Young sailors from all over Atlantic Canada were in Saint John this weekend for the East Coast Youth Regatta.

The event is an opportunity for the upcoming sailors to better prepare themselves for this year’s Canada Summer Games.

"We’re just trying to get all the rust out from the winter right now and get as good as possible before the games,” says Andrew Keyes, who will compete in the Canada Games in Winnipeg for Team New Brunswick. “We are just practicing with other boats usually with Team Nova Scotia, another P.E.I. boat just before we get into the big chill."

Roughly 80 sailors were out on the water over the weekend. Some were racing for the first time.

"We have sailors here from ages eight all the way up to 18," says event chair Heather McBriarty.

The annual event rotates through the Atlantic provinces each year, with up to 12 races in two days. The distance varies with the strength of the wind and how many laps they do.

“It's quite a workout, especially for the lasers and 29ers,” says coach Alex Black. “On a breezy day like today they will be coming in sore for sure."

Heather McBriarty says it takes professional skills to be in this race.

"You have to have dedication, you have to have focus and you have to love the water," she says.

While there are prizes at the finish line, McBriarty says that’s not what's motivating them.

"Like a lot of yacht racing, even dingy racing, it's the bragging rights.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.