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Offshore Sailing School launches new contest

By Staff | Jun 15, 2011

To encourage more sailors to take advantage of the sailing lifestyle, Offshore Sailing School announced today a new contest for those who want to learn to cruise and start bareboat chartering. The prize is a 6-day/7-night bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands, on a three-cabin 41-foot cruising boat provided by The Moorings, a world leader in yacht charters since 1971.

The contest is open to anyone who takes a cruising course at Offshore Sailing School between June 1 and Dec. 31, 2011 and writes a short story about their learning experience or a related sailing adventure. Entries will be judged by Cruising World magazine editors. The winner may enjoy their bareboat charter in 2012.

“Bareboat chartering in the British Virgin Islands is an exhilarating and peaceful holiday getaway,” explains Doris Colgate, CEO and President of Offshore Sailing School. The school is the “Official Sailing School” for The Moorings and has been teaching cruising courses on Moorings Yachts for more than 30 years. To become qualified as a bareboat charter skipper – capable of commanding and sailing a 40′-50′ cruising yacht without the help of a captain or paid crew – Offshore provides several course options.

“Fast Track To Cruising” is the most popular according to Colgate. It takes a novice (no or little prior sailing experience) to cruise-ready in seven days. This comprehensive course starts with two days learning on Colgate 26 while living ashore “to get the true feeling of sailing and learn quickly how to read the wind and maneuver a boat with wind power alone,” explains Colgate. Then the next five days are spent living aboard – learning how to handle a large cruising yacht with an expert Offshore Sailing School instructor.

“If you have never sailed the Caribbean you are missing the adventure of a lifetime, says Gil Szabo of Penticton, British Columbia, who recently completed the Fast Track to Cruising course with Offshore. “The skills and local knowledge of Mike Huffer, Offshore’s instructor, were fantastic and proved to be invaluable. This is a must do vacation for any boating enthusiast.

Karen Marcilliat of Mableton, Ga., who completed the Fast Track to Cruising course with her husband in 2010 wrote, “The most amazing week of ‘vacation’ we’ve ever had – hands down! The “Fast Track to Cruising” course was an exceptional learning opportunity and gave my husband and me the knowledge and skills to enjoy cruising for the rest of our lives.

For those with basic sailing experience equivalent to Offshore Sailing School’s “Learn To Sail” course, the “Live Aboard Cruising” course is all that is required to start bareboat chartering on one’s own. Sailors who are qualified for more advanced cruising courses may take “Catamaran Live Aboard Navigation,” “Coastal Passage Making” or “Offshore Passage Making” for long distance sailing skills. All cruising courses at Offshore are taught on 43′ to 50′ monohulls or catamarans.

Offshore Sailing School was founded in 1964 by Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Steve Colgate. It has seven locations in Florida (including Captiva and Fort Myers), New York, Maryland and the British Virgin Islands and teaches a full range of courses for beginners and advanced sailors.

For more information, visit www.OffshoreSailing.com, call 800-221-4326 or e-mail sail@OffshoreSailing.com.