Youth Sailing



The Hyannis Youth Foundation Sailing Program runs the full eight weeks of the Summer Program. Classes begin with PWs at age six and continue through Captains, 420 Race team, and ILCA Learn to Race.
Sailing Classes meet three times per week at the beginning and intermediate levels; but the number of classes varies for the older and/or competitive sailors, dependent on the class. New this year will be a few full day classes from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to increase the participants’ time on the water.
All sailors participate in beginning sailing classes. After beginners, families can choose to move into the Optimist Program or the Mates Program.
The Optimist Program has four levels. Beginning in Optimist 2, children who are ready participate in Southern Mass. Sailing Association hosted regattas. Optimist 3 and Optimist 4 sailors are part of the Optimist Race Team and consistently race in a variety of SMSA events.
Families may also select for their children to continue with the Mates and Captain’s classes. These classes, grouped into “Adventure Sailing,” sail a variety of boats including Quests, 420s, J22s, and larger cruising boats, with the focus on seamanship and fun sailing, rather than racing. For 2024, we are continuing to develop the Adventure sailing curriculum to make it a much richer experience.
Sailors from both the Optimist and Adventure Sailing classes may select to learn to sail 420s. “Introduction to 420s” is a mandatory course for all sailors who want to progress to the 420 Race Team. In this class, they learn to sail a 420, including utilizing spinnakers and trapezes. The next level is the 420 Race Team. Race team sailors participate in program-sponsored Southern Mass. Sailing Association regattas. The most experienced sailors may also choose to compete in National, North American, and International events.
One new addition to our sailing offerings is the ILCA (Laser) Race Program. Sailors who participate in this class learn to sail an ILCA and have the opportunity to progress as single-handed sailors/racers. They are also invited to compete in our Club-sponsored Thursday night racing series with on-the-water support.
Our other new addition is board sailing, which dependent on interest, will include windsurfing and/or winging, with foiling possible. This will be a once a week “clinic” style class Tuesday evenings, and will be open to those over twelve, including adults.
The Adult Sailing Program meets weekly on Wednesday evenings. This program is tailored to the individual goals of the participants and includes learn to sail, learn to race, and advanced seamanship opportunities.
Sailing Classes
PW (Pee Wee) Sailors
PW (Pee Wee) 

Age 6-7
Boats: RS Quest, J-22

3 days/week, 2 hour class
M W F 10AM - 12PM                 Tuition:  $1515      Member Discount:  $1375                           

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 or more students in an 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 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

(Level 1 & 2 meet at the same time)
Age: 7-9
Boats: RS Quests, J-22

3 days/week, 3 hour class
T TH 9AM-12PM & W 1-4PM          Tuition:  $2210  Member Discount:  $1655
M W F 9AM-12PM
Students will sail RS Quests and J22s, primarily with an instructor on board.  Students who feel comfortable may sail without an instructor by the conclusion of the course.  Rules of the road and sportsmanship are critical as sailors begin to sail without an instructor.  A typical scenario is four students to a boat.  There will always be an instructor available for each boat 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 grouped so that they have a great social experience while learning more about the basics of sailing. 


Age: 9-10
Boats: RS Quest, J-22                  Tuition:  $2210  Member Discount:  $1655

3 days/week, 3 hour class
M T TH 9AM - 12PM

The Mates' class is an extension of the Seaman class, where students learn to hone the skills that they were introduced to in Seaman. Sailors 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 (RS Quest, J-22).


CAPTAINS (Adventure)
Age: 12 (6th grade)
Boats: RS Quest, J-22, 420, ILCA 4.7, Sailboard

3 days/week, 3 hour class

M T TH 1:00-4:00 PM                Tuition:  $2210 Member Discount:  $1655

This class will be significantly different than it has been in previous years and will build on the skills from the prior Captains' and Mates' courses.

The emphasis of this class is not about racing in the traditional Opti/420 track, rather it is about trying out new boats and experiences, and developing life-long sailing skills. We recognize that sailors may change their minds on what interests them as they experience more sailing options, so the class curriculum is designed to be fluid so that a sailor is continuously trying out new things and can update and change their focus.  

We will challenge the sailors with higher performing planing boats both as a solos 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-Symmetrical spinnaker on the Quest.

We will spend several classes learning to sail "big" boats and will include at least one overnight cruise using HYC member boats. We will focus on safe sailing and boat handling considering the higher loads, as well as navigation, utilizing these skills to plot courses to fun destinations. The use of modern electronics such as chart plotters and radar will also be taught.  

If there is interest, we will include introductory power boat skills to help our sailors become more well-rounded boaters  It may also be possible for them to try out the ILCA (Laser) 4.7 and board sailing (windsurfing and winging) dependent on weather and interest.  

Opti 1


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

3 days/week, 3 hour class
M W F 9AM-12PM                       Tuition:  $2025 Member Discount:  $1520

This course is a basic introduction on how to rig and sail an Optimist. 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 Opti 1. Participants must have foundational knowledge of the rules of the road, sportsmanship, and basic boat-handling.

Opti 2

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

3 days/week, 3 hour class
T TH 9AM-12PM & W 1-4PM          Tuition:  $2025  Member Discount:  $1520

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           
M T TH F 1-4PM                         Tuition:  $2590  Member Discount:  $1940

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          
M T W TH F 1-4PM                       Tuition:  $3155 Member Discount:  $2365

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. 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 C420's

INTRO TO C420’s 

Age: 13 and up
Boats: Club 420
M W F 10:00 AM -1:00 PM             Tuition:  $3155 Member Discount:  $2365

For those interested in racing the class will offer an introduction to C420 sailing and the boat-handling 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. If you did sail in Opti Race and your goal is the 420 Race Team, please check with Dave or Caroline as there may be an accelerated option for you to get racing sooner in C420’s. 


C420 Race Teams


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

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

Boats: Club 420
M W F 1:00 -4:00PM

T TH 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM               Tuition:  $3550 Member Discount:  $2655

Our focus this year is to foster the enjoyment of competing, with race results being a byproduct, and not the primary goal. Everyone wins if they like to compete, whereas only one team wins if it is only about crossing the finish line first. 

All sailors new to the C420 Teams (Intro to C420 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. 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.

The Club has six new 420’s and ten sets of race sails that are only used as travel race boats. This allows 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 five of seven regattas. 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 move sailors within the race teams depending on their commitment and focus to the teams. Coaches will also 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 [which are not insignificant] will be the responsibility of the individual sailor/parent/guardian.

ILCA Race Clinics


Age: 12 and up, Adults welcome

Boats: Supplied by participant. A few Club boats may be available. Contact Dave Penfield, ILCA Instructor, for information

T 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, TH 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM               Tuition:  $1835  Member Discount:  $1375

This clinic will focus on Laser racing skills. Optimal rigging and sail trim will be addressed, as well as specific skills such as tacking, gybing, starting, mark rounding, boat speed and tactics. Adults will be included, and we anticipate some of our friendly and experienced HYC fleet racers will join in to make this an excellent opportunity for youth racers to quickly learn and progress. A brief break between the clinic and the normal Thursday night races will allow for rest, hydration and nutrition. Coaching as appropriate will continue during the races for those enrolled.



Age:  18 and up

Boats:  RS Quests, J22s

W 6:00 PM - SUNSET            Tuition:  $1390   Member Discouunt:  $1050                                    


PHRF Youth Regatta

The PHRF Youth Regatta is scheduled for Thursday, August 1, 2024. This event is designed to provide an opportunity for young sailors to transition from dinghy to 'big boat sailing'. The Regatta will expose our young sailors to bigger keel boats, provide them with connections to boat owners, and show them the camaraderie that grows sailing as a team. Our goal is to provide our sailors safe, competitive and fair race events. For this Regatta, safety is the main priority. We considered the safety of our youth sailors, as well as our volunteered boats and sails. Restrictions are put in place on sail configurations to keep the loads in the boats low, as well as easier to handle for a growing person. Our race course will be a triangle (beat, reach, reach) so there should be no accidental gybes. We intend to have two races of 3-8 miles each on the day of the event. This will allow the kids to develop their skills each race and build confidence as the day goes on. The event should be about four hours long, but that all depends on the sailing conditions. Our new crew members will rotate through different positions on the boat. There will be no passengers!

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