Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How do I sign up?

A. Westwind Sailing runs programs in Dana Point (OC Sailing & Events Center) and at Lake Mission Viejo.   We accept registrations for both locations via phone, fax, e mail or online. 

Q. Must I personally drop off and pick up my child from sailing?

A. All of our programs require check in/out by a parent, guardian or authorized supervisor. We do offer a release of liability, self check in/out option for programs involving children 10 yrs and above. If you require additional supervision for your child, we off Land Sailor supervision for before and after day camp care at both our OCSEC and LMVA locations. Please refer to the schedule of classes for Land Sailor registration information. 

Q. My child doesn’t meet the age requirement – is that ok?

A. In order for our students to succeed, we have designed our group course curricula according to motor skill learning curves based on specific age ranges. So that we can provide the highest quality program and be fair to the appropriate aged students, we are strict with age requirements. We would be happy to arrange a specialty program or private lesson for you if the group courses we offer do not meet your needs.

Q. Is it safe?

A. Your safety is our first priority and our high standards exceed acceptable requirements. Our instructors are US Sailing certified and maintain current CPR and First Aid certifications. Lifejackets, (which we provide), are standard equipment and worn by every student before stepping onto the docks. We have high instructor:student ratios to provide extra ‘eyes’ on the water. Our equipment is inspected and maintained regularly. And we have rehearsed emergency action procedures to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

But most importantly, we want you to feel safe. If you have questions, concerns or special needs and would like to know more about our policies and procedures, please don’t hesitate to ask - safety begins with communication.

Q. What about the water quality?

A. Over the past 45 years, the Health Care Agency and two local sanitation agencies (the Orange County Sanitation District and South Orange County Wastewater Authority) have been testing the coastal ocean, bay and harbor waters in Orange County for bacteria that indicate the possible presence of disease causing organisms. The results of the tests are reviewed by the Health Care Agency Environmental Health staff. Warning or closure signs will be posted in the areas where the data indicates a contamination and we do not enter the water in those areas. For more information, you may call the Beach Closure and Posting Hotline at (714) 433-6400 or log on to their website

Lake Mission Viejo water is tested for bacteria daily by the lake’s biologist and the results are monitored by the Health Department. Water quality data is posted at the biology building. Members are made aware of warnings or closures and we do not enter the water in areas where the data indicates a contamination. For more information, you may call the Water Quality Lab at LMVA (949) 770-1313 ext: 235, or check the website

Q. What if it rains?

A. You should always plan that class/camp will commence regardless of the weather. We plan activities for rainy days, no wind and too much wind days. Because sailing is a unique sport, we can cover a lot of information on land and rearrange the lesson plan to ensure sufficient sailing time. Please dress appropriately and assume that you will be outside each day. In rare cases where we need to postpone a day for extreme weather, we will schedule a make up. We will not be offering refunds due to bad weather or lack of wind.

Q. Do I need to be a swimmer?

A. You must be generally comfortable in the water as we cannot guarantee that you will stay dry. Please refer to our Water Safe requirements for details or contact us if you have specific questions. (949)492-3035.

Q. What about prerequisites?

A. Please refer to the course descriptions for prerequisite requirements. If you have previous sailing experience that does not match our exact prerequisites, please contact us to help place you in the appropriate program. (949)492-3035

Q. What should I bring?

A. Each day you should bring a change of clothes/shoes, towel, sunscreen/sun protection, and hydration (no glass). Wear comfortable layers of clothes you can move in and non skid flat shoes. Do not wear dangling or bulky jewelry and consider tying back long hair. Do not bring valuables to class as Westwind is not responsible for loss or damage of personal items. Do not bring anything on the water that cannot get wet ie: watches, cell phones, car remotes. Please download additional items for junior programs. OCSEC youth program checklist. LMVA youth program checklist.

Q. What if I miss a day of class/camp?

A. Please check your schedule carefully when registering as we do not make up classes for student absences. If you miss only one day of a 4 day program or 2 days of a 5 day program, you generally will complete enough of the requirements to progress to the next course.