Junior Sail

SMSC 2021 Junior Sail Update

It may seem like summer and the sailing season are still way beyond the horizon however preparations are well underway for the 2021 Junior Sail program. We are now in the process of confirming our coaching staff for this year.

The club is in the process of reviewing the program and will be implementing changes to give our sailors every opportunity to have fun and excel.

Some of the changes being reviewed:

  • Expanded Wet Feet program with half and full days being offered
  • Expanded fundamentals program leading into a recreational or competitive stream
  • Green fleet Opti and 420 race team
  • Competitive Opti and 420 race team
  • Expanded shoulder season training May – October
  • Additional classes
  • Expanded club fun racing

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at juniorsail@smsc.ca

We are looking forward to a great summer of sailing.

Ian Swan
Director of Junior Sail

SMSC Learn to Sail Programs

The St. Margaret Sailing Club Junior Sail program provides sailors ages 5 and up the opportunity to learn basic and advanced sailing skills. Our lessons are held at the beautiful St. Margaret Sailing Club in Glen Haven, Nova Scotia.

At SMSC we follow the Sail Canada’s national training program for sailing in dinghies. The CANSail program is made up of core standards that promote progressive training of core dinghy sailing skills and knowledge. CANSail programming means lots of time on the water in a safe, fun and active learning environment. Sailors learn the skills and enter into fun and challenging experiences suited to their age and stage of development. The programming is designed to get – and keep – sailors excited about sailing for life! 

We recognize the potential of every young sailor and strive to help them grow and plot their chosen course. 

Fundamental Program – Fundamental Skill Introduction and Development

  • WetFeet – Introduction to sailing for sailors aged five to nine years and designed for implementation in an Optimist Dinghy.
  • CANSail 1 – Introduction to sailing. CANSail 1 teaches sailors the fundamental sailing skills including basic sheeting, steering, and boat handling on all points of sail. Sailors can sail within defined boundaries set by an instructor
  • CANSail 2 – Basic sailing. CANSail 2 teaches sailors to adjust their bodies and boats for changes in direction and wind speed while sailing, and to perform boat-handling manoeuvres in a controlled manner while in a controlled setting.

Intermediate Programs – Fundamental Skill Consolidation

  • CANSail 3 – Intermediate sailing. CANSail 3 teaches sailors to integrate the fundamental boat handling manoeuvres and balance with basic tactics and strategy as well as applied sail trim. Sailors are exposed to a greater variety of conditions and participate in a club race or club training camp.
  • CANSail 4 – Advanced sailing. CANSail 4 teaches sailors to perform advanced boat handling manoeuvres in a variety of conditions. Sailors can successfully execute manoeuvres in competitive settings and for tactical and strategic purposes. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.

Advanced Programs – Applied Skill Acquisition

  • CANSail 5 – Basic integration of racing. CANSail 5 fully integrates boat handling with tactics and strategy. Sailors are also introduced to the concept of rig tuning and its relation to boat trim and conditions. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.
  • CANSail 6 – Full integration of racing. CANSail 6 fully integrates boat handling, sail trim, and rig setup with racing. Sailors train to perform all skills within a competitive race setting in order to achieve accurate sailing within a regatta and in all conditions. Sailors participate in a regional or provincial regatta.


Programs Offered

CANSail Checklist

SMSC Junior Sail Parent Guide Book

Safe Sport

CANSail Checklists

The CANSail level requirements for each session are provided to help the children understand the requirements at each level and what they need for each category to successfully pass and show proficiency with their instructor.

Check out full details of each CANSail level requirements

CANSail Checklists

Thursday Night Dinghy Fun Races

We will be starting our Thursday night fun dinghy races on July 16th. Come on out and sail with or against your junior sailor or friends!

A great opportunity to have fun – get wet and enjoy a great evening on the water!

We are offering both single handed racing in opti’s (sailors must be less than 120lbs) and double handed in club 420’s. Please note that at this time only white sails will be used in the 420’s.

  • Junior sail members and families welcome
  • All sailors must have previous sailing experience with the person in charge being a competent sailor
  • All participants must provide their own PFD
  • Closed toe footwear required by all sailors
  • A release of liability waiver and damage agreement to be signed prior to racing

Arrive anytime after 1700 and get ready to start off the breakwater for 1800

Register Here

Single Week Sailing Policy

Each CANSail program is designed as a two-week session/period to allow the kids to get the full benefit. The first week teaches the essential skills, which are discussed and executed with application and practice continuing in the second week to build proficiency in each skill. As we hire and pay our coaches based on this two-week model, our priorty is to fill these sessions first.  Single weeks may be requested although placement is not a guarantee.  One week prior to the session start date is the earliest a sailor may be confirmed if space is available for a one week session in the requested sailing level and approval of the placement. If this is of interest to you please email juniorsail@smsc.ca with the dates and class level and we will log and track for placement purposes.  A one-week session maybe possible although the first week of any program is preferred at a cost of $375.

Junior Sail Refund Policy

Due to the costs associated with training staff, maintaining equipment and administrative costs SMSC will not offer refunds on any registration fees for any of our Learn to Sail camps. Refunds may be considered in the event of an active waiting list for the camp in question or in the case of physical injury or illness in which case a doctor's note will be required.  

In the event that the your sailing week is cancelled due to Covid-19, a refund will be sent to you minus a 3% administration fee.

For further information regarding the program, please contact:
Director of Junior Sail at juniorsail@smsc.ca.

Drop Off and Pick Up

The Junior Sail Program starts everyday with drop off between 8:30 am and 9:00 am and pick up is from 4:00 pm to 4:30 pm.