SOUTHPORT YACHT CLUB

M A I N E


Southport Junior Yacht Club

Sailing Foundation



2022 Summer Sailing Program


This summer we again plan to run a COVID-compliant Sailing Program.  The program will be based outdoors on the SYC campus (with no class on rainy days). We will finalize plans in May to meet current Maine State Guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The best protection for students is vaccination. 

Registration is online via CampDoc, with payment due in April. We have returned to a weekly sign-up, though we strongly encourage students to participate for two weeks or more. New this year: Southport sailing now serves students ages 7-18, with students turning 7 during 2022 eligible to participate. We look forward to another great summer of sailing and seamanship on the Sheepscot River!


About the Southport Yacht Club Sailing Program

The Southport Yacht Club located in Cosy Harbor, Maine offers sailing instruction to young sailors on the mouth of the Sheepscot River.  For almost 100 years our sailing program has grown to provide its participants exceptional instruction and the opportunity to share with friends the pleasures of sailing the Maine Coast. The Southport Junior Yacht Club Sailing Foundation has an eight week summer program that provides opportunities to develop sailing skills at all ability levels. In addition to providing a unique sailing experience on the Coast of Maine, the program fosters a love, appreciation, and respect for the ocean and emphasizes seamanship and sportsmanship at all levels.  Our sailing program is open to any young person turning 7 years old this calendar year to 18 years old, with or without prior experience on the water.  Membership at Southport Yacht Club is not necessary, though warmly encouraged.  We welcome any child who desires exposure to the joys of sailing.


Beginner Turnabout Morning Program

In this course our new future sailors will learn the basics on how sailboats work in the Turnabout dinghy. Young sailors will experience plenty of fun sailing opportunities and hit the water with the help of our coaches and experienced older sailors. This is an excellent opportunity for beginners to sail in a fun, safe, social, and nurturing environment. Guided by a lead instructor, students will work on the foundational skills of sailing: parts of the boat and sail, steering, wind direction, points of sail, sail trim, knots, seamanship, etc.  Over the course of the program, students track their progress utilizing the “star chart” as a way to share their progress and skills both on and off the water.  After sailors develop their foundational skills, confidence, and ability to sail independently they become “skippers” at which point they may sail in Turnabouts alone or transition into our Beginner Optimist Morning Program to further develop their skills as a skipper.  

Beginner Optimist Morning Program



Upon successfully mastering the foundational skills in Turnabouts, morning class students may have the option to move into Optimist sailboats, a developmental racing dinghy used by our intermediate afternoon sailors.  In this program they are introduced to the basics of sailboat racing, parts of the boat, terminology, sail controls, tuning, weight positioning, and point of sail. Families have the option of utilizing a club Opti or supplying their own boat. 



Intermediate Turnabout Afternoon Program

This course allows our intermediate sailors to continue gaining valuable sailing experience in a more stable, two person Turnabout. This course focuses on the development of boat handling skills, basic racing tactics, seamanship, weight placement, sail trim, fine tuning sail controls, spinnaker work, and teamwork.  


Developmental Opti Afternoon Program


This course focuses on the development of boat handling skills, basic racing tactics, basic racing techniques, fine tuning sail controls, and the physics of racing sailboats.  This group is geared towards developing the necessary skills and confidence to eventually participate in regattas. We will be teaching fundamental boat handling, boat speed techniques, sail trim, basic racing rules, sportsmanship, basic racing tactics and strategies. We will have fun activities mixed in so these kids will learn to enjoy the sport of sailing. This group will focus on sailing local events. Developmental sailors may have opportunities to race at local/regional events. 



Intermediate Opti Afternoon Program


This course focuses on mastery of boat handling skills, advanced racing tactics and techniques, team racing, fine tuning sail controls, and the physics of racing sailboats. Sailors practice using sail controls, body weight and aerodynamic/hydrodynamic theory to make their boats go faster. Sailors will be taught to ask questions about evaluating and learning about their own performance, integrate on the water coaching, and advanced equipment preparation to enhance their sailing experience.  Participation in regional regattas will be based on experience, intra-club race results, staff assessment, availability, and intra-club “race off” results. Sailors attending regattas will be taught to plan, prepare, and execute a successful experience.  


420 Advanced Program 

This afternoon course builds on the skills developed in our intermediate classes.  It focuses on mastery of boat handling skills, advanced racing tactics, advanced racing techniques, team racing, fine tuning sail controls, and the physics of racing sailboats. Sailors practice using sail controls, body weight and aerodynamic/hydrodynamic theory to make their boats go faster. Sailors will be taught to ask questions about evaluating and learning about their own performance, integrate on the water coaching, and advanced equipment preparation to enhance their sailing experiences.  Participation in regional regattas will be based on experience, intra-club race results, staff assessment, availability, and intra-club “race off” results. Sailors attending regattas will be taught to plan, prepare, and execute a successful experience.  

J80 Big Boat Program

A new addition to the program, the J80 Big Boat Program is designed for afternoon sailors who would like to experience bigger boat sailing.  The team will be introduced to keelboat racing, rig tune, team dynamics, different positions on the boat and their responsibilities, and have the opportunity to race during the weekend events locally representing the SYC.  It’s an amazing opportunity for the younger generation to experience the importance of teamwork, while also continuing to build on the foundations of sailing. 


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