ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Sailing out of director Carol Terryberry’s backyard, the Pasquotank River Yacht Club Sailing Camp teaches kids to sail and ensures the future of regional sailing in northeastern North Carolina.
The unique location on Poole Point at the mouth of Newbegun Creek provided 270 degrees of wind but at the same time offers protection regardless of whichever way the wind blows.
At the core of the program are the Topaz Uno and Taz, along with Terryberry’s own Topaz Argo.
“We had three Taz’s for our beginners, age 7 to 9, and five UNOs for ages 11 plus, the more experienced kids,” said Terryberry. “We had ventured into the RS boats after we found them at the Annapolis Boat Show, but we prefer the excellent customer service, quality boats, and convenient location of East Coast Sailboats and the Topaz’s.”
Terryberry hopes to eventually build on the fleet.
“Hardy (with Topaz) has been very gracious to us and wonderful to work with, even making last minute changes to our leases based on the kids ages for our summer program.”she said. “Our goal is to own a fleet of Topaz boats, including six Taz, eight Unos, and two to three Argos.”
Terryberrys says the best part of teaching sailing is when she sees her students develop a passion for the sport.
“When they exude joy and confidence after learning to sail, that’s the best part,” Terryberry said. “Sailing is not easy, and the nebulous concepts can be elusive for kids and even adults. However, there is more than sailing going on during camp. The kids learn patience in our microwave culture, and attentiveness in this age of distraction. Also, because we have relatively high winds most days (15+ knots), they must overcome their fears.”
The idea of the sailing camp came out of a conversation Terryberry had with her husband back in 2000, sitting on her dock with her husband. She remarked that she hadn’t seen a single sailboat on the water that day.
“He responded, ‘They need someone to teach them. You should start something.’ The next summer, Pasquotank River Yacht Club’s summer sailing camp started with six adults, ten sunfish, and 22 kids.”
“As a child I learned to sail at the intense, racing-focused Hampton Yacht Club,”Terryberry explained. “For Elizabeth City, I wanted a fun environment that mixes sailing with some racing, point to point sailing, games, and adventure. As the program grows, I feel that that approach has been successful.”