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Local teens learn sailing, leadership skills

The combination of white sails, saltwater, fresh breezes and youthful enthusiasm combine to make for a good time on most weekends just off the Port of Redwood City.

As it has since its formation in 2000, the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation teaches kids to sail. The boats are dinghies: the Flying Junior, the 420 Class and the Laser Class.

The sailing foundation is co-hosting the PortFest at the Port of Redwood City, held this year on Saturday, Oct. 5. Along with an onshore fair, on-the-water activities will include an introduction to sailing for kids and teens, boat rides, kite boarding and crewing. Vessels expected include the Gryphon, a restored Army transport vessel operated by the Sea Scouts; and the Robert G. Brownlee, a research vessel operated by the Marine Science Institute.

The coach at the sailing foundation since September 2012 is Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer, a sailor of note and a participant in the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London, where she placed fifth in Laser Radial team racing.

"Sailing is a sport that anyone can pick up, no matter what age," Ms. O'Bryan Vandemoer said in an email. "I love teaching all ages to sail. Being able to take a very abstract thing and see the light bulb go on for someone is awesome. It never gets old. My favorite type of kid to coach is one that is open minded to new things, adventurous, and capable of laughing at themselves. Sailing is a life-time sport, so getting someone to love it is the goal."

Dave Boyce

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