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Jul. 22, 2019
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UYC readies for spring and summer, junior sailing

By Pamela A. Keene
 
On a pretty day at the end of March 35 to 40 members of University Yacht Club turned out to get ready for spring and summer. Members brought rakes, chain saws, trucks and gators to clean up the shoreline from recent high lake levels. 
 
“The high water really seemed like the lake was purging itself of garbage and debris,” said Chris Ferris, club manager. “That means that we need to be diligent to keep the shoreline clean. We have about 11,000 feet of shoreline here at UYC, and we are dedicated to being good stewards of the lake.”
 
He said they removed items that ranged from limbs and debris to Styrofoam and old tires. “We also gathered biodegradable items to use in our on-property compost pile that’s used on our landscape,” he said.  
 
Club members also worked on the organization’s 36 sailboats in the UYC Maritime Foundation’s  junior program, boats either built by club members or purchased through donations. They rigged all the boats, inspected them for needed repairs and cleaned them for two weeks of coaching in June.
 
This year’s UYC Maritime Foundation junior program will take place in two one-week sessions from June 9-14 and June 16-21. Nearly 40 youngsters will take part in the program to learn sailing basics and sportsmanship.
 
“Our junior program has grown over the past 10 years, and we’re making a name for ourselves with US Sailing,” said Rick Smith who helps oversee the program. “Thanks to program director Susan Reddaway, we’re hosting a US Sailing Level 1 instructors class this spring to train coaches, several who have come up through our program. Others have gone on to teach sailing across the country.”
 
Community outreach 
Ferris said that the club is increasing its community outreach. For years, the organization has hosted A Day on the Lake for people with special needs. The UYC Maritime Foundation has provided scholarships to area high school students and until a couple of years ago, managed the lake’s Christmas Parade of Lights. 
 
“We are now working with students at Lanier College and Career Academy to provide internships and possible future employment for hands-on learning here at the club with our chef,” Ferris said. “And our scholarship program is helping support the Marine Technology program at Lanier Tech.”
 
For more information about University Yacht Club, visit www.universityyachtclub.net.

Posted online 4/29/19
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