2017 Youth Sailing Class Course Descriptions

More classes Available!! We have added half-day Beginner Small Boat Sailing sessions” and integrated our “Advanced Small Boat Sailing Courses” with our racing program and have also added an overnight stay to our popular “Cruising Camp”. Read on for student requirements and class descriptions or click here to view the Class Schedule.

Sailing Lessons – Student Requirements:

  • Students must be able to swim 30-40 yards and tread water for 3 minutes without flotation aids. Students must have a Type III flotation jacket for use during class. For comfort, students should have a lightweight wet suit or spray jacket. BYC has a limited number of flotation jackets and wet suits for rent.
  • Because classes fill up fast, early registration is highly recommended! Classes are subject to change due to weather conditions. Class registration closes the Friday at 5pm prior to the Monday start date of that session.

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Beginner Small Boat Sailing Course (Level 1 and 2)

(Ages 8-15 years)

No sailing experience is required for the beginning sailing classes! Students receive instruction in introductory skills applicable toward US Sailing certification. On-the-water instruction takes place in an RS Tera or Optimist dinghy. Students successfully completing basic sailing should be able to rig and launch a dinghy sailboat, self-rescue a capsized sailboat, understand the three points of sail (beating, reaching and running), and tack and jibe a dingy sailboat in fair weather conditions with proper supervision. Students wanting to refine their sailing skills can advance to Beginner Small Boat Sailing Level 2. Here they will start to sail solo and gain even more confidence at the helm. Instructors work with each student to provide continuing skill advancement towards the US Sailing small boat certification. The emphasis is on safety, fun, and on-the-water experience as students learn sailing terminology, theory, basic right-of-way rules and boat-handing skills. All lessons are taught by at least one instructor in a coach boat with other instructors nearby and junior instructors on hand to help. If you are 16-18 years old and would like to learn how to sail please get in touch and we will find options for you.
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Intermediate Small Boat Sailing Course

(Ages 8-18 years)
This year, we are splitting our intermediate sailing class into two! Intermediate Opti and Intermediate FJ Sailing are for those students advancing from our Beginner Small Boat Sailing – Level 2 course. Both Intermediate Sailing classes build upon skills acquired in the Beginner Small Boat Sailing Level 2 course. Students will further develop their understanding of sail controls, helming, sail trim, boating safety, racing rules and strategy. Students will continue to gain on-the-water experience and complete US Sailing certification skills. Students will learn in either the Optimist or Flying Junior (FJ) Olympic class boats. The course is open to students who have completed the Beginner Small Boat Sailing Level 2 course, have a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience. The class will have a strong emphasis on safety, peer learning and having fun!
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Advanced Small Boat Sailing Course

(Ages 8-18 years)
If you are an advanced sailor wanting to improve your on the water skills please see the BYC Race team options here (link available soon). You don’t have to be or even plan to be a racer to learn and enjoy the race team lessons. Come out and sail with our advanced coaches and top regional sailors.
This course is open to students who have completed the Intermediate Small Boat Sailing course or demonstrate comparable sailing experince.
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Opti Pre-USODA NW Championships Tune-up Camp

This is a 4-day course for Opti sailors on August 14-17, 2017 to sharpen their racing skills in preparation for the USODA NW Championship Regatta being hosted by the Bellingham Yacht Club the following weekend. At this point in time, we have no provisions for the Opti Green fleet to participate, but if you are interested, please contact us.
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Cruising Camp

(Ages 10-18 years)
This course is for students ages 10 to 18 interested recreational sailing. Students should have completed at least the Intermediate Small Boat Sailing course and be able to demonstrate the ability to sail a dinghy. The focus of the course will be to plan a sailing trip considering factors such as wind, tide, and weather. The double-handled FJ dinghy will be used for this course and trips during the week may include sailing to Fairhaven Harbor, Larrabee State Park and/or Inati Bay on Lummi Island. This class will also consist of one overnight trip during the week for a camp-out at either the BYC Outstation at Inati Bay or or Larrabee State Park(weather permitting). This is an ideal opportunity to find a friend to sail with and join a group of up to seven (7) FJs sailing on Bellingham Bay! The overnight camp will be supported with three (3) instructors and a motorboat.
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