2024 Program Overview

Register by March 15 to take advantage of Early Bird rates!
Little Puffs | Ages 6-8 (Two 3 week sessions or weekly options) June 17—July 26 | Morning 9AM—12PM
Our most popular sailing program is back this summer!  It introduces children to water activities on the sound while having fun in a safe and nurturing environment. The children will be introduced to sailing in small groups of four on the Ideal 18 s with a sailing instructor. Children will take turns driving and playing with sail trim. They will learn  sailing terminology, knot tying and boat parts and will practice on stand-up paddle boards and in Opti sailboats.  Stand up paddle boards and sailboats are provided.  *Minimum of three sailors required per week with a maximum capacity for 12 sailors.

Optimist 1 | Ages 8-12  (3, 4 or 7 week sessions) June 17—August 2 | Morning  9AM—12PM
The Optimist 1 program is for the beginner sailor who feels ready to sail independently under close supervision in a controlled environment. This course will introduce the basics of sailing, focused on safety and fun.  The objectives of the course are learning wind awareness, points of sail, familiarity with boat parts and terminology, basic knots, capsize and recovery, tacking and jibing, as well as other nautical skills. STEM programming is included. Class legal Optimist required; limited supply of boats available for charter.

Optimist 2 | Ages 8-12  (3, 4 or 7 week sessions) June 17—August 2 | Morning 9AM—12PM, Afternoon 1PM—4:30PM
The Optimist 2 program is for the more experienced sailor who has at least one/two years of sailing experience. This class builds on basic sailing knowledge, proper sail trim, basic right of way rules, more advanced knots, as well as tacking and jibing techniques. While the primary focus of this class is not on racing the triangle racecourse will be used to reinforce points of sail and proper sail trim. The program will offer the flexibility for more racing  or cruising for fun depending on interest. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. The Opti 2 morning program is geared for the intermediate beginner or second year sailor.  The afternoon session is for the Opti 2 sailor ready for a slightly more challenging environment geared toward destination sailing with some exposure to racing. The Opti 2 morning and afternoon session is an option for the sailor looking to sail all day! STEM programming is included. Class legal Optimist required; limited supply of Optimist boats available for charter.

Adventure Sailing w/ Powerboat Certification* | Ages 10-17 (3, 4 or 7 week sessions) June 17—August 2 | Afternoon 1PM—4:30PM
Adventure sailing is all about having fun on the water! Come sail a variety of sailboats with friends, experience destination sailing and continue to develop safe boating skills, learn basic navigation, play on the water games, and participate in “un- regatta” racing during class time. All aquatic activities are encouraged including the use of paddle boards and basic powerboat handling skills.  Adventure sailing boats include Lasers, Sunfish, the O'pen Bic, 420s, and Ideal 18s at no extra cost. The Junior Big Boat, a J-105, will be available for excursions to points on Long Island Sound.
*(NEW) US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling Certification (minimum age 12). This course is approved by CT State to meet the CT State Safe Boating Certificate requirements. This 16-hour hands-on, on-the-water course is for anyone who wants to learn how to safely operate a small motorboat. The course will be taught twice for each of the four and three week sessions by Sailing Director Lawrence McGrath. TOPICS COVERED: Boats, motors & terminology; registration & legal requirements; safety equipment & procedures; rules of the road; basic navigation; emergency procedures & rendering assistance; fueling, launching & trailering; weather and more! Dockside & on-the-water skills: Operations checklists; engine troubleshooting; leaving & returning to a dock or slip; slow and high-speed boat handling and close-quarters maneuvering; towing; person in the water recovery; anchoring; and more!

Optimist Advanced & Racing | Ages 10– 15 (3, 4 or 7 week sessions ) June 17—August 2  | Afternoon 1PM—4:30PM
This class is designed for students who are interested specifically in racing.  The class is appropriate for intermediate/advanced sailors who have prior experience sailing an Optimist and are interested in competing in JSA events.  With the expertise of an experienced Optimist Racing Coach, students will continue to hone their boat handling skills, starting and racing tactics, boat and sail tuning, and learn more about racing rules.  Be prepared to travel to JSA regattas often! Class legal Optimist required, limited supply of boats available for charter.

Laser, 420 and FEVA | Ages 12-17  (3, 4 or 7 week sessions)  June 17—August 2  | Afternoon  1PM—4:30PM
The Laser, an Olympic Class sailboat, is the largest fleet in JSA and is the worldwide standard for single-handed racing.  The Laser 4.7 is the next step after the Opti for the intermediate to advanced sailor looking to continue racing competitively in JSA events and beyond. Sailors will develop the skills necessary to pursue interscholastic, intercollegiate, and other advanced dinghy racing events.  The focus of this class will be on honing boat handling skills, starting and racing tactics, boat and sail tuning, racing rules and sportsmanship. Sailor must provide their own boat.   

Big Boat Program | Ages 14-18  June 17 —August 8
The Big Boat Program teaches sailors navigation, seamanship, safety, nautical communications, racing, knots and big boat handling skills onboard a chartered J-105, a 35-foot racing boat with a symmetrical spinnaker. The sailors in this program will participate in a (JSA sanctioned) Safety-at-Sea symposium hosted by the Storm Trysail Club at Larchmont Yacht Club, will race in both the Tuesday Night Breakwater Irregulars series and SYC’s Weekend Series on Friday nights, as well as learn navigation skills on Wednesday evenings. The program culminates with our Juniors representing Stamford Yacht Club at the Dorade Regatta on August 5th, and in an overnight distance race from the Beach Point Yacht Club in Mamaroneck, New York around Stratford Shoal and back on August 6-7th. This program requires prior sailing experience:  Please contact the Sailing Director for more information.