Overview of the CANSail Dinghy Program

At the core of our training offerings is the CANSail Program, which serves as Canadian Sailing’s national training program for dinghy sailing. This program is structured around fundamental standards that facilitate progressive training in essential dinghy sailing skills and knowledge.

CANSail emphasizes hands-on learning, ensuring that participants spend ample time on the water in a safe, enjoyable, and dynamic learning environment. Sailors enrolled in CANSail programs acquire the skills needed to embark on exciting and challenging experiences tailored to their age and developmental stage.

The overarching aim of our programming is to instill and sustain a lifelong passion for sailing.

CANSail Programs are made accessible to sailors throughout Canada, and they are delivered by local clubs and schools.

Our objective is to cultivate sailing excellence and promote sustained engagement in the sport, whether for performance or lifelong enjoyment.

Why Choose CANSail

The CANSail program is structured to provide sailors with a progressive set of learn-to-sail standards, focusing on establishing a strong foundation of core skills. It emphasizes skill consolidation before introducing more complex techniques to ensure that sailors have a solid grasp of essential competencies.

Introductory Programs

  • WetFeet – Designed for young sailors aged five to eight, this program offers an introduction to sailing, typically using an Optimist Dinghy.
  • ICANSail – This program introduces basic sailing concepts and allows first-time participants to experience sailing on the water.
  • CANSail 1 –Sailors in CANSail 1 learn fundamental sailing skills, including basic sheeting, steering, and boat handling on various points of sail. They sail within defined boundaries set by their instructor.
  • CANSail 2 –This program builds on the basics, teaching sailors to adapt their bodies and boats to changes in wind direction and speed. Sailors also learn boat-handling maneuvers in a controlled setting.

Intermediate Programs

  • CANSail 3 – Sailors in CANSail 3 integrate fundamental boat-handling maneuvers and balance with basic tactics, strategy, and applied sail trim. They gain exposure to a wider range of conditions and may participate in a club race or training camp.
  • CANSail 4 – In CANSail 4, sailors learn to execute advanced boat-handling maneuvers in various conditions. They can perform these maneuvers competitively, tactically, and strategically. Sailors participate in local regattas lasting one to two days.

Advanced Programs

  • CANSail 5 –CANSail 5 focuses on fully integrating boat handling with tactics and strategy. Sailors are introduced to rig tuning and its relationship with boat trim and conditions.
  • CANSail 6 –In CANSail 6, sailors master boat handling, sail trim, and rig setup within a competitive racing context. They train to perform all skills in a competitive race setting, achieving precise sailing within regattas and various conditions.

How the Program is Delivered

The CANSail program offers flexibility in its delivery, allowing sailing clubs or schools to choose from various formats to suit the needs of their participants. These formats may include evening, weekend, and full-day programming, providing options for different schedules and preferences.

Sailors have the opportunity to progress through the CANSail program in different ways:

  • They can participate in daily summer programs.
  • They can opt for weekend sessions at their local sailing club.
  • Those interested in competitive racing can join a club race team, where they may complete elements of the CANSail program while training with their team.

The CANSail standards are designed to be adaptable, allowing sailors to work on skills from various levels simultaneously. This flexibility enables participants to choose the program format that best suits their goals and availability.

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