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Learn to Sail Right Here in Arizona!

The O'Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman
O’Pen Bics, performance boats for
young teens. Photo: Phil Freedman

Yes, it’s true. You or your kids can learn to sail right here in the desert. The Arizona Sailing Foundation offers classes set up for fun—with maximum time on the water. A little classroom, a lot of boat. Soon you’re scooting across Tempe Town Lake powered by nothing but the wind. What a kick!
ASF is the educational subsidiary of the Arizona Yacht Club, a nonprofit run by AYC members who share their passion for sailing with others. The classes use ASF boats and are taught by instructors certified by US Sailing.

ASF Education Programs:

Junior Sailing

  • Kids’ Introduction to Sailing for first time and young sailors to build confidence on the water. Students accepted as young as eight years old.
  • MORE Junior Sailing – A class for students who have built confidence in an Opti and are ready for more sailing skills and more types of boats. NOW ENROLLING as of July 31, 2021.
  • High School Sailing – An after-school program for fun, learning, and a bit of competition. NOW ENROLLING as of July 31, 2021.

Adult Classes

Questions: Contact the ASF President.

When you sign up for a kids’ class, you’ll be guided through the sign-up process, including a medical questionnaire and legal release. If there are questions on the medical release that you are unable to answer, just indicate that in the blank with a “DK.
AYC Members may be able to receive a $50 scholarship for a child to attend an ASF Junior class. Fill out this form, attach a written paragraph or drawing and return it to the AYC Commodore for consideration.
Opti drifting on a sunny afternoon. Photo: Mike Ferring
Opti drifting on a sunny afternoon. Photo: Mike Ferring

Learning to Sail: For the kids it can begin with a Junior Introduction class and progress through multiple levels (if they want to) until they’re competing internationally in sailboat races. Several of our kids have done exactly that. If you’re an adult, try out sailing with our Beginning Sailing class, where you spend more time on the water than you do in a classroom (but you’ll still get all the necessary theory and jargon in the classroom).
ASF has a fleet of instructional boats kept in the marina at Tempe Town Lake, including Optis, O’Pen Bics, Capri 14.2s, and Lasers. There are two powered support boats and at least one is always on the lake during every class. We have a core of volunteer US Sailing-certified sailing instructors and US Sailing-certified powerboat instructors (to teach powerboating and to drive the safety boats).
Naturally a nonprofit program of this scope needs contributions and we welcome yours. If you have a boat (of any kind in seaworthy condition) or trailer, consider donating it to ASF and receiving a tax deduction. Or simply contribute money. Please see our donate page.

The mission: The Arizona Sailing Foundation, Inc., will provide fun, safe, community based education in the art of sailing on a non-discriminatory basis. The Arizona Sailing Foundation, Inc. admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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