MBC Sailing Classes
In 2019 MBC will continue to offer morning and afternoon sailing classes, however we’re making some adjustments this year to increase the accessibility of the program and broaden the activities and experiences available to participants. Specifically, while continuing to offer traditional and racing instruction, our staff will add more emphasis on general seamanship skills, enjoying sailing as a recreation, and accessing MBC’s waterfront in varied watercraft. We will also introduce more flexibility to accommodate a wider age range in morning and afternoon classes. With this approach we feel we can better serve MBC members and provide an appealing range of activity that will ensure the students learn and have the most fun every day.
You can register for junior sailing classes in three ways:
- Download a PDF registration form and send to Tom Merritt, Waterfront Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Register Online!
- Visit the Junior Sailing Room and speak with an MBC Sailing Instructor or Tom Merritt to register in person.
Classes are held weekly and the cost is $140 for normal registration (late registration - within 3 days of the start of classes – will cost $160). Please see our Sailing FAQ’s page for answers to all your program questions!
Morning Sailing and Waterfront Adventure
9 am – 12 Noon, Monday through Friday
Morning sailing classes will be geared towards the following student groups:
- Children 7-12 new to sailing and/or still developing basic skills. These students will focus on the fundamentals of boat rigging and safe sailing close to shore. Depending on weather conditions, the class may also sail larger boats as a group or explore the waterfront on kayaks, paddleboards etc. This class will have a heavy dose of fun and games!
- More experienced sailors in the 10 to 13-year-old range with the ability to rig and launch boats independently and navigate safely around the harbor. These students will typically sail in most conditions, and instructor focus will be geared towards confidence navigating greater distances and refining boat handling as well as introductory racing concepts, depending on student interest. Students will also be exposed to a variety of boats and try different roles requiring teamwork.
- MBC’s flexible lesson model can be tailored to the student experience level. Older children unable to attend afternoon classes are encouraged to speak with the Waterfront Director and Head Sailing Instructor about options for morning sailing. It is more than likely that older students can be integrated effectively into the morning lesson plans.
Afternoon Sailing Skills and Seamanship
1:30 – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
Afternoon sailing classes will be geared towards the following student groups:
- Children with strong fundamental sailing skills who seek additional growth in varied types of boats, learning seamanship as well as more advanced sailing/racing techniques. Depending on class ability, students may work as a group in larger boats or sail as a fleet in single-handed (Optis, Open Bics and Lasers) or double-handed (420s, RS Fevas) boats.
- Beginning and intermediate sailors typically 11 and up. MBC instructors can build lesson plans that focus on introductory sailing skills and building confidence navigating around MBC’s waterfront. This group would pursue the same objectives as the morning class for new sailors but be geared towards slightly older children.
- As with the morning classes, families with schedule constraints, or whose children may be unsure of the best class fit, are welcome to speak with the Waterfront Director or Head Sailing Instructor to evaluate the attending the afternoon course, factoring in their child’s age and experience.
Adult Sailing Instruction
Adults are welcome to schedule private and small-group sailing instruction. We highly encourage any adult to experience MBC by sail and will arrange individual sessions on times and days that accommodate adult schedules. This instruction is extremely flexible in format and would be suitable for all abilities. We welcome:
- Childhood sailors looking to get re-acquainted the basics and gain confidence with fundamental skills so they can participate more actively in MBC sailing activities
- Parents wanting to experience what their children are learning in the junior classes, or who are considering enrolling their child but want to meet the instructors and gain a first-hand sense of what goes on in a sailing class
- Young adults who missed out on MBC instruction as kids and wish to get involved in recreational or racing activities
- More experienced adults looking to take their abilities to the next level, including tips for racing
In short, our instructors will tailor the sailing session to meet the goals of the students. A “class” will typically be taught on MBC’s stable and roomy Sonar which can comfortably accommodate 4-5 sailors.
MBC’s 2019 Sailing Instructors
Andrew Levie, Head Instructor and Race Coach
Andrew Levie grew up sailing in Lough Derg on the River Shannon in Ireland where he began sailing Optimists at the age of 9 and racing competitively at the age of 12. As an Optimist sailor, he competed in the Irish racing circuit for two years and represented Ireland at events in the UK and the Netherlands. At age 14 he moved into the Laser class and was accepted into the Irish Laser provincial training squad, racing in numerous regattas throughout Ireland as well as events in the UK, France, Slovenia and Italy. In the Autumn of 2013, Andrew also raced in a European and World Laser Radial Men’s Championship.
Andrew currently serves as the NUI Galway University’s Team-Racing Coordinator where, over the past three years, he has led the development of his school’s team racing training program and helped Galway twice reach the semi-finals of gold fleet collegiate regattas. As a student studying abroad at Villanova University Andrew also competed in regattas in New York and in Maryland.
For the past five summers Andrew has coached sailing in Ireland, the UK and the US, serving in the capacity of Head Instructor for the past three years. Andrew comes to MBC holding multiple Instructor certifications from the Irish Sailing Association; water safety, first aid and CPR/AED certifications and various powerboating courses.
When he’s not sailing, Andrew loves hiking and mountain biking, playing the piano, writing and reading.
Colin Hart, Sailing Instructor
Colin Hart resides on the shores of Lough Derg in Ireland where he has grown up sailing, swimming and kayaking. He is experienced in the RS Feva, RS 200 and Laser classes and is an active racer in the RS 200 nationally. Colin also has offshore sailing experience including crew work on larger yachts in the Adriatic Sea, British Virgin Islands and southwest Irish coast.
Colin attends Trinity College in Dublin where he is pursuing a degree in Engineering. He is a successful racer on Trinity’s collegiate sailing team and occasionally competes against his MBC colleague Andrew Levie! Colin has been instructing sailors since 2013 including 4 years in the Scouting Irelands program where he led large youth classes in sailing and water safety before assuming senior Instructor roles at the Killaloe Sailing Club.
An experienced Instructor, Colin comes to MBC with multiple Irish Sailing Association senior certifications as well as safe power boating and First Aid certificates.
When he’s not on the water, Colin enjoys the Irish sport of Hurling as well as surfing, playing the ukulele, astronomy, DJ-ing and reading.
Lily Kaiser, Sailing Instructor
Lily Kaiser grew up in Branford, CT and is a rising Senior at the Hopkins School in New Haven. She began sailing the age of 7 and has raced Optimists and 420s in Long Island Sound for the past 9 years, most recently as a junior sailor at the Pine Orchard Yacht Club where she was also a mentor to beginner sailors. While Lily enjoys racing, she is happiest sailing for fun and simply spending time on the water with friends.
Lily has been a volunteer in the Thimble Islands and the Branford Compassion Club, and is currently a tutor in the New Haven Public schools through Hopkin’s Pathfinder program. Growing up on Connecticut’s waterfront, Lily has developed an interest in oceanography, biology, and conservation. When she’s not sailing, studying or volunteering, Lily enjoys yoga, painting, drawing and playing guitar.
Lily comes to MBC with a Level 1 Instructor certification from US Sailing, her CT boating license and Adult and Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED certification.