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We are Steve and Sara Eliasen, founders of International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh (IYSO).
We are passionate about sharing our love of sailing and our love for the Great Lakes and their waterways!
Our goal is to provide easily, accessible opportunities to experience both.
Our official Mission Statement:
International Youth Sailing is a non-profit educational/recreational organization dedicated to enriching the lives of area youth and their families by creating water-sport opportunities that introduce them to the enjoyment and sense of well-being, as well as the STEM, environmental, and life lessons that water sports offer.
Using our quick-start method of basic sailing instruction, participants learn to sail competently within their first hour. From there, we offer opportunities and outcomes, from a sense of serenity/empowerment, to the thrill of racing, to understanding the science and math of sailing, to a greater appreciation for our environment. We offer sailing as a vehicle to a wider horizon in the lives of our participants.
2020 marks our 13th season for providing our quick-start Recreational Sailing Instruction and Open Sail (practice opportunities) to students of all ages and abilities!
Over the past 13 years, our students have come to us through
In fact, because our sailing program is part of the 4th or 5th grade curriculum, Oshkosh is one of three places in the world where all public school 4th or 5th graders learn to sail! The other two places are Bermuda and New Zealand! We average approximately 1000 students per summer!
We and our staff are looking forward to meeting you and to a great sailing season!
See you on the water -
Steve and Sara
International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh Hobie Wave catamarans at Menominee Park Beach in Oshkhosh.
We are proud of our fleet of Hobie Wave catamarans!
Catamarans have two hulls (that is why they are often referred to as "multi-hulls") and were originally designed long ago in ancient times by Pacific Islanders (think Moana!) to be steady, fast and beachable.
Their design was updated and brought to new life during the Sixties' surfing/sailing scene in California by a sailor named Hobie Alter. You can catch a bit of that "California Dreamin'" vibe in the colorful , playful look of Hobie sails.
There are different sizes and innovations to the Hobie - 14s, 16s, 18s, and Getaways, to name a few.
We like Waves because beginners find them to be easy to learn on! Steady and forgiving of mistakes, they don't feel "tippy" yet they are responsive and buoyant. As students improve their sailing skills, they find they can race and have fun sailing fast!
Another great feature for sailing in our sometimes cold water is that students don't get quite as wet because they rarely capsize (tip over)... well, unless they want to! :)
International Youth Sailing provides sailing lessons on Hobie Wave catamarans in Millers Bay.
Once beginners have learned the basics of sailing on the steady catamarans, they want to try sailing a "monohull" (one hull), and since the principles of boat handling are pretty much the same for any sailboat, it is not hard to make the switch to a "tippy" boat like our O'pen Skiff (formerly known as "O'pen Bic").
This is basically a youth sailboat, but it actually fits sailors of many sizes. It's fun because you can get go fast enough on this boat to plane! It is so light-weight and nimble, easy to rig, yet never needs bailing... on a hot summer day, there is nothing better than sailing fast and then capsizing one of these! You'll see!
IYSO features the youth sailboat called the Open Skiff. This boat goes fast enough to plane!