How We Started
Robert Chouinard, Gord Fulcher and Lis Johansen were sailing often in the Sooke Basin. Robert was teaching Gord and Lis. They were surprised to be the only ones out there most of the time. When they were approached by BC Sailing and the MOSS program to gets kids on the water they jumped at the opportunity.
• Promote and facilitate sailing education across all age groups, enabling young sailors to achieve their full potential and enjoy sailing as a lifetime sport.
• Promote water safety and seamanship in the Sooke area. • Promote the physical and social aspects of sailing.
• Share a common interest and knowledge base.
• Encourage leadership and respect for the environment and people.
Gord Fulcher – Commodore
Shaun Welter – Vice Commodore
Lis Johansen – Treasurer
Bob Tully – Director
Dallas Duobaitis – Sailing Director
Dale Baker, Sooke BC
Sooke Rotary Club
Dr. Morin, Dr. Joslin and Associates Optometrists
Sooke Landing Marina
The Stickleback West Coast Eatery,
Jordan River Soapworks
Precision Sail Loft -(if you tell them you support Sooke Sailing they will donate us a dinghy sail for every full size sail sold)
Van Isle Sailing Co-op
West Shore Voice News,
Wendy O’Connor and Chris Vanier
Sooke Community Grants
BC Gaming Grants
The Not for Profit Sooke Sailing Association was formed in early 2013, Gordie Fulcher has been president all these years and has been a strong driver for its ongoing success.
Thru out 2013 we received several cash donations and two small sail boats which we repaired and sold. Sooke Rotary Club made cash donation and so did other local Sooke business. Thru the years several boats have gone thru our organization and been repaired and sold for money to by dinghies and equipment.
A very generous boat donation value $22,000. 2007 Catalina from a local man in Sooke was received in 2013. This we used to offer Sunday and Tuesday evenings sailing trip for families and a like, payments all went as donation for the Sooke Sailing Association. After we sold that boat, it was possible with the proceeds to purchase six Optimist boats, Opti trailers and all the equipment needed to make them complete.
We held Opti summer camps every year from then on in Sooke, under the umbrella of BC Sailing, with the small surplus of funds we kept on increasing our fleet of Opti boats and equipment.
The past three years we have operated on our own hiring our own coaches and provided summer jobs for coaches as well given opportunities for younger volunteers to get experience working with kids and boats. Some of the children taken our camp are spending their summer holiday with grandparents here in Sooke, we also have had a sponsorship for three spots from the Aboriginal Community. If funds are tight for all families, we help them go thru Victoria Kids Sports program who sponsor our program when needed.
We are offering classes on Laser’s year around as well, suited well for the pre-teen, teenagers and adults. We also run a Race team every Sunday all year around for the young children who have already taken our summer camp. Our two instructors have gone thru our camps from age ten and are now both 17, Sooke Sailing association has also helped by sponsoring them for part of their intense training.
When we first formed the Sooke Sailing Association there were hardly any sail boats on the water in Sooke, now it’s a common sight to see boats out there on a daily basis even in the winter months, the sailboats we have repaired and sold over the years seem to be still “living” in Sooke.
In 2016, we spearheaded and started Sooke Sailing Co-op, with a nice 27 ft Catalina sailboat, which had been donated from a Co-op in Nanaimo to Sooke Sailing Association that same year. Its now has 8 paying members and is operating successfully on its own. Teaching people how to safely maintain and sail the boat at a reasonable cost.
We participate in the yearly “ Christmas Sail Past” as well as the yearly Santa Parade held in down town Sooke. We have a Optimist boat all decorated and light up on our small trailer, we donate tuition for one spot in the Opti Program in the summer at the yearly Search and Rescue fundraiser. When the big storm hit just before Christmas 2018, and so many boats throughout the Sooke Basin was damaged and broken loose, we went in our Coach boat dinghy and helped rescue four loose boats.
The Sooke Sailing association has become a “go to” for any information on the water, we update our website regular, and have a direct line in case of emergencies 24 /7.
We couldn’t do any of this if it wasn’t for all the countless volunteer hours that a group of local people continue to do, the repair and maintenance on the boats, the scheduling, the constant support when any one goes on the water, the up keep of the website, all the phone calls for info, all the logistic of holding the summer camps, insurance etc.
1) The cost of the week long dinghy program will be going up for 2020. We are not sure of the amount yet but we have not raised the fee since we started 7 years ago and our expenses have gone up considerably.
2) If you or your kids would like to be in the Christmas Parade on Dec. 1 at 4 give us a call or email. (see below)
3) The Sooke Sailing Association is looking for new leadership. The association started 7 years ago when Gord Fulcher, Lis Johansen and Robert Chouinard were approached by BC Sailing to get sailing going in Sooke. From a meager beginning they and many volunteers have succeeded in a viable and fun sailing school in Sooke. From one week a year to four weeks last summer with a good possibility to add even more this next summer. Since its inception they learned what was needed and with lots of help and many donations they got it done, they acquired the current fleet of Optimist, lasers and coach boats and trailers. Now things have changed. Robert has moved on, Lis keeps the financials in order. Gord recently retired from his 35-year Career and started his own business Starlight Sailing Adventures right here in Sooke teaching adults and families to sail keelboats, The Marine Radio Course and the Pleasure Craft Operators Card to sail or power boaters. Gord feels there is way further for this association to go. “We can no longer do it all, We need people with extensive sailing backgrounds and people that just want to help.” says Gord. “I have done what I can and feel good about where the association is at this time. We have good young Sooke coaches on hand (they started out in our sailing program), funds in the bank and a good fleet of boats on hand. The association is very successful but needs to step it up for the kids’ sake. I don’t feel I can do any more and get my sailing business to where it needs to be. I am hoping there are sailors, parents, youth or business people (even retired sailors) in Sooke willing to help” Some of the tasks Sooke Sailing Association needs the web page edits, communication with parents, interact with Sail Canada and BC Sailing, Some administrative work with Insurance, KidSport, WorkSafe and National Sports Trust fund. The Boats need to be maintained and cleaned. Dallas Duobaitis is looking after the boat repairs and doing a great job, but he could use some help. The engine and trailer repairs are current, but we’ll need people for that. Keep in mind the Sooke Sailing Association has a great and energetic Board of Directors doing what they can, but we need more people on the board and to spread the work out to, and someone to lead us to the next step. For more information get in touch with The Sooke Sailing Association at 778-425-4030, firstname.lastname@example.org or come see us at the docks at Mariners Village. Our website is https:\\sookesailing.com
Contact us with any questions
Dinghies for 6 to 14 year olds
Dates for 2020 6 to 14 years old Optimist Dinghy Sailing Program
Week 1 June 29 to July 3, 2020 beginner to advanced levels For age 6 to 14. $325 plus $22 Sail Canada Fee
Week 2 July 6 to 10, 2020 beginner to advanced levels For age 6 to 14. $325 plus $22 Sail Canada Fee
Week 3 July 13 to 17, 2020 beginner to advanced levels For age 6 to 14. $325 plus $22 Sail Canada Fee
Week 4 July 20 to 24, 2020 beginner to advanced levels For age 6 to 14. $325 plus $22 Sail Canada Fee
Give us a call at 778-425-4030 or
Register for Dinghies online at https://sookesailing.checklick.com
Dinghies for 14 up and Adults
Dates Soon for 2020 CANSail Levels Wetfeet to 4 training in Sooke at Mariners Village. For age 14 and up in two person Dinghies! $350
Year Round: Youth and Adult Dinghy Sailing at Mariners Village Dock Sooke BC. Sunday at 11AM all year (we don’t sail if it is too windy)
We have a 16ft M-Scow, a few Pirates, a couple of lasers and a couple of Laser II sailing most Sundays.
This is for the older Youth (14 and up) and Adults. You can also learn to sail and cruise on a 32ft Aloha.
Sooke Sailing Co-op
Affordable Sailing Have you dreamed about sailing away into the sunset, or exploring our beautiful British Columbia coastline? Unfortunately for most of us it is only a dream. The cost of owning a boat is extensive, initial purchase, additional equipment, moorage, insurance, maintenance etc. The Sooke Sailing Co-op makes family or individual sailing affordable, fun and you can learn from others. Try the co-op for a while or for a long time?
Our boat, Viento, a Catalina 27 was generously donated by the Van Isle Sailing Co-op in Nanaimo to help get our Co-op started in Sooke.
If You Have Any Questions?
Feel free to contact us
We are here to answer your questions but if we are out sailing or somewhere else it may take a few days to hear from us.
Learn to Cruise/Sail
Kids, Youth, Families and Adults Learn to Sail / Cruise in a 32ft Aloha Sailboat.
Year round weekday, evening and weekend sails for everyone as long as the weather holds, there are skippers, and space is available.
Check with us for availability. We leave the Mariners Village dock dependant on the tide height. Or can pick you up at your dock if you have one.