Since 1989, BYC’s Junior Sailing Program has provided area youth with the skills to enjoy and explore the waters around them. From reading winds and tides to knot tying, tacking and the importance of team work, Breakwater instructors not only teach young sailors everything they need to know to sail safely, but they also instill in them a sense of confidence which stays with them for the rest of their lives.
Thousands of youngsters have gone through the BYC junior sailing program over the years, and much of the program’s success can be attributed to the skill, enthusiasm and dedication of BYC’s instructors. Many current instructors began as junior sailing students themselves and are now passing their knowledge, experience and passion for sailing on to the next generation.
The summer sailing program begins in late June and runs through early September. Each session lasts one week and ages 7 and up are eligible to take part, BYC also offers a four week discounted session. Students in the program start out by learning the basics of sailing, including how to rig a boat and what to do when it capsizes. They are also learn how a boat responds to wind before they experience this concept firsthand on the water. Practice is offered through sailing games and mock races, which are excellent learning tools. While there is a lot of learning going on, BYC’s instructors make sure they keep it fun.
The program utilizes BYC’s fleet of JY-15s and Optis and sessions run three hours daily Monday through Friday. Weekly sessions are held behind BYC’s Community Sailing Center or from the club’s floating dock off Haven’s Beach. On rainy days, instructors lead students in sailing-based activities and games in the clubhouse.
Beginners meet from 9 a.m. to noon and intermediate sailors from 1 to 4 p.m. BYC also offers a racing program for the most serious sailors using the club’s fleet of 420s and Lasers. BYC’s racing team competes locally against teams from the North and South Forks of Long Island as well as in regional and national events. Many students find it beneficial to enroll in multiple sessions and novice sailors typically spend three to four weeks in the beginners program before moving to the intermediate level and beyond.
Teaching youngsters to sail is at the core of BYC’s mission, and for that reason, through fundraising and community support, each summer BYC is committed to offering numerous sailing scholarships to local youth. Scholarships are distributed through local public schools and organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
The fee for the weeklong program is $395. For more information or to register, contact BYC’s Sailing Director Sean Elliott at Sailingdirector@Breakwateryc.org or call (631) 725-4604.
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Sag Harbor, NY
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