Maryland Yacht Club provides a Junior Sailing Program for children between the ages of 8 and 15. Our program is based on the premise that sailing instruction should be taught in a fun, safe and relaxed environment. Each class includes a balanced mix of classroom instruction, sailing practice, and fun activities on land, out on the water, and in
our pool. This balanced approach allows students to enjoy the program as a fun summertime activity where they will learn new skills, make friends, and develop lasting memories.
- Our program is registered as an official State of Maryland youth camp. We comply with State Regulations for youth camps and are subject to annual inspections by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- All sailing classes are taught by certified US Sailing instructors. The ratio of students to instructors is typically no more than 6 to 1, which ensures individualized attention for each sailor.
- Full-day classes Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm
- Classes are offered in one or two week sessions throughout the summer for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Sailors.
- Pool Facility on-site with a certified life guard on duty. Parents and Family are welcome to use of the MYC Facilities for the weeks that the children are enrolled in the program.
- Optimist sailboats are provided, however, students have the ability to bring their own if they choose.
Beginner Optimist and Introduction to Sailing
This program is geared for children between the ages of 8 and 11 with limited or no previous sailing experience.
The course will introduce the basics of sailing, and will focus on safety and fun. Objectives of the course include: Wind awareness; points of sail; sail boat parts and terminology; capsize drills; tacking; jibing; and other nautical skills.
Each day, the morning is spent learning skills in a classroom environment and then followed with on the water practice and instruction. A break is taken for lunch and free time in the pool. Afternoon activities include arts and crafts, games and more sailing time with the focus on fun water based activities.
This program is geared for children who at least 9 year old and have some previous sailing experience on small sailboats. MYC Beginner Optimist is a good pre-requisite.
The course will build on the students basic skills of sailing, and will focus on safety and fun. Objectives of the course include: Reinforcing basic sailing skills; sail trim; right-of-way; capsize drills; tacking and jibing techniques; boat rigging; and introduction to racing. While developing racing skills is not a key focus of this class, the race course is used to reinforce the various points of sail and allow the students to understand the effects of proper sail trim and boat handling maneuvers. Campers will also have the opportunity to go on sailing adventures to explore Rock Creek and many of its coves.
Each day, the morning is spent learning skills in a classroom environment and then followed with sailing practice and instruction. A break is taken for lunch and free time in the pool. Afternoon activities may include arts and crafts, games, and definitely more sailing. Afternoon sailing time will review lessons learned in the morning with practice drills, and then followed with on the water games that allow the students to use their sailing skills in a fun a way.
This program is geared for children who are at least 9 years old and have good experience sailing small sailboats and want to further develop their skill
s for racing and have the opportunity to attend local regattas.
This class is offered as a two-week program which allows time for instruction, practice and attendance at local regattas. The two-week session is based around the regatta schedule for local events.
Our tentative 2017 regatta schedule is:
July 5, Annapolis Yacht Club
July 6, Severn Sailing Association
July 18, Gibson Island
July 20, Baltimore County Sailing Center (Rocky Point State Park)
July 25, Gibson Island (green fleet)
July 26, Maryland Yacht Club
July 27, Indian Landing Boat Club
Objectives of the advanced course include: Reinforcing basic skills; sail trim; right-of-way; advanced tacking and jibing techniques; racing starts and strategy; and boat rigging.
Sailors have the option to sail in Green Fleet, or Red, Blue or White depending on their ability and experience in regattas. Parents are expected to assist with travel arrangements to and from the regattas. Boats and equipment will be transported by MYC staff or volunteers to the event. There is an additional nominal entrance fee for each regatta.
On days without a regatta, mornings are spent learning skills in a classroom environment and then followed with on the water practice and instruction. A break is taken for lunch and free time in the pool. Afternoon sailing time will review lessons learned in the morning with practice drills and races where the children can competitively hone their skills against their peers.
On days with a regatta, earlier drop-off and later pick-ups may be required in order to allow travel time to and from the regatta. Parents may drop-off or pick-up their children at the regatta location, or make travel arrangements with other parents or volunteer staff.
For more information contact Carl at (410) 627-3093 or email: JuniorSailing@mdyc.org
2017 Course Schedule & Tuition
|Beginner Session||June 19-23||$300/camper|
|Beginner/Intermediate Session||June 26-30||$300/camper|
|Advanced/Racing Session||July 3-7||$300/camper plus regatta entrance fees||Note: this is a four day week – no camp July 4th|
|Advanced/Racing Session||July 24-28||$300/camper plus regatta entrance fees|
|Beginner/Intermediate Session||July 31-Aug 4||$300/camper|
The Optimist sailboat is designed for sailors who are less than 15 years of age with size and weigh that are compatible with the small (8ft) sailboat. Our program limits the weight of a child to 110lbs for beginner and intermediate classes. Older students who take part in the Advanced and Racing program may weigh up to 130lbs.
Optimist Racing Opportunities
Optimist sailors range from the age of 10 to 15 years old. They are eligible to compete in national and international events. These sailors represent the red, white, and blue fleets. The divisions further separate the sailors by age. Sailors aged 10 are placed into White Fleet, followed by sailors aging between 11 & 12 are in Blue Fleet, and finally sailors aging between 13 &15 are in Red Fleet. Although, the fleets divided the age group of 10-15, they all compete with one another on the starting line and in the race course. Results of regattas are delineated by fleet and the top female competitor is usually recognized. The use of fleets is just one way to identify each racer.
Racing is available to sailors younger than 10 years of age and this group of sailors is referred to as Green Fleet. National and local events are organized for these eager, opti-enthusiasts as well, allowing them to get a head start on opti competition before they join the older sailors.
A wide age range of opti sailors also translates into a broad weight range of the junior sailors. A study of the 2011 Optimist Worlds (a competition among the most skilled opti sailors in the world) which was held in New Zealand, pinpoints the range and average weight of the top ten optimist sailors of the regatta. The average size of the finishers were 110 pounds, with a range of 30 pounds. This means that optis are for sailors of all sizes, and it also means, contrary to popular belief, optimists are not boats that sailors outgrow at the age 13.
Junior Sailing – Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association (CBYRA)
CBYRA Junior Sailing offers a wide range of events that are local to Maryland Yacht Club. Regionally, there are over two dozen regattas that are held at Yacht and Sailing Clubs up and down the Chesapeake Bay. Junior sailors have the opportunity to enter these regattas and be scored in the CBYRA Jr. High Point Series. Year-end awards are provided to the top ranked sailors in the Optimist, Laser and Club 420 fleets, including awards for female sailors and River-Rats for those sailors entering more than 10 regattas.
The Advanced Racing program at MYC will attend as many of these regattas as fits the schedule.
What to Bring to Camp
- LUNCH: Bring a lunch and plenty of snacks for during the day. We ask that sugary snacks be limited.
- NO SODAS, NO SODAS, NO SODAS. Sodas will NOT be permitted.
- WATER: Bring water in a non-breakable water bottle. Extra water will be provided.
- SUNSCREEN: Students must apply sunscreen prior to class. Instructors will remind students to reapply sunscreen during lunch but are not responsible for ensuring application. Please discuss with your child the importance of applying sunscreen and where the responsibility lies.
- LIFE JACKET (PFD): A properly fitted U.S Coast Guard approved life vest is REQUIRED. Instructors will check all PFDs for fit the first day of sailing school. A properly fitting PFD fits the child snuggly and does not inch up the chest toward the neck/head area when lifted by the shoulders. No orange horseshoe or around-the-waist water ski types are permitted.
- WATER SHOES: Appropriate foot protection must be worn at all times, both in and out of the water. Closed toed, around the back, secure footwear is advisable. No flip flops please.
- SUGGESTED ITEMS: Hat w/brim, sunglasses w/floating lanyard attached, beach towel.
- MEDICATION: Please indicate any medication needs on your registration form and send your child’s medication with them to camp.
- CELL PHONES: Students will be asked to put away their cell phone during all instruction. Use during lunch will be briefly permitted.
- ATTIRE: Both ladies and gentlemen are expected to wear t-shirts once they are off the water.
History about the Optimist Sailboat (wiki-pedia)
The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15. Nowadays boats are usually made of Fiberglass, although wooden boats are still built.
It is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world, with over 150,000 boats officially registered with the class and many more built but never registered.
The Optimist is recognized as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation.
Optimists are used for beginners, but most sailors continue to race them up to 13 or 14 years of age. The age limit is 15. Very small children are sometimes “doubled up” but usually the boats are single-handers. In this mode children gain confidence and improved skills: “The small boats train the champs”. Many sailing schools and yacht clubs own a number of them and they are the first boat most beginners will sail.
The Optimist is the biggest youth racing class in the world. As well as the annual world championship the class also has six continental championships, attended by a total of over 850 sailors a year. Many of the top world Optimist sailors immediately become world-class Laser Radial or 4.7 sailors after they “age-out” but many also excel in double-handers such as the Club 420.
Optimists provide real international competition because they are manufactured to the same specification by dozens of builders.
The first World Championships were held in Great Britain in 1962, and they have since been arranged annually. For the first 20 years, the class was dominated by sailors from the Scandinavian countries, with 13 world champions. In the 1990s Argentina was by far the dominant country but since the turn of the millennium there has been no single dominant country, with the 33 medalists coming from 20 countries on five continents.
Maryland Yacht Club Regatta Inc., is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Our goal is to teach children responsible boating practices and introduce them to all the benefits the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.
As a non-profit 501(c)3, we accept tax deductible donations that help further our mission. Please contact the Club to make a monetary donation, or physical donation such as a boat, outboard motor, or other useable craft. We appreciate your help and 100% of the donated funds go directly to support our program by purchasing new watercraft and equipment.