We are excited to begin the 2020 season by offering weekly morning and afternoon junior sailing instruction commencing on June 29. Although COVID-19 regulations for social distancing and maximum group sizes have affected aspects of our junior program we are confident in our plans to get children safely on the water. Over the course of the summer our instructional approach will be informed by the State’s requirements and will evolve as guidelines are updated.
Junior Sailing Classes
The goal of MBC junior sailing instruction is to develop a love of the sport while enabling children to confidently and safely use a variety of youth-oriented watercraft. Our instructional priorities are seamanship, personal responsibility and instilling an appreciation for all the ways that sailing can be enjoyed, and each instruction week will be tailored to the skill levels and interests of the students.
For 2020, we have designed the class format to accommodate COVID-19 related precautions while providing flexibility. At the beginning of the summer, and until such time that Connecticut youth camp guidelines permit otherwise, all classes will be organized as follows:
- Class enrollment will be capped at 8 students
- The summer will begin with single-handed sailing only – one child per boat
- Classes will use the Optimist, Open Skiff and Laser Radials for singlehanded instruction
- Recreational and racing instruction will be provided based on student skills and interests
- Participants must have some prior sailing experience and an ability to understand and comply with basic COVID precautions such as 6’ social distancing and the use of masks while ashore
- Private instruction will also be available and may be suitable for less experienced children or those unable to commit for a full week of class
- Classes will be conducted outdoors only, there will be no use of Junior Sailing Room. On-shore group instruction will be delivered in the sailing center, on the beach or at the MBC dock.
- If necessary, a class day may be cancelled due inclement weather or conditions which prevent on-the-water instruction such as excessive wind or no wind
- Some club-owned Optimists, Open Skiffs and Lasers will be available for students, however it is helpful to the program and beneficial to the sailor if families make arrangements to provide a boat for their child to use in class. This will aid in maintaining each boat’s cleanliness while fostering a sense of personal responsibility for one’s own equipment.
COVID-19: Parent Support
Parent supervision and support will be key to ensuring an effective and safe class environment. The Waterfront Director will provide families documented procedures and requirements for participation in class. Depending on the child’s age and experience, parents or guardians may be asked to support their sailor’s rigging and boat launching processes as well as sanitizing of boats and gear, and to support compliance with on-shore measures such as use of masks and adhering to rules for social distancing. Please help ensure a safe and fun experience for your child by supporting class activities if requested by the Waterfront Director.
Sailing Class Schedule
Morning and Afternoon classes will be offered weekly on the following dates:
- Week 1: June 29 – July 3
- Week 2: July 6 – July 10
- Week 3: July 13 – July 17
- Week 4: July 20 – July 24
- Week 5: July 27 – July 31
- Week 6: August 3 – August 7
- Week 7: August 10 – August 14
Morning class is held from 9:00AM to Noon. Sailor ages in the morning typically range from 7-12.
Afternoon class is held from 1:30-4:30. Sailor ages in the afternoon are typically 12+.
Although our classes have general age ranges, we will try to accommodate children at the times that work best for them and their families, provided that overall class experience level is generally similar.
The Waterfront Director, Junior Sailing Chairperson and/or Commodores may contact parents to confirm the most appropriate class option based on a child’s age, size and experience level. Parents are welcome to reach out to us with questions prior to registering. A discussion to plan ahead and confirm fit will help ensure a positive experience for your sailor!
The following members of our junior sailing leadership are available to assist with enrollment questions:
- Gately Ross – Junior Sailing Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-256-8651)
- Tom Merritt – Waterfront Director (email@example.com, 203-640-4221)
- Josh Gleason – Vice Commodore (firstname.lastname@example.org, 857-204-0408)
Instructional Focus Areas
The MBC instructors will establish objectives for each week based on the composition of the class and may organize sailors in smaller sub-groups to focus on skills appropriate to their experience level. As there are many skills to learn in sailing, attending multiple weekly sessions is strongly encouraged. While a single week of sailing will provide good exposure to the sport for a young sailor, progression will be best achieved with at least two weeks of consecutive participation. In general, instruction will focus on the building skills through the following areas:
- Understanding how wind propels boats and the various points of sail
- Onshore rigging and de-rigging of boats
- Launching and landing techniques on beach and docks
- Upwind and downwind sailing and tacking technique in varied wind and wave conditions
- Self-recovery of capsized boats
- Navigation around anchored marks, buoys, islands and other sailboats
- Use of compasses, GPS, charts and VHF radios
- Racing concepts such as starting and fast sailing from point to point
- Participation in regattas
A portion of instruction will be delivered ashore, however the majority of class will be spent on the water where instructors will supervise and coach sailors from MBC powerboats.
The cost of morning or afternoon sailing classes is $175 per week. Students who enroll in 3 weeks of class will be entitled to a free 4th week of instruction.
How to Register
New for 2020, the MBC Junior Sailing class registration will be online at clubspot.com. To register, please use this link and complete the online forms and make payment.
In addition to the online registration, parents will be required to sign a waiver and consent form to participate in summer instruction. Forms will be provided to parents in advance of the class week.
For the 2020 season we will run classes with up to three instructors based on class size and weekly objectives. Please welcome the following Instructors to MBC:
Andrew is a Madison resident and 2020 graduate of Hand High School where he was the co-captain of the Hand sailing team. He has previously instructed at the Guildford Yacht Club teaching all age levels, and also served on Guilford’s dock staff during the fall and spring seasons. In addition to his all-around instructional experience, Andrew enjoys racing and developing sailors in the 420 class.
Andrew has a US Sailing Level 1 Instructor certification, CT boaters license, and Red Cross Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid certifications.
Lily Kaiser returns to MBC for her second year as an instructor. She is a Branford resident and 2020 graduate of the Hopkins School in New Haven. She began sailing at the age of 7 and raced in Long Island Sound as a Pine Orchard Yacht Club junior sailor. While Lily enjoys racing, she is happiest sailing for recreation and spending time on the water with friends.
Lily has a US Sailing Level 1 Instructor certification, her CT boating license, and Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED certifications.
Rowan is a Madison resident and rising senior at Hand High School where he is co-captain of the Hand sailing team. He was previously an instructor at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford where he provided group and private lessons to sailors aged 8 to 18. In 2019 he also served as an MBC launch driver and will continue to do so this summer. Rowan is an experienced racer and enjoys competing in Lasers at Duck Island in Westbrook and in the Essex Frostbite series.
Rowan is currently completing his US Sailing Level 1 certification.