FAIR HAVEN – Summer is coming and once again local youngsters and adults will have the opportunity to learn to sail with the River Rats, an organization that has been teaching sailing for more than 50 years from its home on the Navesink River. The River Rats (also known as the Fair Haven Sailing Club) training program is committed to teachging youngsters from 9 up to 16 how to sail. River Rats also offers a May/June training session (evenings and Saturday mornings) for adults who want to learn how to sail or to refresh their sailing skills. The instruction for both programs is affordable and high quality.
The club trains 90 youngsters each summer in two sessions. Classes are open to any child who can swim and who wants to learn how to sail. Classes are often fully subscribed early in the registration process so parents who would like to enroll a child should plan to attend the River Rats Open House on Sunday, April 15 at the Fair Haven Youth Center, Fisk Street, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Registration information, fees and session dates are also available at the River Rats website, www.RiverRatsSailing.org and registrations can be returned by mail. All instruction is on the Navesink River.
River Rats offers on the water training for local youngsters at beginning, intermediate and advanced training levels. The training is provided by certified instructors with a special emphasis on water safety and an appreciation of the river environment. Beginner and intermediate classes focus on “hands on” sailing techniques and advanced classes emphasize racing skills and strategies. The instruction utilizes River Rats’ and member boats so participants do not need to own their own boat to join the classes.
River Rats is a not for profit sailing program dedicated to sailing, training and family fun. River Rats boats, docks and moorings are available for the use of members. The club offers an active social program, as well as local races and invitational regattas with other sailing clubs. River Rats is a member of the US Sailing Association and North Jersey Yacht Racing Association. Skipper John Briel, Fair Haven, says that River Rats is an informal and friendly organization whose members are drawn together by a love of sailing and the waters that surround us. Skipper Briel extends a special invitation to anyone who is interested in joining the organization or learning more about the River Rats to attend the Open House.