Offshore Sailing School grad wins sailboat

FT. MYERS, Fla. – Brian Kastner of Ada, Mich., recently won a Hunter 15 sailboat with trailer as part of a contest sponsored by Offshore Sailing School. His story and photographs were the winning entry in a contest the school ran for graduates of its Learn to Sail and Fast Track to Cruising courses. The prize is valued at $7,615

Contest entries were judged by Sail magazine’s Josh Adams (Publisher), Peter Nielsen (Editor-In-Chief), and Sarah Eberspacher (Assistant Editor) – based on how it felt to learn while sailing.

“What impresses us is the variety of reasons for taking an Offshore course,” wrote Adams. “Everything from family bonding, to individual development, to being green.”

Kastner took the Fast Track to Cruising course with his 12-year-old son in December 2010 in Ft. Myers.

“We arrived like blank slates, a true test of the Offshore method,” he wrote. “For two days, we were tacking, jibing and having fun (on a Colgate 26 daysailer). On day three, we climbed aboard the 46-foot catamaran on which we would learn to bareboat. I can’t describe the thrill of pulling the 13-ton catamaran off of the dock for the first time, or scarier yet, bringing it into the tight marina at Captiva Island. When we were under sail, with sun shining, wind blowing, and Ian smiling, I was in heaven.”

He passed the tests and received his certifications, “but the real test was yet to come,” he explained. “My goal: to take my wife and four kids to the BVI (British Virgin Islands) for a bareboat cruise.”

Kastner’s story goes on to describe a “complication” that occurred while sailing in 20-25 knot winds on a 42’ catamaran he chartered in February 2011 in the British Virgin Islands. He resolved the issue easily based on what he had learned in the course.

All the contest stories will be posted on Offshore Sailing School’s blog and website. The full text and photos for the winning entry can be found here.

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