500 Sails offers new sailing class this July

Posted on Jul 12 2022

500 Sails has opened registration to its latest Lalayak class. Lalayak is 500 Sails’ introductory program devoted to teaching island residents to sail Chamorro canoes. All training sessions are free and take place at the 500 Sails Guma Sakman at Civic Center in Susupe. Youth 12 years old and and up must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

The Lalayak program consists of four consecutive training sessions scheduled as follows: 

• Saturday, July 30, 2022:  9:30am – 3:30pm

• Sunday, July 31, 2022: 12pm – 6pm

• Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022: 10am – 6pm

• Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022: 10:30am – 6pm

Land sessions teach historic context, canoe design, sailing vocabulary, knots, points of sail, true and apparent wind, sail trim, steering, rules of the road, safety, traditions and protocol, log entries, hazards of navigation, and more, in a classroom setting.

Ocean sessions are on the beach and within the lagoon. Training includes canoe rigging, launching, sailing practice, man-overboard practice, capsize and recovery practice, and post-sailing cleanup and putting away canoes. Students crew and sail 26-foot canoes together, with guidance from experienced sailors.

Prerequisites and registration
Registrants must pass two swim tests to qualify for the Lalayak program. The first swim test is an untimed, nonstop 300-meter swim from the Guma Sakman to the first lagoon tank and back. Students may use any stroke they are comfortable with during the test, as long as they keep moving and do not touch the bottom. The second test requires that the students tread water for 60 minutes (as a group). The tests are scheduled on July 26 at 5pm or July 28 at 5pm at the Guma Sakman.

Don’t let the treading water test scare you! Ninety-nine percent of students are successful. Many master treading water during the test. Coaches and lifeguards will be there to help you.

Students who pass the swim tests are automatically registered.

For more information contact Andrew Roberto, director of Community Programs, at 670-323-7245 (SAIL), aroberto@500sails.org, or message via Facebook or Instagram.

500 Sails is a 501(c)(3) and CNMI tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving, promoting, and preserving the maritime cultural traditions of the Mariana Islands through community engagement in canoe cultural values and activities. 500 Sails’ vision is a healthy thriving native community that has successfully integrated traditional cultural values into modern life. Major supporting partners include the CNMI Office of Indigenous Affairs, IT&E, and the Chamolinian Cultural Village Inc – Canoe Federation. (PR)

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