Do students need to know how to swim?
Yes. Safety is our priority. All students need to be comfortable swimming in a life jacket/PFD.
What gear should students bring to class?
(Please be sure to label belongings with name & phone number! Instructors are not responsible for loss or damage to personal property of the student.)
- Properly fitting life jacket (PFD) – sailing or kayaking style.
- ***Minnows parents need their own life jackets too!***
- Closed-toed shoes that can get wet. No flip-flops please!
- Clothing that can get wet and appropriate for water temp/weather conditions.
(Rashguards, wet suit – shorty or wetsuit shorts or top, etc. Avoid cotton!)
- Water bottle (Dehydration is serious!)
- Sunglasses, hat/visor
- Towel & change of clothes
What kind of life jacket is best?
Sailing/kayak style. Properly fitting PFD must be worn at all times while on the docks, on the beach, and while sailing.
West Coast Sailing has a great selection for kids & adults: https://www.westcoastsailing.net/default/apparel/categories/life-jackets.html
Good examples of properly fitting PFDs:
Can I wear a waist-style inflatable PFD, like I use on my SUP?
No, unfortunately these are not appropriate for using while sailing dinghies. If it’s manually inflating, and the sailor becomes unable to inflate the PFD, then the PFD will not be able to assist them when needed. If it’s an automatic inflating PFD, there is a chance it will automatically inflate at an undesired time while sailing and hinder sailing ability.
Will classes be cancelled or rescheduled due to no wind?
Sailing classes will begin at the scheduled time regardless of the weather conditions. All classes will be held rain or shine, heavy winds or no wind. If weather prevents sailing, appropriate onshore instruction and activities will be conducted. Classes will not be canceled or rescheduled due to weather. Refunds are not provided due to weather or lack of wind. Thank you for your understanding.
Please notify GORGE Junior Sailing or Hood River Community Education as soon as possible if you need to cancel your class for any reason. Cancellations must be made 1 week prior to the first day of class to receive a refund or a credit towards another class.
Where are classes taught?
Meeting place for classes is top of the HR Marina south basin dock, located just behind Hood River DMV. Instruction takes place outdoors on the lawn next to the Hood River DMV office and on the south basin dock. Sailing takes place in the Hood River Marina and on the Columbia River. We do not have an indoor classroom location.
Can I use my own boat during classes?
Yes! It’s best to use the same or similar kind of boat. GJS has Optis, Bics, 420s. Contact us with questions. Students using a personal boat during class receive a 20% discount on their class fee.