The achievements of the Shelburne Sailing Academy and the advancement of sailing in Shelburne over the last 8 years have been nothing short of remarkable. The Learn To Sail program has been mainly directed at the youth of, and visitors to, Shelburne and the surrounding county although more emphasis is now being placed on attracting families to the sport. In total, some 425 students have attended the Academy over the last 8 years and many have been awarded the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) White Sail Level 3 qualification.
In addition, the Academy has been very successful in delivering a program which has allowed many students from disadvantaged households to successfully complete the program. The training programs offered range from introductions to sailing for 4-year olds and beyond, called the Opti MASH1 program, to more advanced Canadian Yachting Association courses, and instructor training and racing programs. The group has also hosted a Nova Scotia Yachting Association sponsored Coaching Course for 16 students from around the Province, 5 of which came from Shelburne.
The ongoing success of the Academy and its programs has been highly dependent on having access to a core of competent, young instructors, and Coach Guy Tipton has carefully nurtured 5 Shelburne Sailing Academy graduates to progress to be certified CYA instructors. These individuals fulfill the roles of Academy instructors and continue to progress through the structured CYA training program, and compete, highly successfully, at provincial and national racing championships. In 2010, the Yacht Club purchased two 420 dinghies to provide a more competitive racing platform. With less than a year’s experience on the 420, Evan Bower and Nick Williams became the Royal Navy League Cadet National Champions. They also won the Provincial 420 Regatta held during the Baddeck Race Week. To top off their achievements this year, Evan and Nick were the first placed junior team at the Albacore World Championships while Daniel Race and Eliza Hyde were placed second. The personal achievement of these individuals was attained through opportunities provided by Guy and his hands on coaching in building their skill to a level to allow them to compete.
Also worthy of mention, Guy and Matt King very capably competed at the national, North American and world levels in the Fireball and Albacore classes. This year, they placed first at the Mid-winter North American Fireball Championships. Tipton was also recognized by the NSYA as the Provincial Coach of the Year.
Under his guidance, and through hosting the East Coast Albacore Championship, now in its 8th year, Shelburne has become recognized as a prime location for competitive sailing, and the home to some very talented competitors.
The fact that Shelburne was chosen to host the Canadian Nationals in 2013, speaks volumes to this recognition.
These outstanding successes have served to place Shelburne on the competitive sailing map and will, in the future, attract sailors to Shelburne and contribute to the Town’s economic development.