To the kids who participated in the Sailing Camp at Half Moon Bay Yacht Club this summer, it was a week to learn about sailing while having some fun.

The dozen or so campers probably didn’t know that the boats they used — called Optimists — were the first boats used by about 85 percent of the competitors participating in sailing events at the summer Olympics.

“That’s exciting to know,” said Ellie Rembert-Poore, 10, of Half Moon Bay. “They all started like us.”

It’s the first time the club used its own Optimist boats. In past years, the club supplied campers with bigger boats, which were more difficult to steer around the harbor.

“These boats are a lot faster than last year,” said 10-year-old Miles Dickey of Half Moon Bay. “It’s a lot of fun to be in the water.”

However, the smaller dinghies require campers to do a few more things. Instead of just tying the boats up at the pier, the campers bring the boats in. After placing the boats on a dolly, the campers dismantle the boats, taking down the sails, the booms and other equipment. They roll the boats up where they are put away for the day.

The boats were built last year. Upon completion, each was painted with its own design and name.

Though the camp made it possible for the kids to have fun while out sailing, everyone is aware that precautions must be taken.

Not only is safety stressed from the start but campers also practice how to respond in challenging situations.

“We practice what to do if the boat capsizes,” Rembert-Poore said. “It was scary at first. But we did drills next to the dock.”

The camp is popular. Though there are still a few sessions to go, all the weeklong camps are filled.

It’s safe to say, last week’s group of campers will return next year if the opportunity is there.

“I like sailing,” Dickey said. “I love being alone in the water.”

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