What is the SBCSA
The mission of the SBCSA is to provide affordable sailing lessons and affordable access to sailing for the youth and adults of the mid-Michigan area, to promote interest in sailing as a life-long sport, and to develop teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-confidence in our students through experiential learning.
In 1995, a group of local sailors sat down and established the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association. This was their answer to their realization that easy and affordable access to sailing was limited in the tri-county area. What was needed was an organization that would let the area youth and adults try sailing, teach them the basics of sailing, and then provide an opportunity to continue sailing, all at a very affordable cost.
The first year was spent defining the organizational structure and identifying resources that could help them accomplish their goals. By the next year, a few Optimist prams were acquired, instructors were trained and certified by U.S. Sailing, and a training base was established on the Saginaw River at Wenonah Park in downtown Bay City. Finally, in the following summer, the first lessons were given to many eager youths. Once you see the excitement and enthusiasm of a first time sailor after their solo voyage, you know all the time and hard work was well spent.
From that initial launch, a team of dedicated members and volunteers and donors and corporate sponsors have allowed the Association to grow at a steady pace. Larger boats were acquired allowing adult lessons to be offered, and more prams were built by Association members. The on-the-water facilities in Wenonah Park have been improved, and several larger keelboats were donated and made available for use by qualified members.
Hundreds of students of all ages have gone through the SBCSA sail training program. Many have gone on to buy their own sailboats, participate in the local racing programs, or continue to sail through the SBCSA’s Open Sailing and Independent sailing programs
As one participant stated, “Bay City’s best kept secret is sailing lessons offered by the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association” and another adult student said “the SBCSA lessons were one of the best things I’ve treated myself to in a long time.”
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