For 2 days in early August of 2012, I visited with Mattapoisett Community Sailing, better known as MattSail, as a new group of kids were taught the fundamentals of sailing on Mattapoisett Harbor, on the South Coast of Massachusetts. Now in its 9th season, MattSail is open to anyone who wants to learn the sport of sailing, and offers programs for kids, teens and adults, as well as a 420 Racing program in conjunction with the Mattapoisett Yacht Club.

Head instructor Mark Thornhill discusses tacking fundamentals. Photo/BoatingLocal
As I discovered, and as you can see in the accompanying video, the instructors at MattSail are dedicated to their mission of teaching people how to sail. Led by experienced local sailor Mark Thornhill, the staff stresses safety first, followed by having fun on the water. Kids are taught the basics, from sailing terminology to how to rig a boat, in a relaxed atmosphere.

A MattSail student comes close to capsizing—and loves it! Photo/BoatingLocal
To raise money for its various programs, MattSail is holding its annual fundraiser this Saturday, August 14. Tickets are $100, and there will be a silent auction featuring many great nautical items. You can learn more about the gala and MattSail in general by CLICKING HERE.

The 2012 gala will also honor 3 men whose names are synonymous with Mattapoisett sailing: David Peterson of the Wooden Tangent, Peter Cassidy of Buzzards Bay Yacht Services and Edward F. R. “Ned” Wood, Jr. who wrote 3 books on the sailing history of Mattapoisett. One of Wood’s rare books will be auctioned at the event.

By Tom Richardson on August 8th, 2012 – updated on September 12th, 2012

New England Boating