My friend took Fast Track at Cal Sailing a decade or more ago and still raves about it and Cal Sailing. So when I decided I wanted to learn to sail, I joined Cal Sailing in August of 2022. But when I decided I REALLY wanted to learn to sail, I joined Fast Track in June of 2023. It's the best thing I've done for myself since I moved back to California two years ago.
To be honest, I was really daunted by the class. I had taken a few classes at Cal Sailing, a similar class at Cal Adventures more than 20 years ago, sailed maybe 10 times on a keelboat in the last year, and a sprinkling of other sails, but I always seemed to go back to step one. Port or starboard? How do I shift my weight and hold the tiller at the same time? What is a vang? Pull in the what?? sigh.
In April 2023 I decided I would try to make it happen. I already missed the first (May) Fast Track but I hoped I could join the June one. I volunteered as a lessons coordinator and started to meet more people at the club. I signed up to volunteer at the May Fast Track (as a cook/cleaner) and liked the vibe. I read and reread the dinghy manual. I passed the online test. I watched the rigging video, coerced John B into giving a rigging lesson during a Thursday lesson, and watched the video again. I was getting close, but I still hadn't sailed much.
About two to three weeks before the June Fast Track I got the email: you are in if you can get the prereqs done. I signed up for the rigging test and got a few private lessons. The week before the class I was still hesitant, but I met the two Fast Track coordinators for June - Tim and Lucian - and they were so encouraging, I decided I didn't want to let another year go by and a chance to sail with nice people leading the way without taking this opportunity. I cleared my work schedule and jumped in.
I was super scared on Day 1, but I had two of the friendliest people at Cal Sailing teach me my first day (Dorian and Mike - thanks!). I felt like I was drinking from a firehose, but I loved it. We docked, and I remembered how to get the boats in safely from the dock and all the derigging and which made me feel more competent. Then I turned the corner to a total FEAST! What???!!! Not only do you get 3 hours of free sailing lessons, but you also get fabulous dinners for FREE. What is this place? And how did I get so lucky to stumble into it?? I kept going.