Youth Sailing



The GYC Sailing Program Committee is pleased to announce the return of the Junior Sailing Program at our club for Summer 2019. The new format in place since 2011 has been a great success, and it’s back this year with even more improvements.

We utilize Optimists and 420s in our fleet to expand the experience for our young sailors.

Our program is available to both GYC’s junior club members and non members, from 8 to 16 years of age.

We have experienced instructors ready provide a fantastic experience on Long Island Sound.


  • The Junior Sailing Program runs late June to mid August, beginner sailors (little to no experience) in the morning 9:00AM to Noon and intermediate sailors (at least 2 years experience)morning and afternoon, five days per week from Monday to Friday, 9:00AM to 4:00PM.

Opti/420 Beginner

o Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm

Offered for children with no prior sailing experience. This class emphasizes safety and teaches basic sailing skills including knowledge of parts of the boat, rigging, launching, basic sailing, water safety and confidence in handling all points of sail. Our beginner class is supported by a staff of Junior Instructors, so there is plenty of supervision and one-on-one instruction.

Opti/420 Intermediate

o Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

Teaches improved boat handling to campers already knowledgeable in basic sailing skills, and provides an introduction to racing. The curriculum is an extension of the Beginner class with an emphasis upon independence in rigging, skippering, and boating safety. Must have completed Beginner Opti / 420 instruction in our program to be considered for this extended day program.

420 Intro to Racing

o Monday thru Friday, 1pm – 4pm ( as part of our 9 to 4 program day)

Intended for older students already proficient in sailing in most weather conditions. Instruction emphasizes advanced boat handling like roll-tacking/jibing and the finer aspects of sail trim and the introduction to racing tactics and rules. This class is particularly suited to aspiring racers and experienced summer sailors.

2019 Sessions

Session 1     June 24th to July 5th

Session 2    July 8th to July 19th

 Session 3    July 22nd to August 2nd

Session 4     August 5th to 16th


For detailed information on our Junior Sailing Program

  • Non-GYC members should email for availability. Enrollment opens/begins in February 1 for club members,  March 15th for non members.


  • Club members get priority for availability and deeply discounted rates, To inquire about our clubhouse memberships at GYC email


  • GYC owns the boats that will be used as the primary fleet, but if you would like to bring your own Optimist, we encourage you to do so.


  • There will be plenty of sailing on fair weather days, while on poor weather days alternative activities will be planned.


Each year the Junior Sailing Season wraps up with an Awards Dinner at GYC to applaud the hard work done throughout the summer.

Click here to see a quick slide show from the 2018 Awards Dinner


Hilary Lawton
GYC Jr. Sailing Program Chair