“The instruction they receive is a big part of it, but the kids also have a lot of passion for sailing,” she said. “They spend a lot of time out on the water.”
Their talent on the water was showcased again on Friday, as Spring Lake Yacht Club members faired very well at the West Michigan Youth Sailing Association’s Spring Lake Regatta, held on Spring Lake. The competition was huge, Reierson said, with approximately 95 boats competing, and with their crew included, about 120 children were in attendance at the event.
The start was delayed due to a lack of wind, but conditions eventually improved to accommodate the anxious sailors.
Spring Lake sailors failed to produce a first-place finish in any of the six divisions that were based on the boats they were sailing, but they shined overall, including placing six of the top seven finishes in the butterfly fleet. Muskegon Yacht Club sailor David Michael Griswold took first in the division, then Spring Lake Yacht Club members filled up the rest of the top five, with Frank Reeg in second, Mason Wolters in third, Olivia Windemuller in fourth, and Noah Wolters in fifth.
Another top finisher from the SLYC came in the laser fleet, as Libby Reeg placed fourth overall.
The competition included sailors from six different yacht clubs, including Gull Lake, St. Joseph, Macatawa Bay, Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Spring Lake. Sailors from Macatawa Bay had a strong day, as they took first-place honors in the optimist green fleet; the optimist red, white and blue fleet; the laser radial fleet; and the 420 fleet.
Children in the competition ranged in age from 6-17.
For more information on the Spring Lake Junior Sailing Association, visit www.sljsa.org.
“We offer lessons for kids 5 and up throughout the summer,” Reierson said. “And it’s open to the public, which I believe many people aren’t aware of.”