Home SailingSailboat Racing Whidbey Island Race Week – The Kids’ Summer Camp

Whidbey Island Race Week – The Kids’ Summer Camp

by Kurt Hoehne

Charlie and Schelleen Rathkopf promised changes for next year’s Whidbey Island Race Week, and they’ve already got a jump on them. Here are there detailed plans for the Kids Camp and other family-relevant considerations:


Race Week’s Press Release:


Seattle, Washington: Whidbey Island Race Week, the premier sailboat-racing regatta in the Pacific Northwest, announces the details of the new Kids Camp being offered at the event happening in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington July 18-24, 2015 where the dinghy race program will run Saturday, July 18-Sunday, July 19 and big boat race program will run Monday, July 20 through Friday, July 24, 2015.

Kids Camp is for Whidbey Island Race Week participants age 5-12 and will run daily 10 am-6 pm adjacent to the big boat race program Monday, July 20-Friday, July 24.Beginning sailing instruction by US Sailing certified instructors will be offered for 8-12 year-olds enrolled in Kids Camp. Parents can race all day knowing their kids are safe and having a fun week-long camp experience. Kids Camp will be limited to 20 kids and priority will go to families who sign up for the entire week. Parents who want to sign up for one to four days of the five day camp will be added to a waiting list and notified by June 1, 2015 if their child has a spot for the requested days. And, if Kids Camp is not full by June 1, 2015, Kids Camp will be opened up to non-racers at Whidbey Island Race Week.

Kids Camp cost is $500 per child ($250 per each additional sibling) which includes any/all camp activities, lunch, water and two snacks daily, plus a Kids Camp T-shirt. Registration begins on September 1, 2014 and Whidbey Island Race Week racers may download registration materials from the event website at www.whidbeyislandraceweek.com or by e-mail to kidscamp@whidbeyislandraceweek.com.  A $100 deposit per child is required to reserve a spot in Kids Camp with the balance due by May 1, 2015. Deposits are refundable for cancellations until February 28, 2015. Cancellations after March 1, 2015 will result in forfeiture of the deposit.

Racers will drop their kids off at Kids Camp before heading out to the race course in Penn Cove or Saratoga Passage. Drop off and pick up will take place at the New Kids Zone in the post-race party area of the Oak Harbor Yacht Club. All kids in the Kids Camp program will participate in a morning activity off the water. Lunch will be served at noon each day and at 1 pm, the 8-12 year-olds, will join the US Sailing certified instructors for 4 hours of basic sailing instruction until 5 pm. The 5-7 year-olds will participate in more non-sailing activities. Non-sailing activities may include: an outing to Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, a trip to the tide pools at Rosario Head near Deception Pass, an outing to the Lavender Wind Farm in Coupeville, walks to Windjammer Park playground in Oak Harbor, roller skating at the Boys & Girls Club in Oak Harbor, a Kids reading and activity at the Wind & Tide Bookshop in Oak Harbor, and/or a possible visit to the Navy museum in Oak Harbor. All kids in the program will convene at Kids Zone by 5 pm and must be picked up by 6 pm, the start time of the post-race party event.

Whidbey Island Race Week is partnering with the Kitsap Sailing & Rowing Foundation (KSRF) to provide US Sailing certified instructors for Kids Camp. Whidbey Island Race Week shares the philosophy with KSRF that learning to sail teaches important life skills like teamwork, decision making and appreciation of the natural environment and with every experience on the water, young people gain self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. The Kitsap Sailing & Rowing Foundation’s partner is now exclusively the Port of Silverdale.

“I think the Kids Camp as part of Whidbey Island Race Week is a great idea,” said Steve Trunkey, coach of the Central Kitsap High School team and director of the sailing programs at KSRF. Steve has worked with the college-aged instructors that will provide sailing instruction at the Whidbey Island Race Week Kids Camp and is confident that their experience as head instructors of the KSRF sailing camps will be a perfect match for Whidbey Island Race Week’s Kids Camp program.

Sailing instruction will be designed for beginners and will cover how and why sailboats sail, sailing vocabulary, how to rig the boat, how to steer the boat, how to recover from a capsize, basic rules of sailing, the basic points of sailing and how to trim sails,jibing, docking, safety positions and storing of boats and equipment. The sailing instructors will use sailing games, some land drills and start out all kids with figure 8s until the kids can steer straight and tack well.

All kids who participate in Kids Camp will be required to bring a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD), a jacket, a towel, a complete change of clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a sun hat and a warm hat.

Whidbey Island Race Week is also partnering with the Oak Harbor Youth Sailing program and will be using the program’s assets for Kids Camp. These assets include 2 coach boats and 12 Optis. Additionally, the Oak Harbor Youth Sailing assets include some Lidos, San Juans, and Lasers.Now in its 10th year, Oak Harbor Youth Sailing has been offering sailing lessons for kids and adults at the Oak Harbor Marina and are supported by the City of Oak Harbor Marina, Oak Harbor Yacht Club, and the Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron.

Kellee Edwards will be the Whidbey Island Race Week Kids Camp Director. Kellee grew up in San Diego, California, attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated with a BFA degree in Art and Design Education with highest honors. Kellee has taught in both the New York City Department of Education and the San Diego Unified School District. She ran the Child Care programs at Discovery Park for the Seattle Parks and Recreation/ARC, ages 5-12 for two years. She was responsible for the leadership and management of the entire summer camp program that included day-to-day camp activity planning and operation, curriculum development, first aide, scheduling, field trips, and budgeting. Kellee also volunteered in the education department at the Seattle Art Museum and currently works as the Preschool Director for the Ballard Community Center in Seattle, Washington with responsibility for the daily operation of the preschool program. She acts as administrator, supervisor and a primary classroom teacher. Kellee is pursuing her Master’s of Education at the University of Washington, with a concentration in Educational Policy and is very excited to be a part of Whidbey Island Race Week.


About Whidbey Island Race Week

Whidbey Island Race Week is the premier sailboat racing event in the Pacific Northwest that attracts hundreds of sailboat and yachting enthusiasts. For 32 years, thousands of sailboat racers have made their way to Oak Harbor, Washington in July to participate in this week-long sailboat racing regatta. The venue for the event is the Oak Harbor Yacht Club & Oak Harbor Marina and the PHRF and One Design racing is offered inside Penn Cove near Coupeville and Saratoga Passage. Boats under 24 feet will race Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. The big boats will race daily Monday, July 20 through Friday, July 24. For the past 11 years, US Sailing Certified Regional Race Officer, Charley Rathkopf, has served as the Primary Race Officer for Whidbey Island Race Week and his race committee team has earned the reputation of offering some of the best race management in the country.


Post-Race Parties

Each day following the sailboat racing, Whidbey Island Race Week presents a post-race party at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club featuring live music, fun crew contests, daily race awards and food and beverage services.  And new for 2015 is the addition of the Kids Zone area where families will enjoy fun boating related activities, crafts, bouncy houses and face painting. Kids Zone will also be the location where families will pick up and drop off their children for Kids Camp that runs adjacent to the race program.


2015 Event Registration

2015 registration begins Monday, September 1, 2014 at www.whidbeyislandraceweek.com. There will be a limit of 150 boats for 2015. The first 50 boats to register for Whidbey Island Race Week will receive a FREE Whidbey Island Race Week hat.


Sponsorships Available at Whidbey Island Race Week

One Title Sponsorship

Five Presenting Sponsorships

One Title Sponsorship of NEW Kids Zone

One Supporting Sponsorship of NEW Kids Zone

One Title Sponsorship of Tent City

One Awards Sponsorship


Current Sponsors of Whidbey Island Race Week in 2015

Fisheries Supply (Presenting Sponsor)

CSR Marine (Presenting Sponsor)


Current Event Partners of Whidbey Island Race Week in 2015

City of Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor Marina

Oak Harbor Yacht Club

Oak Harbor Youth Sailing Program

Kitsap Sailing & Rowing Foundation

Sunset Kennels of Oak Harbor

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