Summer Sailing School

Summer Registration

2019 Summer Sailing School registration is open for all. Classes are filling up fast!  

Register


Chicago Yacht Club Sailing School runs an extensive summer sailing program from mid-June to mid-August. Courses provide the opportunity for participants to develop the skills and confidence necessary to enjoy the sport of sailing. Courses are designed specifically for different ages and levels of experience and are offered throughout the summer to provide a variety of opportunities to get young sailors on the water.

The program also gives the more experienced junior sailors the chance to compete as members of the Race Teams. Teams travel locally, regionally and nationally to compete in regattas.

Most classes run all day. Daily lunch is included in program tuition for full day programs. Placement in all classes is subject to approval by the Sailing School staff.




SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

Safety is crucial in all of our programs. Students must demonstrate comfort in and around water to participate. They also must provide their own US Coast Guard certified life jacket and wear rubber-soled, closed-toed shoes during class.

CLASSIFIEDS

Are you looking to buy or sell used gear or boats? Check out our new Gear & Boats Buy/Sell document. Populate it with the items you are selling and search for items you need!

CONTACT

If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact the Sailing Programs Coordinator at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org or (312) 861-7777 ext: 5563



Chicago Yacht Club Summer Race Teams

For years, the Chicago Yacht Club has been able to provide junior sailors with one of the country's premier yacht club racing programs. The teams travel locally, regionally and nationally racing in some of the most competitive regattas in the US.

Acceptance onto any of the racing teams is based on prior sailing experience and coach evaluation. All members of the Chicago Yacht Club Race Teams are expected to be active and productive members of the team at all times, both in practice and at competitions.

Any travel that our racers do relies heavily on parent involvement for transportation, chaperoning and general team support. Regatta expenses such as travel, meals, entry fees and lodging are the responsibility of the individual sailors.  Coach expenses are divided equally among all athletes.  These expenses are not covered by the program tuition.

Members of all teams must be sons or daughters of Regular or Associate Members, or, Junior Members.

  • 420 Travel Team
    • The C420 Travel Team represents the most experienced youth sailors of the Chicago Yacht Club Sailing School. Most Travel Team sailors have been a part of the program for years. Extensive knowledge of tactics and seamanship in addition to advanced boat-handling skills are requisite for Travel Team members, and are consistently improved upon throughout the summer. These sailors travel often and participate in high caliber events across North America, including the C420 Nationals, C420 North Americans, the  Buzzard's Bay Regatta and US Sailing Championships in the summer. Additionally, the winter circuit brings them to the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta as well as the C420 Midwinter Championship. The sailors learn valuable skills both on and off the race course as they travel together throughout the country.

      Coach for 2019 C420 Summer Team is Matt Peter

      Full Summer Only    
      June 17 - August 9, 2019 
      Program Fee: $2700.00

      CALENDAR

      Date  Regatta NOR
       June 6 - 9              Neill Clinic at Chicago Yacht Club        Neill Clinic Website
       July 10 - 14      C420 North American Championship at San Francisco, CA         C420 North American NOR
       July 22 - 24  C420 National Championship at Newport, RI  C420 National Championship NOR
       July 29 - 30  C.J. Buckley Team Race Championship Regatta at Warwick, RI           C.J. Buckley NOR
       August 2 - 4  Buzzard's Bay Regatta at Buzzard's Bay, MA  Buzzard's Bay NOR



      CONTACT

      For more information or questions please contact Coach Matt Peter at headcoach@chicagoyachtclub.org or the Sailing School office at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org

  • 420 Great Lakes Team
    • The C420 Great Lakes Team reinforces for its sailors the specific skills necessary for sailing in C420 racing dinghies. The C420 Great Lakes Team is one of the placement options for the more accomplished Optimist Race Team sailors who have aged out of or are too big for the Optimist class. Sailors entering the C420 Great Lakes Team must show competence in boat-handling and have knowledge of rules and tactics. The C420 Great Lakes Team places emphasis on the development of racing skills and teamwork in competition. The C420 Great Lakes Team focuses on learning how to compete while using a trapeze and spinnaker in fleet racing. Sailors also learn tactics and some basic rules of team racing. The sailors travel to local and regional regattas to gain valuable experience in larger fleets, and to prepare them for more advanced racing. By the end of the summer, the most qualified members of the C420 Great Lakes Team will be ready to join the C420 Travel Team, and may have opportunities to race during the winter season.

      Coach for 2019 Great Lakes summer team is Aisling Sullivan

      Full Summer or 1/2 Summer

      Full Summer: $2700.00  June 17 - August 9
      1/2 Summer: $1350.00   June 17 - July 12 or July 15 - August 9
      8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

      CALENDAR
      Date  Regatta NOR
       June 26 - 27            Wente Cup at Sheridan Shores Yacht Club             coming soon
       July 17 - 19  Area K Qualifier at Milwaukee Yacht Club  Area K NOR
       August 3 - 4  CASRA Youth Regatta  coming soon
       August 5  Mini Mac at Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont  na
       August 6 - 7  Skyline at Columbia Yacht Club  Skyline NOR



      CONTACT

      For more information or questions please contact the Sailing School office at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org

  • Laser Team
    • The Laser Team is made up of individuals who are already experienced racers, and are looking to improve on their skippering skills in single-handed boats. Sailors on the team use their own boats, practicing and competing in either the Laser Radial or Full Rig at local, regional, and national regattas. Emphasis is put on advanced boat-handling and strength, two vital components to successful sailing in a Laser. In addition, the team learns racing tactics, strategy, seamanship, and other skills to excel on the race course. The team travels throughout the summer to participate in highly competitive events around the country. In addition, other travel opportunities exist for those who are interested in racing during the fall, winter, and spring.

      Coach for 2019 Laser Summer Race Team is Youssef Akrout assisted by Scott Hansen

      Full Summer Only
      June 17 - August 9, 2019
      Program Fee: $2700.00

      CALENDAR
       Date Regatta NOR
       June 29 - 30       Great Lakes Championship at Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club               Great Lakes Championship NOR
       July 17 - 19  Area K Qualifier at Milwaukee Yacht Club, WI   Area K NOR
       July 24 - 31  Laser Radial Worlds at Kingston, Canada  Laser Radial Worlds NOR
       August 3 -4   CASRA Youth Regatta   coming soon
       August 5  Mini Mac at Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont    na
       August 6 -7               Skyline at Columbia Yacht Club  Skyline NOR



      CONTACT

      For more information or questions please contact  the Sailing School office at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org 

  • Opti RWB Fleet
    •      
      The Opti Red, White and Blue (RWB) Race Team is for experienced Opti sailors who are ready to compete at the highest level and are under 15 years of age. The Opti RWB Team competes in many local events, but also prepares sailors for National and International Optimist events, focusing on advanced boat-handling and tactics. The sailors become exposed to a strong team atmosphere, learning both fleet racing and team racing skills. Sailors who have advanced past the Green Team curriculum and have their own Opti are eligible for the Advanced Optimist Race Team. The Advanced Optimist Race Team places an emphasis on travel, participating in many local and national regattas, including Optimist Nationals, Junior Olympics, and various fall and winter regattas.

      Coach for 2019 Opti RWB Summer Sailing is Youssef Akrout assisted by Hector Guzman and Bridget Groble.


      Full Summer and Half Summer Options

      Full Summer: $2700.00  June 17 - August 9
      1/2 Summer:  $1350.00   June 17 - July 12 or July 15 - August 9
      8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

      CALENDAR
      Date  Regatta NOR link
      May 25 - 27                          Chicago Region RWB Opti Invitational at Belmont         na
      June 7 - 9  Opti Great Lakes at Erie, PA  Great Lakes NOR
      July 20 - 23  Team Race Nationals at G.P.Y.C.  Team Race Nationals NOR
      July 24   Girls Nationals at G.P.Y.C  Girls Nationals NOR
      July 25 - 28   Opti Nationals at G.P.Y.C  Opti Nationals NOR
      August 3 - 4   CASRA Youth Regatta   coming soon
      August 5   Mini Mac at Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont   na
      August 6 - 7   Skyline at Columbia Yacht Club  Skyline NOR
      September 6 - 8   Midwest Championship at Pewaukee, WI  Midwest Championship NOR
      October 11 - 14       Southeast Championship at Arapahoe, NC  Southeast Championship NOR
      November 28 - 30   Midwinter Championship at Southern Yacht Club at New Orleans, LA      Midwinter Championship NOR
       
      OTHER NEWS

      For Regional, National, and International Optimist news, visit the official US Optimist website, www.usoda.org

      CONTACT

      For more information or questions please contact the Sailing School office at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org or call 312-861-7777 ext. 5563

  • Opti Green Fleet
    • Sailors are strongly encouraged to participate in any regattas to which the team is traveling during that sailor's session, should the coach deem them ready to race. Depending on availability, sailors may be able to participate in regattas that follow a sailor's participation in the program. This will be at the discretion of the coach and the director.

      Coach for 2019 Opti Green summer sailing is Youssef Akrout assisted by Boyd Bragg. 
      Abby McFayden will coach Nationals.

      Full Summer or Half Summer Options

      Full Summer: $2700.00  June 17 - August 9
      1/2 Summer: $1350.00   June 17 - July 12 or July 15 - August 9
      8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

      CALENDAR
      Date  Regatta  NOR 
       June 27 -  28  Wente Cup at Sheridan Shores Yacht Club  coming soon
       July 8 - 12  Dinghy Festival at Lake Geneva Yacht Club  coming soon
       July 24  Girls Nationals at G.P.Y.C.  Girls Nationals NOR
       July 25 - 28  Opti Nationals at G.P.Y.C.  Opti Nationals NOR
       August 3 - 4  CASRA Youth Regatta  coming soon
       August 5  Mini Mac at Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont                          na
       August 6 - 7  Skyline at Columbia Yacht Club  Skyline NOR
       September 6 - 8                 Midwest Championship at Pewaukee, WI  Midwest Championship NOR
                    
           
      MORE

      To read an explanation of the USODA Green Fleet policy for competing in regattas, please look in the FAQs at www.usoda.org

      CONTACT

      For more information or questions please contact the Sailing School office at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org

Summer Sailing Class Descriptions

Chicago Yacht Club offers Beginner and Intermediate Classes and Specialty Courses. Beginner and Intermediate classes are offered throughout the entire summer, and are meant for sailors age 5-17 who have no sailing experience or who have sailed previously but are interested in continuing to hone their skill. Specialty Courses are only offered at limited times, and are tailored for specific situations (i.e. children who are too young to participate in Beginner Classes, or teenagers who are preparing for High School sailing tryouts). Please see a list of classes in each category below. Scroll down for specific class descriptions.

For any questions about placement or assistance in choosing a class for your sailor, please email sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org or call 312-861-7777 ext: 5563 and ask for Dave Gerber, Sailing Director or Sarah Sullivan, Sailing Programs Coordinator

Beginner and Intermediate Sailing Classes

Beginning and Intermediate level classes are held in two-week sessions during June, July, and August. The various levels are geared towards the different sailing abilities and interests of the students. The boats used are Sail Cubes, Optimists, and C420s. Parents should register their child in the desired session keeping in mind that movement between the classes is very fluid ensuring that children are in the best position for their age, size, and experience.


Session Dates:  Session Fee*
Session 1: June 17 - 28 $1,200.00
Session 1.5: June 24 - 28  $600.00**  
Session 2: July 1 - 12 (closed on July 4th)             $1,150.00
Session 3: July 15 - 26 $1,200.00 
Session 4: July 29 - August 9  $1,200.00 



These classes meet from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily. 

*Members receive a 15% discount and Junior Members receive 10% discount off program fees. Discount applied with membership number at registration checkout. 

**Due to the extreme weather conditions of this past winter, the Chicago Yacht Club recognizes some of the area schools have yet to end during the first week of our summer sessions.  Therefore, for the first time we are offering Session 1.5 for those who would like to join our learn to sail program from June 24 - 28.  Please contact Sarah Sullivan at sailingschool@chicagoyachtclub.org or 312-861-7777 ext 5563 for further details.  Registration is available through the link below.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be issued up to 30 days prior to the start date of June 17, 2019 less an administrative fee of 5% for Chicago Yacht Club members, and 10% for non-members.  

Register for Summer Sailing School

  • Sea Monkeys (Ages 7-8)
    • Those in Sea Monkeys must have completed 1st grade and/or Dinghy Demons. Sailors are paired with one another and learn the basics of steering, trimming the sail, and balancing the boat in an exciting, hands-on way. This class sails in Cube sailboats. These 8-foot dinghies easily accommodate two sailors. Sail Cubes provide a very stable platform for novice sailors. With 35 square feet of sail area, these boats are not overpowered and give young sailors a sense of control. They also prepare sailors for the Optimist dinghy but are designed to be more durable and comfortable for two sailors.

      Sea Monkeys goals include:

      • Learning the parts of the boat and sail
      • Being able to recover from a capsize
      • Tying a stopper knot
      • Rigging and de-rigging a Sail Cube properly
      • Stowing the equipment in the correct manner and place
      • Coming about and jibing
  • Level 1 (Ages 8-11)
    • Students sail in pairs under the supervision of instructors and participate daily in classroom lessons and land-based activities. The Level 1 curriculum emphasizes the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills like knot tying and rigging, boat handling (maneuvering, sail trim, capsize recovery), and the enjoyment of sailing. Students are encouraged to work together as a team during practice drills and cooperative activities and exhibit sportsmanship in all areas of the class.

      Level 1 goals include:

      • Learning more advanced terminology e.g. windward, leeward, outhaul, halyard
      • Being able to identify the points of sail
      • Mastering capsize recovery
      • Leaving and returning to the dock properly
      • Practicing the proper hand position on the tiller
      • Securing a line to a cleat with a cleat hitch
  • Level 2 (Ages 8-11)
    • The Level 2 class is for young sailors who have shown rapid progress and great improvement. The course is for sailors who are ready to sail a dinghy by themselves. Emphasis is placed on proper boat-handling skills, including sail trim, body positioning, weight placement, tiller use, tacking and jibing, and capsize recovery. The Level 2 course is specifically focused on developing the skills necessary for sailors to begin thinking about the racing program.

      Level 2 goals include:

      • Learning to sail on all points of sailing
      • Getting out of irons
      • Starting in a sailboat race
      • Sailing a basic course
      • Tying a bowline
  • Level 3 (Ages 8-11)
    • This is the next step on the way to the Race Teams. In Level 3 sailors practice starting a sailboat race and sailing a course. Daily drills and frequent scrimmages help them consolidate their skills. More advanced terminology, more refined boat-handling skills, and rudimentary racing rules are introduced in this course.

      Level 3 goals include:

      • Knowing the parts of an Optimist
      • Rigging and de-rigging an Optimist
      • Hiking out
      • Demonstrating mastery of all knots learned in previous classes
      • Understanding windward boat and leeward boat
      • Learning basic racing rules
  • Beginner 420 Class (Ages 12-18)
    • The Beginner 420 class provides an entry-level class for older and/or more physically mature students interested in learning the basics of sailing. Those who participate in this course are, generally,12 or older and/or weigh at least 110 lbs. Using the double-handed 420 dinghies, students learn rigging and basic boat handling, seamanship, and rules. The course is designed as a way for newer sailors to learn at a comfortable pace with expert instruction in a team-oriented environment. The skills covered in the program provide the foundation for students to be able to move into the Intermediate Class.

      Beginning 420 goals include:

      • Learning to tie a stopper knot, cleat hitch, and bowline
      • Leaving and returning to the dock properly
      • Tacking and jibing safely
      • Rigging and de-rigging a 420
      • Enumerating parts of a 420 and its sails
      • Sailing on all points of sail
      • Participating in basic course racing
  • Intermediate 420 Class (Ages 12-18)
    • The Intermediate C420 course provides a class for sailors who have had experience sailing C420s. These students are usually 12 or older and/or weigh at least 110 lbs. Using the double-handed C420 dinghies, students learn rigging and basic boat handling, seamanship, and rules. The course is designed as a way sailors to continue to learn to sail the C420 at a comfortable pace with expert instruction in a team-oriented environment. The skills covered in the program provide the foundation for students to be able to move into the C420 Travel Program.

      Intermediate C420 goals include:

      • Learning to tie a stopper knot, cleat hitch, and bowline
      • Leaving and returning to the dock properly
      • Tacking and jibing safely
      • Learning how to trapeze and fly a spinnaker
      • Rigging and de-rigging a C420
      • Enumerating parts of a C420 and its sails
      • Sailing on all points of sail
      • Participating in basic course racing

SPECIALTY CLASSES

These are courses offered outside our Beginning/Intermediate groups and cater to a specialized area. They are most frequently taken as "stand-alone" classes which run for one week. There are four classes in this group: Adventure Boating, Keelboat Kids, Dinghy Demons, and High School Pipeline. 

Adventure Boating and High School Pipeline are full-day classes from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. including daily lunch. 
Keelboat Kids and Dinghy Demons are half-day programs, either 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Please see individual class for session dates and program fees. 

Members receive 15% discount and Junior Members receive 10% discount off program fees.  Discount applied with membership number at registration checkout.  

Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be issued up to 30 days prior to the start date of the sailor's class less an administrative fee of 5% for Chicago Yacht Club members, and 10% for non-members.  

Register for Summer Sailing School

  • Adventure Boating Week (Ages 10-12)
    • This class is all about fun on and around the water! Designated for students ages 10-14, the curriculum is designed to reinforce boating skills while exploring the natural world around Lake Michigan. In addition to water activities such as paddle boarding, swimming, and boating, the lessons will also incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) throughout the week. Topics include: measuring wind, buoyancy, sail area, water quality testing, marine debris, land and sea breezes, underwater exploration.

      One-Week Program:  8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.- Lunch Provided 


      Session Dates:                    Session Fee:
      June 17 - 21 $600.00
      June 24 - 28  $600.00 
      July 8 - 12 $600.00
      July 22 - 26  $600.00



  • Keelboat Kids (Ages 5-7)
    • In this course, 5 to 7-year-olds are introduced to sailing. The course is designed to help young children feel at ease on the water and be comfortable in boats. The emphasis is on the sights, sounds, and feel of sailing.

      The course is taught by a Senior Instructor and a number of Instructor Assistants on a 23' Sonar keelboat. The excellent student-to-instructor ratio not only provides a safe environment but also allows the students to learn efficiently and effectively. The instructors are in the keelboats with the sailors, making it a comfortable learning experience for beginners.

      The kids learn basic sailing terms, safety, and are taught to assist in rigging the boats. Daily team-building activities and games are played both on and off the water to further the children's knowledge, and to enable them to have fun while sailing. On the last day of the Keelboat Kids session, the sailors are given awards noting their participation and recognizing their achievements.

      Keelboat Kids goals include:

      • Learning simple sailing terms such as mast, boom, tiller, rudder, and mainsail
      • Practicing how to step into and out of a boat while it is at the dock
      • Wearing a life jacket properly at all the appointed times
      • Keeping hands inside the boat while sailing, never on the rails or dangling over the sides
      • Steering the boat on a straight course for a short distance
      • Throwing trash in proper receptacles, never in Lake Michigan

      One-Week Half Day Programs
      : 8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


      Session Dates:  Session Fee:
       July 1 - 5 (closed July 4)      $500.00
       July 29 - August 2 $550.00 
       
  • Dinghy Demons (Ages 5-7)
    • In this course, 5 to 7-year-olds are introduced to sailing. The course is designed to help young children feel at ease on the water and be comfortable in boats. The emphasis is on the sights, sounds, and feel of sailing.

      The course is taught by a Senior Instructor and a number of Instructor Assistants. The excellent student-to-instructor ratio not only provides a safe environment but also allows the students to learn efficiently and effectively. Each day the class is divided into groups appropriate for the type of boat to be sailed that day. The boats are then rigged by the Demons with the help of the Instructor Assistants. The day's sailing activity takes place under the oversight of the Senior Instructor who supervises and directs from a safety boat.

      The Demons learn basic sailing terms, safety, and are taught to assist in rigging the boats. While sailing, the Instructor Assistant teaches them about the wind and water and encourages their comfort in sailboats. Daily team-building activities and games are played both on and off the water to further the children's knowledge, and to enable them to have fun while sailing. On the last day of each Dinghy Demons session, the sailors are given awards noting their participation and recognizing their achievements.

      Dinghy Demons goals include:

      • Learning simple sailing terms such as mast, boom, tiller, rudder, and mainsail
      • Practicing how to step into and out of a boat while it is at the dock
      • Wearing a life jacket properly at all the appointed times
      • Keeping hands inside the boat while sailing, never on the rails or dangling over the sides
      • Steering the boat on a straight course for a short distance
      • Throwing trash in proper receptacles, never in Lake Michigan

      One-Week Half Day Programs: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


      Session Date:  August 12 - 16                Session Fee:  $550.00

  • High School Pipeline (Ages 12-18)
    • This course is for either current high school students or those entering high school in the fall.

      This course is for high school students who are hoping to join their high school sailing team. Intensive training and frequent scrimmaging are used to equip participants with the necessary skills to try out for their team. Tryouts for the teams managed by Chicago Yacht Club are held as part of this program. 

      High School Pipeline goals include:

      • Crewing and skippering a 420
      • Practicing all racing skills
      • Scrimmaging in short course drills
      • Recovering from a capsize
      • Becoming familiar with the kinds of personal equipment needed to compete in high school


      One Week Program: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Lunch provided.


      Session Dates: August 12 - 16                  Session Fee: $600.00



      Please refer to our High School Program tab on our website to learn more about the teams Chicago Yacht Club supports. 
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