Since 1989, Breakwater’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, boat handling 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 children have participated in Breakwater’s junior sailing program over the years, and much of the program’s success can be attributed to the skill, enthusiasm and dedication of Breakwater’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 6 and up are eligible to take part, Breakwater 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 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. While there is a lot of learning going on, Breakwater’s instructors make sure they keep it fun.
The program utilizes Breakwater’s fleet of JY-15s and Optis and sessions run three hours daily Monday through Friday. 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. There is also a full day option. Breakwater offers a racing program which competes locally against teams from the North and South Forks, as well as in regional and national events. Many students find it beneficial to enroll in multiple sessions. Novice sailors typically spend three to four weeks in the beginners program before moving to the intermediate level and beyond.
Each summer Breakwater offers numerous sailing scholarships to local youth. The Scholarships are distributed through local public schools and non-profit organizations.
Lifejackets will be provided for sailors if they do not have their own. It is advised that sailors bring a gear bag daily with the below equipment:
Change of clothes, hat, sunscreen, water shoes or flip flops, sunglasses, sweatshirt, water bottle, and a towel.
The fee for the week long program starts at $425. For more information or to register, contact Breakwater’s Sailing Director Sean Elliott at Sailingdirector@Breakwateryc.org or call (631) 725-4604.
41.0019° N, 72.2907° W | VHF Channel 9 | 631-725-4604