Ooops. I screwed up again.
A few weeks ago I wrote in Where Can I Learn to Sail in a Laser? that I didn't know of any sailing schools that teach total beginners in Lasers.
I should have know that Sailfit in Clearwater, Florida (which I have attended twice) does teach beginners in Lasers. Because I had attended a couple of clinics there to work on refining my racing skills I had somehow got the idea that that was all they do. But it says perfectly clearly on their website, "We are very pleased to continue to teach Laser sailors from beginner through advanced." (My emphasis.)
Kurt Taulbee, the guy who runs Sailfit, wrote an email to me at the weekend to point out to me the error of my ways...
I have had several clients with no Laser experience come to Clearwater to learn how to sail. I have boats for them to use during the lessons. I show them how to rig their boat and give them pictures of the rigging. I show them how to launch their boat and then I sail alongside them in my own boat. I tell them to steer left or right to help them feel the flow over the sail. I show them how to sit in the boat and hold the tiller properly. I show them how to sheet the sail in properly. Then tacking and jibing, etc. This method works quite well. If they capsize and can’t bring it back up I jump in and help them. If it is windy we downsize the sail to radial or 4.7. I have also had a bunch of beginner sailors attend our seminars. Even if they can’t do all the drills they progress very well over the seminar and understand what they need to practice.
Anyway, SAILFIT does provide instruction for sailors that are just starting out.
To make things worse when I found Kurt's email early yesterday morning and hastily dashed off an email to apologize for my oversight I called him "Karl". In mitigation I will say that I had just got out of bed, was somewhat bleery-eyed, and was still waiting for my first cup of coffee of the day to brew.
Anyway. I strongly recommend that you should check out Sailfit if you want some superb instruction on how to sail a Laser whatever your level of experience. I wrote about my time there this year at Sailfit Revisited.
Sorry Karl. I mean Kurt.