Youth Sailing

The sailors will be matched to various levels of sailing ability in the Sail Program. These class descriptions and progression steps are listed below. Progression is dependent upon the sailor's acquired skill levels during the program and previous year's efforts. Swimming participation is required for all sailing program participants until completion of the Community Water Safety/Basic Water Rescue (CWS/BWR) level defined by HYC. Refer to the swim program for a description of its classes.

Sailing Classes

PW (Pee Wee) Sailors

PW (Pee Wee) 

Age 6-7
Boats: Hunter 140, RS Quest, J-22

3 days/week, 2 hour class
MWF 10AM - 12PM

The PW class is designed as an introduction to boats, sailing, and seamanship. Focus is on beginning "rules of the road” and good sportsmanship. Students will start off with 3 students in a Hunter 140 or RS Quest with a JI (Jr Instructor). They will learn about steering and how to use a jib and a mainsail. As students gain confidence in the boat the goal is to remove the JI so that the 3 students are sailing on their own. Students will rotate in the different positions on the boat so that they learn each position. 

Seaman 1 & 2

SEAMAN A & B level 1 (Age 7-8) and level 2 (Age 8-9) 
(Level 1 & 2 meet at the same time)

Age: 7-9
Boats: Hunter 140’s, RS Quests, J-22

3 days/week, 3 hour class
B: TTh 9AM-12PM & W 1-4PM

Depending on their level, students will sail either with or without an instructor on board. Rules of the road and sportsmanship are critical as sailors begin to sail without an instructor. A typical scenario is three students to a boat, unless in a J-22 when we would have four to a boat.  On the J-22 there will always be an instructor for safety purposes, but the goal is for them to become an observer, giving instruction and tips, rather than participating in sailing the boat.  Students will be divided up based on age (Level 1 and 2) and skill level  so that they have a great social experience while learning more about the basics of sailing.



Age: 9-10
Boats: Hunter 140, Quest,  J-22, Open Bic Skiff

3 days/week, 3 hour class
MTTh 1-4PM

The Mates' class is an extension of the Seaman class, where students learn to hone the skills that they were introduced to in Seaman 1 and 2. Sailors are typically choose between Mates and Opti Beginner. The goal of the Mates class is to establish a core understanding of the importance of teamwork on the multi-crew boats (Hunter 140, Quest,  J-22) and eventually  try out the Open Bic Skiff. 



Age: 10-11 (4th-5th grade)
Boats: Quest, J-22, Open Bic Skiff, Sailboard

3 days/week, 3 hour class
TTh 9AM-12PM & Fr 1-4PM

Skippers is an age based class with a variety of different boats for those that do not choose to take the Optimist path at this point. Skippers will gain experience and confidence sailing on their own as well as  with teammates. The goal is for this group to be sailing on their own without an instructor on board (except on the J-22).  In this class we hope to introduce them to the A-Symetricall Spinnaker on the Quest. There will be basic level instruction  on how to use a chart and compass.  The Open Bic Skiff will give them a taste of a higher performance single-handed boat, similar to the performance jump from the Hunter to the Quest. At this level we will add "rules of the road."


CAPTAINS (Adventure)

Age: 12 (6th grade)
Boats: RS Quest, J-22, 420, Open Bic Skiff, Laser 4.7, Sailboard

3 days/week, 3 hour class
MTTh 1-4PM

Captains is an age based class that is a continuation of Skippers. The goal in Captains is to challenge the sailors with higher performance planing boats both as a solo sailor and with a crew, which means more fun for the participants. We will give them a taste of 420 sailing with the trapeze and spinnaker as well as use of the A-Symetrical spinnaker on the Quest. We will continue to have them work on boat-handling in the Open Bic Skiff and also have them tryout the Laser 4.7. Continued instruction in navigation and utilizing these skills to plot courses to fun destinations is all part of this adventure class. We will also spend time on introductory power boat skills to help our sailors become more well rounded "boaters."

Opti 1-A and Opti 1-B

OPTI 1-A and Opti 1-B (same class, meets at different times)

Age: 8-10
Boat: Opti (supplied by participant)

3 days/week, 3 hour class
Opti 1-A:  MWF 9AM-12PM
Opti  1-B: TTh 9AM-12PM and F 1-4PM

This course is a basic introduction on how to rig and sail an Opti. Typically sailors are choosing between Mates and Opti Beginner. Sailors  must have completed the requirements of Seaman 1 and 2 or have the permission of the Sailing Director to start in either Opti 1-A orOpti 1-B. Participants must have foundational knowledge of the rules of the road, sportsmanship, and basic boat-handling.

Opti 2-A and Opti 2-B

OPTI 2-A and Opti 2-B (same class, meets at different times)

Age: 9/10-11
Boat: Opti (supplied by participant)

3 days/week, 3 hour class
Opti 2-A: MWF 9AM-12PM 
Opti 2-B:: TTh 9AM-12PM & W 1-4PM

The Opti 2 course focuses on honing boat-handling skills and “getting your head out of the boat.” Rules of the road and sportsmanship are paramount. Although racing is not a requirement of the course, we will be utilizing a starting line and marks to instill an understanding on how to get to a destination in the most efficient way. This course adds more building blocks to their opti experience in preparation for moving up to Opti classes that focus more on racing. One of the goals is participation in the Hyannis Youth Invitational.

Opti 3

OPTI 3 (Traveling Green Fleet)

Age: 9-12
Boat: Opti (supplied by participant)

4 days/week, 3 hour class

This class is the precursor to Opti Race. This course is for the more advanced Opti sailor who wants to move in the racing direction. This course will prepare them for Green level (Beginning Racing) Opti Regattas. There will be some traveling offered to those interested, but travel is not mandatory.

Opti 4/Race

OPTI 4/RACE (Championship Fleet)

Age: 9-15
Boat: Opti (supplied by participant)

5 days/week, 3 hour class

The Opti Race team will have three levels based on age but the team will often break out the practices based on skill level:

White (10 years old or younger)
Blue (11 or 12 years old) 
Red (13 years old or older) 

Coaches will work with the sailors to determine which regattas make the most sense for each participant. The goal is to challenge our sailors and ensure that they are not locked into a certain level. Coaches will be re-evaluating their skills and abilities throughout the season and will move sailors up or change their level at regattas as appropriate. Sailors on the Race Team  are committing to a large number of regattas and need to be aware of the time commitment due to travel. The increase in the class fee this year is because HYC will be supporting the Opti Race team with trailers and coach boats, where applicable. At regattas, parents are expected to work with the designated parent “regatta point person” (more info from the youth committee on this).  Regattas require signing up in advance, and the fees  will be the responsibility of the individual sailor/parent/guardian.

Introduction to One Design boats & C420's


Age: 13 and up
Boats: J-22, Club 420, RS Quest, Hunter 140, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Open Bic Skiff, Sailboard

4 days/week, 3 hour class
MTWF 9AM-12:00PM

This is a newly expanded offering. The course is designed to support older youth sailors interested in racing as well as sailors who want to keep sailing but do not necessarily want to race a 420. The course will be divided up based on skill level and racing/or Adventure (not racing) interest. We recognize that sailors may change their minds on what interests them as they experience more sailing options so the class is designed to be fluid so that a sailor is continuously trying out new things and can update and change their focus.

On the Adventure front (non- racing) we are adding other fun and fast paced boats to the fleet so that sailors will be able to enjoy sailing while advancing their skill level at the same time. You can learn the trapeze on the 420, how to navigate a J-22 around the harbor and outside in the ocean, as well as challenge yourself on a single-handed boat like a Laser 4.7 or a Open Bic Skiff. The J-22 experience will also open the door to other larger keel-boat sailing experiences that the class will have to offer.

For those interested in racing the class will offer an introduction to 420 sailing and the boathandling that is critical for those that want to race. They will focus on the tactics and strategy of basic racing.This is a great primer for those that did not sail in the Opti Race track. We will also have opportunities to learn about racing the J-22 (keel boat) as well as the Laser 4.7 (single-handed).

If you did sail in Opti Race and your goal is the 420 Race Team please check with Patrick as there may be an accelerated option for you to get racing sooner in 420’s)

C420 Race Teams


A) Travel Race Team (5 of 7 regattas)
B) Local Race Team (3 or more local regattas)

Age: 13 and up (6-8th grade)

Boats: Club 420, J-22
5 Days/week, 3 hours each day

420 Race will have a slightly different set up this year and a very different focus. The club has generously purchased 6 new 420’s and ten new sets of race sails that will only be used as travel race boats and sails. This will allow us to put our best foot forward on the race course equipment wise, but more importantly allows us to practice more efficiently at both race team levels so that our sailors have a great opportunity whether racing on the circuit or competing in more local events. We are asking the sailors who are on the Travel Race Team to  commit to at least 5 of 7 regattas this summer to avoid the confusion of juggling crews every week. This year we will be practicing 5 days a week for 3 hours at each session (no full day practice). We will designate some days off based on the final regatta schedule. Even with the extensive race schedule, it is important that sailors practice so they can improve. Coaches will have the ability to move sailors  within the race teams depending on their commitment and focus to the teams. Coaches will determine who sails with whom and there will be some switching up depending on the event or regatta.

At regattas, parents are expected to work with the designated parent “regatta point person” (more info from the Youth Committee on this). Regattas require signing up in advance, and the fees  will be the responsibility of the individual sailor/parent/guardian.

All sailors new to the 420 Teams (Intro to 420 last season or new to the program) will work with the coaches at the start of the season to determine which group they should sail with. The Sailing Director will assist with the first few practices to help determine sailor assignments. All members of the team will spend time both as a skipper and as a crew throughout the season to help foster their versatility and understanding of the integral role of both positions in the boat.  This means if you normally have only skippered, expect to spend some time as a crew being paired with both experienced and  less experienced sailors. We are doing this to help foster a supportive and competitive culture that will help our team and team members improve throughout the entire summer season.