Sailing Club at Lake Hefner means harnessing Oklahoma’s steady ‘summer wind’

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Rudders, masts, lines- the list of stuff you need for sailing is surprisingly long, and that's just the start at sailing camp.

"It is fun but it can be a challenge," says sailing camp coach Lynn Pinegar.

Ask campers Caroline Blakewell or Charlie Zeeck; they've learned just enough to know they don't know very much.

Charlie points out, "There's all the knots."

Caroline says, "I'm learning much more than I was expecting."

From an inventive way to remember a figure eight knot to capsize drills, teachers like Lynn Pinegar spend their summers turning 'lubbers' into proper sailors.

"Make the guy, hang the guy, and poke him in the eye," coaches Pinegar as she demonstrates the knot.

"They just have to be out here to experience it," she continues. "The more they're out here, the better the experience, the better they get, the more fun they have."

The Oklahoma City Boat Club at Lake Hefner has been offering sailing camps for decades now.

Caroline came out because she wanted to catch up to her dad's level.

"My dad is still a sailor," she states.

Charlie came out because he wanted to teach his dad to sail.

"None of my family has a history of this," he says.

Young ensign Zeeck also wears a helmet because he's still learning to avoid the sweeping boom.

"It's happened a lot," he smiles. "A lot."

Both of them join other students on one of the best lakes for sailing in Oklahoma.

There isn't a lot of other boat traffic, and there's always a steady wind.

The lake, says Pinegar, "is actually elevated so we get a lot of good, undisturbed wind. It's a really great place to teach sailing."

Jibing, tacking, upwind and down, they spend a full week out here.

A lot of students spend most of their summers on the water.

"Some of these kids have been here six or seven years," says Lynn.

At the end of their first session, each young sailor takes his or her parents out for an evening on the water.

In a place known for its breezes, sailing is a good skill to have, and the perfect way to spend a summer.

For more information about the Oklahoma City Boat Club at Lake Hefner or about sailing lessons go to their website or visit them on Facebook.

Is This a Great State or What? is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union.

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