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SYC Sailing Program Summer 2024

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Registration opens April 1st, 2024

The Shinnecock Yacht Club Sailing Program provides all levels of instruction to children ages 6 – 18 as well as private lessons for children and adults. The program at Shinnecock aims to instill a life-long love of sailing for all our students. Our students will gain the experience to continue sailing and/or racing long after they have completed the summer program. 

At SYC we have carefully chosen four classes of sailboats to provide a variety of learning opportunities for all our sailors. Each of these fleets offers a different experience from learning to sail, to racing or mastering the winds for their own enjoyment. We encourage sailors to sign up for multiple sessions to master their skills and advance to the next level of instruction. 

The program is open to members and non-members alike and runs from June 26 – August 18, 2023.  Please note that there will be no refunds in the rare event that we have to cancel classes due to inclement weather. Classes will be held on Thursday, July 4th, 2023. 

For all lessons no experience is required please note that all sailors will have to pass a brief swim test with a lifejacket on. Lifejackets can be provided for sailors if they do not have their own.

It is advised that sailors bring a gear bag daily with the following equipment.

  • Change of clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Water shoes
  • Hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweatshirt
  • Towel

2024 Summer Schedule

This summer, SYC will offer 8 sessions on a weekly basis, three hours a day (AM or PM), 15 hours per week, as follows.

  • Session 1 | July 1st – July 5th
  • Session 2 | July 8th – July 12th
  • Session 3 | July 15th – July 19th
  • Session 4 | July 22nd – July 26th
  • Session 5 | July 29th – August 2nd
  • Session 7 | August 5th – August 9th
  • Session 6 | August 12th – August 16th
  • Session 8 | August 19th – August 23rd


Recreational Sailing Programs:

Sea Squirt (Ages 6 – 8): Designed as a friendly and relaxed introduction to sailing in a safe and fun environment for our youngest sailors. These sailors will always be on a sailboat with an instructor and other students. We want our youngest sailors to become comfortable and familiar with a sailboat as we cruise along beautiful Shinnecock bay. They will be introduced to basic boat safety, rigging, and sailing a sailboat and most importantly how to be safe when a sailboat capsizes.  Sailors are encouraged to repeat weeks as they will be combined with similarly experienced sailors and learn more skills with each lesson. 

New Class! Youth Sailing (Ages 9-11): Designed as a friendly and relaxed introduction to sailing in a safe and fun environment for our sailors. These sailors will be on a sailboat with their peers and an instructor. As they gain more experience, we will encourage them to sail with their peers as an instructor follows along in a safety boat.  Students will learn some of the following basic skills. How to: Rig a boat, find the wind direction, steer, tack and gybe a sailboat along with adjusting the sails for the different points of sail. Most importantly get comfortable with capsize recovery. Sailors are encouraged to repeat weeks as they will be combined with similarly experienced sailors and learn more advanced skills with each lesson. 

Opti Beginner (Ages 8-15, must be under 120 lb): Opti beginner will teach our sailors the skills necessary to sail an Opti independently and safely.  This class is geared towards those with no experience in a boat on their own. The students will be taught a variety of fun, and skill-building techniques teaching the sailors how to prepare, launch, sail, capsize, return and pack away their boats. Sailors will gain the confidence needed to sail a boat by themselves. Sailors are encouraged to repeat weeks as they will be grouped with similarly experienced sailors and learn more advanced skills with each session. Sailors typically spend three to four weeks in the beginners’ program before moving to the intermediate level and beyond.

Opti Intermediate (Ages 8-15, must be under 120 lbs.):  This class is for our sailors who have successfully learned and advanced out of the Opti Beginner class or have basic experience steering a sailboat by themselves. As these sailor’s progress, they will be taught more advanced boat handling skills and be introduced to the basic skills of racing. If sailors advance enough and are interested, we can introduce them to our racing class and our racing team. Sailors typically spend three to four weeks in the intermediate program before moving to the racing level and beyond.


Teen Sailing (Ages 12-18):  Designed as a friendly and relaxed introduction to sailing in a safe and fun environment for our teen sailors. These sailors will be on a sailboat with their peers and an instructor. As they gain experience, they will sail with only their peers as an instructor follows along in a safety boat. Students will learn some of the following basic sailing skills: Rig a boat, find the wind direction, steer, tack and gybe a sailboat along with adjust the sails for the different points of sail and most importantly get comfortable with capsize recovery. These sailors will also explore our beautiful bay as they sail to different local destinations. Sailors are encouraged to repeat weeks as they will be combined with similarly experienced sailors and learn more skills with each lesson. If sailors advance enough and are interested, we can introduce them to racing class and our racing team. 

Racing Programs:

Opti and 420 Racing programs are 4 week sessions offered from 1pm-4:30pm for 4 days/week. This will include one-two days of racing depending upon the racing schedule. We plan to attend all local events our sailors are ready for. The sailors will have one day off per week which will be a rotating day depending on the racing schedule.

Session 1: July 1st – July 26, 2023                  Session 2: July 29th – August 26, 2024


OPTI Racing (Ages 8-15, must be under 120 lbs. by summer):
This class is designed for Opti sailors who are ready to race. Sailors will be taught advanced boat handling skills, racing tactics and rules. This will prepare them to compete in weekly local and regional regattas. This group will focus on making Sailboat racing FUN! The coach will be on the lookout for some experienced sailors, but we are really looking for those who are new to racing and just want to try it.

420 Racing (13-18 years old AND over 112 lbs. by summer): This class is designed for 420 sailors who are ready to race. Sailors will be taught advanced boat handling skills, racing tactics and rules.  This will prepare them to compete in weekly local and regional regattas.  This group will focus on making Sailboat racing one thing FUN! 

Racing Class Charter Fees:

A boat is required for participation. Each sailor must provide their own or charter a SYC boat. Boat charter fees for either an Optimist or a 420 are as follows:

  • Charter for a 4-week session: TBD
  • Charter for all 8 weeks: TBD

Please note: There are a very limited number of boats for chartering. SYC strongly encourages boat ownership for racing.

Private Lessons:

We offer 1.5 hours or longer private lessons for children and adults. We typically accommodate private lessons after our program ends after 4pm daily, but we might also have some slots available during the day. To schedule a private lesson please contact John Zambiski. before booking the lesson using our online registration system. The pricing below is per session not per participant.

Youth/Junior private lessons: These are private or small group lessons for sailors age 18 and under. These sailors can sail solo in an Opti, or we can provide solo or small group lessons in our RS Quest and or JY 15. We can customize any lesson to meet your needs or learning and enjoyment. Please contact John Zambriski to discuss specifics before booking. 

Adult/Family Private lessons:
We love to teach our adults how to sail as well. We offer adult solo lessons or take the whole family for lessons or a cruise. You can even get together with a small group of friends for a great time cruising our amazing Shinnecock bay. Take in a sunset out on the bay or take in some amazing views. Please contact John Zambriski to discuss specifics before booking.