GORGE Junior Sailing is dedicated to promoting the lifelong sport of sailing in a safe, fun, and educational environment to the Gorge community. With a focus on teaching sailing, the program also fosters growth in life skills such as sportsmanship, teamwork, independence, and responsibility.
GORGE Junior Sailing (GJS) was founded in 2005 by Jaime and Andy Mack (past US Sailing Team members and avid cruisers) in coordination with Hood River Community Education (HRCE) to create a small boat, learn-to-sail program. Past HRCE director, Mike Schend, should be credited for creating the youth sailing program. Mr. Schend made arrangements with the Port of Hood River to allow sailing classes to take place on the float plane docks and in the confines of the marina. Over the years GJS has worked in collaboration with HRCE, The Port of Hood River, Hood River Yacht Club, and Columbia Gorge Racing Association. Starting as a small program that provided basic learn-to-sail opportunities to youth in Optimist dinghies, GJS continues to expand class offerings to include O’Pen Bics, Club 420s, advanced classes, and adult dinghy classes. Some of our sailors have become program instructors or junior instructors, and race with high school or college sailing teams. GJS is the proud recipient of US Sailing’s 2011 Outstanding Seasonal Program Award. In 2017, GORGE Junior Sailing officially became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a board of directors handling program logistics and operations.