’s how to start:
I CAN Sail – Basic concepts are introduced and tried by first time participants as part of an opportunity to get out on the water and experience sailing.

Wet Feet
(ages 4 – 6 yrs) – a fun introduction to sailing for little ones!

CANSail 1 – Fundamentals of Sailing: port, starboard, leeward, windward, watch out for the boom!

CANSail 2 – Learn to adjust the sail for the wind, both wind speed and direction. Your first experience as skipper – take on the tiller!

CANSail 3 – Add basic tactics and strategy to your developing boat handling skills. Get a taste of club racing, and maybe even a shiny trophy!

CANSail 4 – Learn manoeuvers in competitive sailing to improve your racecourse tactics and strategy. Apply these skills in one or two-day local regattas. Yes, regattas already! Recommended for ages 12 – 15 yrs.

CANSail 5 – Solidify your boat handling, tactics, and strategy with a deeper understanding of the boat: rig tuning. More racing ahead in regional or provincial regattas! Recommended for ages 15 – 18 yrs.

CANSail 6 – Confidently race and perform competitively, in all conditions. Sail to WIN across Canada and beyond! Recommended for ages 16+ yrs.

Want to see what it’s all about? Check out these YouTube videos made by coaches and kids at Royal Victoria Yacht Club!

I earned all my CANSail levels – they gave me the skills I needed to compete in all types of boats and regattas, even internationally. I loved this program! Check out this picture (USA Today) of me and my teammate, Evert McLaughlin, racing for Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games!



See you on the water!
Alexandra Damley-Strnad
Racing and coaching at university now!

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