Program shows the ropes to young tackers

WATER safety and having fun will be the focus of the Tamar Yacht Club's introduction to sailing program for children aged seven to 12, which starts later this month.

Program organiser Julie Binder said it was part of the national Tackers sail training scheme and facilitated by the club's successful Tasmanian Outdoor, Boat and Caravan show at the Silverdome in September.

The program will be run at Lake Trevallyn and Beauty Point from Monday, January 20, using the club's fleet of Optimist dinghies.

"The Tackers program is a fun sailing course aimed at getting children out on the water and teaching them the basics about sailing," Ms Binder said.

"The boats are small and easy to handle and can have two children in them at a time."

The introductory session is the first of three stages in the Tackers program which consists of 20 hours of tuition, a Tackers kit and certificate.

Instructor Alex McLean said he had started his sailing in an Optimist about seven years ago and was now racing a high-performance moth class skiff and doing as much keelboat sailing as he could.

"All the instructors are qualified in safe boat handling and first aid and we maintain strict safety procedures when we're on the water," he said.

The Optimist is a nationally recognised introductory training dinghy and is unsinkable.

Ms Binder is also organising a schools' team sailing competition for the second week after school resumes in February.

Anyone interested in either the Tackers' program or the schools' sailing competition can contact Ms Binder on 0497176229 or the Tamar Yacht Club on 63318013 and

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