The Oshkosh International Youth Sailing executive director hears it all the time; he introduces a student group to water sports and sailing.
Approximately 10,000 students from six communities from all over the northeast Wisconsin with the organization have given sailing a whirl, which on this year marks its 10th season.
While this milestone itself is a reason for celebration, Eliasen has his eyes set on another goal: Now, he wants to watch sailing trench into Oshkosh culture.
In 2007, IYSO started as a field trip for ALPs Charter School, here Eliasen and his children of his wife Sara went. A rare alignment was created by Steve Eliasen for adventurous members of ALPs staff and perfect weather conditions for the success of initial days.
That year around 60 students of ALPs learned how to sail. After that, the number has grown to a cumulative 10,000 students in at nearly six communities. In addition to sailing in an O’pen Bic sailboat, the students also tried kayaking, paddle-boarding, canoeing and go on a keel boat.
Eliasen said O’Pen Bic style makes it more enthusiastic and fun to learn how to sail. The sailors of today who are now adults when, where in the learning phase of sailing might recall that large part of their learning was spent on bailing water in-order to avoid capsizing. The IYSO boats are self-sailing as they are open-ended in the back, thus students can concentrate on nailing down the concepts of sailing. Moreover, there is not a big knots bunch to tie or do the attachments to deal with it.
That is the key piece of learning or introduction, as students get the chance to enjoy sailing first and then learn the technical aspects after returning to the shore, she said.