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School finds smooth sailing in Hudson

Two teams of student sailors practice turning 14-foot Club 420 sailboats in Hudson Bay. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)1 / 10
Adam Tronnes, and 11-year-old from Hudson, prepares an Optimist dinghy for sailing. Adam was 6 when he began taking classes with Saint Croix Sailing School. "Nope," he replied when asked if he comes from a sailing family. "I just took a class and like it. I've been sailing ever since," he said.2 / 10
Bill Siemers, the school's sailing director, accompanies a group of 11- and 12-year-old sailors pulling their boats to the St. Croix River.3 / 10
Kim Shankland is the waterfront director at Saint Croix Sailing School. She's a recent graduate of UW-Stevens Point and will teach English at River Falls High School when the summer ends.4 / 10
Students launch their Optimist dinghies. Learning to set up and launch a sailboat is part of the instruction at Saint Croix Sailing School.5 / 10
A group of racing students prepare for a Minneapolis reggata in the Saint Croix Sailing School's eight-foot Optimist dinghies.6 / 10
Sailing director Bill Siemers gives a group of racing students instruction before they launch their boats.7 / 10
Saint Croix Sailing School students sail beneath the I-94 bridge.8 / 10
A student practices up-righting a capsized Optimist dinghy.9 / 10
Connor O'Leary is one of seven instructors at Saint Croix Sailing School. He's a recent graduate of Henry Sibley High School and will be attending the University of Minnesota in the fall.10 / 10

Saint Croix Sailing School is going strong in its fifth season located at the corner of Buckeye and First streets next to Hudson's Lakefront Park boat launch.

The first four week-long classes were mostly filled, but there are still some spots available in the remaining sessions. There's room for up to 24 students per class. The school runs through Aug. 16.

"Skill, fun, safety and team-building for youth from the ages of 6 or 7 through high school is our main focus," says Tom Vandervort, a member of the nonprofit school's board of directors.

The school also offers sailing instruction for adults.

The school will hold an open house on Thursday, July 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The fee for a week-long class is $225. The sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with both outdoor classroom and on-the-water instruction.

The school also offers three-week, half-day sailboat racing sessions for youth.

For more information about the school go to its website,, or call (715) 808-4114.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066