Sint Maarten Yacht Club restarts Primary School Sailing program

Sint Maarten Yacht Club starts back its Primary School Sailing Program with 2 schools introducing 24 students to sailing

September 14, 2021 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten – This past week the Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) started a new season of its Primary School Sailing Program, this year it has two schools participating the Seventh Day Adventist School and the Sister Regina Primary School. 12 students from each school will receive sailing lessons on a weekly basis for the entire season at no cost. In previous years this Program has been supported by the private sector through sponsorship from ACE, Liccom, Ice and Kooyman. This year the SMYC applied for funding from the World Trust Fund, with assistance from R4CR and has secured continuation and expansion of its Primary School Sailing Program.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club has as a main goal promoting sailing on the island of Sint Maarten. “The youth sailing program plays a major role in accomplishing this goal and we are always looking for ways to further develop and grow the program. As an Association we rely on donations and sponsorships and are grateful to have been granted the funding from the Sint Maarten Trust Fund with technical support from the R4CR Program. By continuing our efforts of introducing local youth to sailing, we are hoping to strengthen sponsorship relations and create new opportunities.” States Michele Korteweg, General Manager of the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club has been able to invite two primary schools for its program this season. The program consists of free, weekly sailing lessons for 12 students from the 6th grade of each school for the duration of the season. This past week the students enjoyed their first sailing class. The Sister Regina school came on Thursday and the Seventh Day Adventists school on Friday.

“To be able to attend the Sailing Classes the participants should be able to swim and feel comfortable around the water. Besides the fact that all sailors are wearing lifejackets, we require a certain level of swimming to assure safety regulations. New to this year’s Primary School Sailing Program are swimming classes for those children who require to develop their swimming level, this additional program is called the Swim 2 Sail Program. We are happy to collaborate with Mr. Busby as the swimming teacher. He will take the children that require swimming classes to Kim Sha Beach and train them until they are able to participate in the sailing classes.” Explains Head Sailing Instructor Saskia Revelman.

The focus for the first month will be on getting the children comfortable in and around the water, comfortable in a boat without a sail, and let them feel in control of the boat. The children will also have to learn about wind direction, overall safety, knots, and respecting nature.

Step by step their confidence will increase until everyone is confident enough to sit in a boat with a sail, steer the boat and feel in control when sailing in the lagoon.

Those kids who show a real interest and ability in sailing could potentially continue in the Club’s regular youth sailing program through individual, private, sponsorships. This opens the door to further development in the sport as they can continue to learn how to race and compete in many local and regional events.

“We are proud to contribute to our community in this way, to get more local youth out on the water and give them the possibility to be involved in the marine industry. Sailing is a sport of ethics, fair play and sportsmanship. One of the important arguments for participation in the sport is the belief that it creates situations which provide opportunities to learn lessons for life about desirable and undesirable conduct. This moral and educational aspect contributes to the positive development of individuals and, in turn, to the development of society.” Continues Revelman.

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You can find some more pictures online.

About the Sint Maarten Yacht Club:

Established in 1980 with the goal to promote sailing on the island of St Maarten. It organizes multiple sailing events throughout the year, with the St Maarten Heineken Regatta as its crown jewel. A youth sailing program stimulates local youngsters to become part of the sailing community, teaching them life skills like team work, perseverance and confidence. Always looking to further develop sailing on St Maarten, the Club is active in promoting the sport, as well as the beautiful destination it is located at. For more information visit

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