Take Sailing to the Next Level!


By Michelle Cantin, president of Formation Nautique Québec

Calling all sailing enthusiasts in and around the Quebec City region who are looking to test their limits on a racing sailboat! Formation Nautique Québec now offers a “Performance Sailing” program on its new J35, Le Clébard. Ready to take sailing to the next level? This program is ideal for those looking to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to develop technical skills in racing.

The objective? You’ll train to be a crew member on a racing boat. To join the program, you’ll need a few prerequisites: Basic Crew Standard or a Basic Cruising (Skipper) certification, VHF-DSC Restricted Operator’s certification and your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Basics you’ll cover during the training program:

  • Racing sailboat anatomy
  • Crew positions and roles
  • Mainsail trim
  • Genoa trim
  • Spinnaker trim
  • Mainsail handling
  • Headsail change under way
  • Mark rounding/spinnaker hoist/furling headsail
  • Risk management for upcoming manoeuvers
  • Crew communication for upcoming manoeuvers

The program’s eight learning and training acti-vities include competing in the Tour de l’île race organized by the Championnat régional de Yachting de Québec (CRYQ).

For the upcoming 2023 race, a mixed crew will be put together and will race aboard Le Clébard, supervised by their instructor, Guylain Noël. Racers will have to constantly adapt to the course challenges, which include winds, currents, coastal features, and shoals.

It’s an exceptionally satisfying experience for new sailors!

From the mouths of the sailors themselves:”I started sailing several years ago, but with recreational sailing, you don’t really test your limits or optimize the sail trim. The intro to racing program teaches you the nitty gritty of trimming. You learn how to read the sails, how to watch the luff and leech, and how to trim to maximize speed. Le Clébard is equipped to test all this when learning on the water. The Tour de l’île was my first regatta experience, but it certainly won’t be my last. We worked really hard for our 2nd place finish and are determined to do better next time. We are continuing with the program and will soon be back for another race.” – Richard Fortin

“A burning need to push oneself, to deepen one’s knowledge and, ultimately, to share an unforgettable experience with extraordinary people. The 1st regatta was quite a challenge. We had one weekend of training under our belts, and had to try to accurately execute the manoeuvers we had been taught. We all wanted to end up on the podium. What a great race! We were so proud. A second place finish in our category. Talk about being proud! We’re ready to resume our training for the next race. It really quenches that thirst to test your limits. A magnificent work of art in the making.” – Brigitte Legault

“Thank you for this incredible experience!” – Catherine Lopez

“Really great for improving performance.” – Antony Bastien

“Push yourself! That’s what appealed to me and that’s what makes the Voile Performance course so great. You have to react quickly and with precision, be attentive to the trim of the sails and the impact of the current—all as a crew. I loved being part of the same crew. We created a synergy and tested our limits together.” – Nathaly Chabot

To learn more, contact them at