A Community Sailing Center
Charleston Community sailing operates this center, primarily for High School Sailing, in downtown Charleston in the marina near the James Island Bridge. They also do summer sailing classes and provide sailing opportunities to the special Olympics.
Over 200 High School Sailors shore these 12 boats. Practice time is very limited for each team.
Full information on Charleston Community Sailing, a wonderful program and the first of its kind in the Charleston area, is available on their website, a link to which is near the bottom of this page.
The College of Charleston operates a somewhat larger facility with a larger number and variety of boats at the Patriot's Point Marina.
The facility consists of a low raft on which 12 Olympic 420s are cradled. Along with space for two motorized chase boats. There is a small awning for shore instruction. Lockers on a nearby dock are available for sail storage. There is no indoor space where video or computer simulations can be used. An office in the marina building, about half a mile away provides administrative space. Community sailing is currently developing plans for a new center downtown.
years ago, Community Sailing offered to design, build and operate it's new
facility at Waterfront Memorial Park in Mt. Pleasant at no cost to the town, but
their offer was rejected. They were refused permission to display their
plans for the center at the public hearings on the park and ordered not to hand
out any printed materials.
Two motorized chase boats are maintained at the Community Sailing facility. Youth sailors steer around the bridge supports and reach the river under all sorts of wind and tide conditions.
The entire center is on floating docks which can be relocated if necessary.
The chase boats are used for coaching and operated by trained sailing instructors. The are also used to tow boats out in the morning before the wind comes up, so young sailors will be ready to sail immediately. Since teams often sail until the wind drops off in the evening, the chase boats are often used to tow the sailboats home. Time for each team is limited, so every effort is made to make every available minute pay off.
Cities in Florida and other states have a much higher ratio of centers and boats to youth than Charleston.
Full information on Charleston Community Sailing can be found on their website, which includes lost of images of our High School Sailors.
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