A new youth program is sailing its way to Chula Vista.
The Reality Sailing Youth Program is a new four-week, two-days-a-week program that is designed specifically for youth to master the skills of sailing while being certified.
Manuel Moreno, director of the sailing program, said the program teaches kids how to read longitude and latitude, predict weather conditions, navigation and safety procedures.
The only pre-requisite is that those who sign up for the program must know how to swim and tread water for five minutes, Moreno said.
Moreno said sailing gives the community another way to stay active.
“(Reality Sailing is) providing another sport for the community,” he said.
The water sport, Moreno said, is a fun way to be environmentally friendly too.
“Sailing is used as an alternative way of traveling, to enjoy nature while not contaminating the Earth,” he said.
Moreno said an example of sailing as an efficient alternative to traveling is that it costs less than $50 in diesel fuel to sail from San Diego to La Paz in Baja California in less than two weeks.
He said traveling by car would cost hundreds of dollars, although a person will get there faster by car, they won’t be able to enjoy nature and help make the planet cleaner.
Before taking over at Reality Sailing Youth Program, Moreno directed Chula Vista Yacht Club youth program.
He got into sailing 16 years ago when the economy forced him out of his architecture job.
He signed up for a few classes and immediately fell in love with the sport and has been instructing youth for four years.
When Moreno was an architect, he said he was part of the team that helped design Otay Ranch’s Olympian High School.
He said as a sailing instructor he has a responsibility to teach his students the positive effects sailing has on the environment.
“We need to make Americans aware what they can do to avoid pollution,” he said.
“(Sailing) benefits the environment, benefits youth with more sports activities and benefits science.”
An open house is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at Otay Lake’s launching facility.
Eastlake High School’s band will provide live musical entertainment, there will also be a sailing clinic and Lido 14 will take families around the lake on their sail boats.
Youths as young as 8 years old can register for the class; the program asks for a $250 donation.
To register, call Reality Sailing Youth Program at (619) 249-2660.