Sailing camp underway at the Gulfport Yacht Club

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Yacht Club sailing director Sam Vasquez says he's had an excellent turnout of youngsters 8 to 17 years old.

They check in a 9 in the morning and set sail. They'll take a few breaks for lunch and training sessions and it's back on the water.

Vasquez said,"We mainly focus on water safety, on water fun and of course the basics of learning how to sail. As they progress and as they want to progress we go into the fundamentals of racing tactics and strategies."

On this day the wind was blowing, giving the sailors good experience in the ways of competing and overcoming a sail boat flip over.

11-year-old Anna Bella Matthews, 10-year-old Olivia Potts and 11-year-old Martha Omara used the techniques they learned at the beginning of the sailing camp to overcome a flipped sailboat. In the Gulfport Yacht Club swimming pool...they were instructed on the correct procedure in getting the sailboat back in position and used that lesson on Monday after the wind flipped their sailboat to the side and into the Mississippi Sound.@

Anna Bella Matthews said,"You swim to the other side of the boat and you get the center board which is the part that keeps the boat steady and you lean on it and it flips the boat back over."

Olivia Potts says she wasn't afraid when the sailboat capsized. That wasn't always the case. In fact Olivia says she didn't like sailing, but once she got the wind blowing in her face and started breathing the fresh air, she changed her tune.

"When I started sailing I was kind of scared of it. When I starting doing it I found out I really liked it,"stated Potts.

Jacob Seidshnaydre is 17-years-old and is one of the top junior sailors on the coast. He's helping train the youngsters at the sailing camp. He's and Sam Hopkins Junior will be competing in a big sailing event this weekend at the Southern Yacht Club.. the Junior Olympian.

Seidshnaydre stated,"Right now we have the biggest regatta of the year coming up and we're teaching some of our youngsters how to fly the spinnaker on the flying scout."

15 to 20 yacht clubs from throughout the Gulf Coast region will be participating.

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