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Strictly Sail Pacific opens with youth-group day

Strictly Sail Pacific, which opens today at Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., will host local schoolchildren for special youth activity days today and Friday from 3:30-5 p.m.

The youth groups will meet at the all-sailboat show’s Discover Sailing dock, where they will be welcomed by Gary Edelman, Discover Sailing manager for Sail America and organizer of Strictly Sail Pacific.

Some of the groups are from the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation and Lincoln Square Recreation Center’s afterschool programs.

The youngsters will learn how to put sails up, how to tack, jibe, leave and approach a dock, and steer a sailboat. They also will have the opportunity to tour sailboats on the site. A few kids will get to go for a sail on San Francisco Bay.

“This program exposes young people, some of whom are from the inner city, to sailing as a form of recreation and learning,” Sail America manager Peter Durant said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be sharing our favorite sport, which can help young people develop self-confidence, teamwork skills, leadership abilities and stewardship to the environment.”

Other youth activities at Strictly Sail Pacific include free dockside classes on the schooner Seaward, held today and Friday at 4 and 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Seaward will take as many as 40 kids for a complimentary sail. Anyone who is interested is asked to sign up early because spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis via sign-up sheets at the Discover Sailing Dock.

The Seaward lessons and complimentary sailing trips, open to all Strictly Sail Pacific ticket holders, are sponsored by the St. Francis Yacht Club Foundation. The Seaward is owned by Call of the Sea, an educational non-profit based in Sausalito, Calif. Call of the Sea empowers youth of all backgrounds through sailing.

The all-sailboat show continues through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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