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Sailing camp turns out to be pretty cool activity

For many Merced residents, staying near water during the summer is a ‘cool’ way to beat the heat.

Some choose to join swim teams and others join sail camps, such as the Lake Yosemite Sailing Association’s sail camp. In the learn-to-sail program, children ages 8 to 16 learn to sail on stable Lido 14 sailboats. Although no experience is needed, children must know how to swim, according to the association’s website. This summer’s camp ended Friday.

LYSA sail camp was started in 2007 by Jay Sousa, a local photographer and sailing instructor. The camp is taught by experienced youth sailing instructors. This summer, the camp has nine counselors, four of whom have been involved with the camp since its start. The others are past campers who have gained enough experience to be entrusted with teaching younger, less-experienced sailors, according to Brigitte Bowers, one of the camp managers.

The program also offers scholarships and discounts for families who sign up more than one child. According to Bowers, this summer the program had about 50 junior sailors but the camp was reduced to only four weeks because of the drought.

With increasing temperatures expected in the coming days, spending time on the water at Lake Yosemite may be a good option.

Temperatures for the next few days will spike to the triple digits, according to forecasts by the National Weather Service in Hanford. Merced residents will experience a high of 101 on Saturday and a high of 100 on Sunday. The highs will remain consistent going into next week. Low temperatures are anticipated to drop to 68 and 69 degrees during the early hours.

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