YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Members of the Youngstown Yacht Club Jr. Sailing program are competing in the Junior Can-Am Regatta on Tuesday and Wednesday. News 4’s Gabrielle Mediak caught up with the teams as they prepared and shared more on the youth sailing program.
Ava Wohlleber began sailing at just seven-years-old. For her family, setting out on the open water has become a right of passage. “My Grandpa was a sailor here on bigger boats for a long time and when I was of age, he brought me here and I grew up through the program.”
She’s one of Youngstown Yacht Club’s Junior Sailors. “I’m a skipper so I drive the boat and my crew does the other jobs to help our boat go fast,” she said.
The Club teaches ages 7-16 the fundamentals of sailing, boating safety and racing in a seven week program.
“They’ll learn how to be true teammates and understand what it takes to be safe on the boat, to win and to accomplish their goals throughout the summer,” said Charlie Kegler, Vice Commodore of Youngstown Yacht Club.
Ava and her team mates are competing in the Jr. Can-Am Regatta today and tomorrow. It features teams from all over Central and Western New York. The junior sailors spent Tuesday morning out on water, getting ready.
This all leads up to the Can-Am Regatta taking place this weekend. “It’s super exciting to return to normalcy. have out Canadian friends involved in the races this weekend and the following week,” said Kegler.
And for Ava, she’s happy to be carrying on her family’s long standing tradition. “Really proud knowing that new generations are sailing keeping the sport,” she said.
For more information on the sailing program for children and adults, head here.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.