The Orient Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program’s mission is to foster a lifelong interest in sailing. We offer a superior program led by US Sailing Level-One Certified Instructors who are committed to providing a safe, challenging, and supportive environment for all sailors.
June 25, 2023 – Kick-off BBQ & Program Orientation
June 26, 2023 – First Day of Sailing Program
July 24, 2023 – First Day Second Session
August 18, 2023 – Last Day of Program
August 19, 2023 – Award Ceremony & Dinner
Classes will be held Monday through Friday from June 26 - August 19.
Each class is 3 hours per day.
We offer 3 different session options throughout the summer:
First Half (4 weeks) – June 26 – July 21
Second Half (4 weeks) – July 24 – August 18
Full Summer (8 weeks) – June 26 – August 18
Junior sailing programs are available as either four-week or eight-week sessions.
One-week sessions have proven to be difficult to manage (for instructors, for other sailors, and vis-à-vis our high demand for 4 and 8 week sessions). If this is the only option that works for your sailor, feel free to reach out to Pablo Renna. After registration has closed (and based on capacity), we will try to accommodate one-week sessions for interested sailors. Keep in mind that one-week sessions, if offered, will likely only be offered on the first week of each session (weeks of June 26th and July 24th).
For returning sailors, class registrations and placements will be reviewed (and are subject to change) by the instructor team.
For new sailors, please review the prerequisites for each class and select the one that you believe reflects your child’s experience, interests, and abilities.
Please note that « Sailing Adventures » is the class formerly known as Reachers. This is an Opti class intended for sailors who have completed Opti 2 and are interested in sailing without the regatta and racing components.
General Program Requirements and Guidelines:
The program is open to children who turn 8 before December 31, 2023. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Any child who is new to the program will have to provide proof of age (birth certificate) in order to confirm enrollment.
A swim test will be administered on the first day of class.
There are no club-owned Optimists. Each child enrolled in an Opti class must provide their own boat. If you own an Opti that you would like to rent/share with another sailor, you can use this forum. If you do not own an Optimist and would like to find someone to rent/share with, please use this forum to connect with people and make arrangements.
Boat safety checks will be conducted on Sunday June 25th during the Jr. Sailing Program Orientation, and on the first day of instruction for each sailor.
For privately-owned boats, there is a boat storage fee of $125 per optimist and $150 per 420 for the summer. You should only sign up for storage if you already personally own a boat and are 100% sure you will be using it for lessons during the summer of 2023. If you are using another sailor’s boat, you do not have to pay for boat storage – this is the responsibility of the boat owner only (this may be of course be shared, as agreed upon by private parties). If you are not sure if you will be buying a boat or sharing with another person, DO NOT sign up for a space. You will have the ability to sign up for a space throughout the spring after you have finalized your boat plans.
There are six (6) club-owned 420s. Due to limited storage space on the wharf, the Foundations 420 Class and 420 Reachers class will be taught in club-owned 420s only. For the 420 Racing team, sailors can choose to use a club-owned 420 or provide their own boat during the registration process. Note: there are a limited number of club-owned 420s that will be available to travel to regattas, so if you would like to participate in 100% of the travel team events, you will need to own your own boat.
Non-members are welcome to enroll in our junior sailing program starting on March 1, 2023.
All non-member sailors are required to obtain a Junior Use Permit to participate in the Junior Sailing program. This permit is $200 per sailor and provides the sailor with access to and use of all club facilities and the ability to participate in Junior Yacht Club activities. Billing for Junior Use permits is included in the registration process.
Regatta Participation Guidelines
There are two local organizations that coordinate a series of qualifier regattas, culminating with a championship regatta at the end of the year.
The Peconic Gardeners Junior Sailing Association (PGJSA) is a local organization consisting of 8 yacht clubs on the North and South forks. Sailors who participate in a minimum of three one-day PGJSA qualifier regattas in July and early August earn a spot in the Championship regatta at the end of the summer. PGJSA regattas are great entry-level local regattas for sailors who are just starting to race competitively.
The Junior Sailing Association (JSA) is a larger organization that hosts regional events with yacht clubs all across the long island sound. Sailors who qualify during one-day JSA qualifier regattas in July and early August earn a spot to compete in the JSA Championship regatta at the end of the summer. JSA regattas are larger and more competitive, making them better suited for more experienced racers.
All sailors who wish to participate in these events will need an adult to drive them to/from the event and assist with transporting all sailing equipment. Dollies are also required and will not be provided by the club. Mandatory racing orientation for students and parents interested in participating in regattas will occur during the kick-off weekend.
PGJSA and JSA membership fees will be collected from all families with sailors who wish to participate in these regattas.
Daily regatta coaching fees, regatta registration fees, and personal travel costs, are separate from tuition. Coaching and regatta entry fees will be billed based on participation.
If you have any questions please email us at Orientjrsailing@gmail.com.
Previously called Beginner Opti.
Prerequisites: Sailor must be 8 years old. Boat ownership/rental is required. Prior sailing experience is not required.
Description: This introductory Opti class covers the basics of sailing and develops confidence on the water. Sailors will learn basic sailing knots, the parts of the boat, and how to properly rig, maintain, and store their equipment.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Previously called Advanced Beginner Opti.
Prerequisites: This class is for sailors who have completed Opti I (previously Beginner Opti) and are able to sail in an Opti by themselves. Boat ownership/rental is required. Placement in this class is subject to Sailing Director approval.
Description: Sailors will learn proper weight placement, and practice tacks, jibes, and safety position. They will also learn the basics of sailing around a racecourse and how to tie various knots. An emphasis will also be placed on safety, proper rigging and de-rigging techniques, and how to care for equipment.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Previously called Intermediate Opti.
Prerequisites: This class is for sailors who have completed Opti I (previously beginner) and Opti II (previously advanced beginner) and are interested in racing. Boat ownership/ rental is required. Placement in this class is subject to Sailing Director approval.
Description: This class will focus on advanced boat handling skills, tactics, and racing strategy. The sailors in this class are encouraged to compete in the club’s Tuesday night racing series and, with instructor approval, may be allowed to compete in 3-4 local PGJSA regattas throughout the summer. This class is the training ground for the Opti Race Team.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Prerequisites: This class is for sailors who have completed Opti I (previously beginner) and Opti II (previously advanced beginner) and are not interested in racing. Boat ownership/ rental is required.
Description: This class will focus on developing boat handling and overall sailing skills in the context of freestyle sailing, adventure sailing and “un-regatta” style racing while having fun on the water. This is an inspired alternative to the conventional racetrack route that will prepare sailors for 420 classes in coming years, and build a foundation for lifelong sailing.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Prerequisites: Opti III. Interest in racing & regatta participation. Placement in this class is subject to Sailing Director approval.
Description: This class is limited to qualified and selected individuals who have completed Opti III and have a desire to participate in single-handed fleet racing regattas. Sailors will continue to develop their racing skills in classes and compete in 4- 6 local and regional regattas throughout the summer.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Prerequisites: For sailors who have completed beginner Opti classes, and for size or age reasons should move into 420s. Placement in this class is subject to Sailing Director approval.
Description: This class introduces sailors to the club 420 boat, the skipper/crew dynamic, and the new boat-handling skills associated with spinnakers and trapezes. This class is taught in club-owned 420s, so boat ownership is not required.
Schedule: Monday – Friday 9:00/9:30 AM – 12:00/12:30 PM
420 RACING TEAM
Previously called PGJSA 420 & 420 Travel Team.
Prerequisites: 420 Foundations. Interest in racing. Placement in this class is subject to Sailing Director approval. Boat ownership is strongly encouraged, but not required.
Description: This class is limited to qualified and selected sailors who have completed 420 Foundations and have a desire to participate in regattas. Sailors will continue to develop their racing skills in classes and compete in local and regional regattas throughout the summer.
Schedule: Monday – Friday: 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Important note about the use of club-owned 420s for local regattas: When registering for this class, you are electing to rent the club-owned 420s for use during regularly scheduled class time. Please be advised that the club-owned 420s may not be available for local regatta use. Availability of club-owned 420s for local regattas will depend on enrollment in the morning 420 classes. We cannot lend out club boats if they are being used for a morning class. Thus, if a sailor wants to ensure that they will have access to a 420 to participate in all local regattas, boat ownership is strongly recommended.