High school sailing team launched
About 35 years ago, on the site of the present-day Baja Cantina, there was a restaurant called the Park City Yacht Club.
It was a bit of stretch when you consider that the nearest sailing spots were miles away, at Rockport and Deer Creek reservoirs. But the construction of the Jordanelle Reservoir in the early 1990s suddenly brought sailing close to home.
Then came the Park City Sailing Association in 2008. 2012 it had acquired a fleet of sailboats, organized a series of races and involved more than 300 kids in its programs.
Now comes the Park City High School Sailing Team, with aspirations of racing against sailing programs in other states.
High school senior Molly Leavens said the idea came up last fall when she was crewing on a boat in the Park City Regatta with Romain Astie, then president of the association. Leavens began promoting the idea among her high school classmates.
"We have about 12 (team members), like, core fully committed," she said. "But since we’re not even near to being on the boats yet, we still are open for any new members.
"I would say at least half have a solid amount of (sailing) experience, and then the majority of the other half have at least been on a boat before, but probably have not captained one."
She said the team will use boats owned by the sailing association.
"They were, like, ‘Yeah, we’d love to have a high school sailing team,’ so we’re kind of the Park City Sailing Club High School Sailing Team."
Leavens said the team’s goal is to be on the reservoir by the end of April.
"So, in the beginning of the year, when we don’t want to be capsizing, we’ll be doing larger boats with more people. But, I think, competition-wise, (we’ll be using) probably Lasers and then 420s."
With the program still in its infancy, there are no dates on the competition calendar yet, she said. "Originally the plan was to travel some this summer and go to some competitions, mostly California. They have a really big circuit over there."
To raise money for future expenses, team members are selling $35 gift cards to the Travel Clean car wash. For every card they sell, they earn $17.
"We’re going to use that to buy new sails and probably some sort of uniform, any equipment we need, or to just to help subsidize any travel we plan to attend."
For more information on the program or the fundraiser, Leavens can be reached at (312) 320-7907.
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Chase Campbell, a Park City High School sophomore, has a busy summer schedule, including the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships on July 22-23.