Grosse Pointe Club
Junior Sailing Program

                                                               "First in Class"

Class Descriptions

The GPC Junior Sail program is available to the children of GPC members and children of non-members of GPC. The program is designed to provide sailing instruction for all abilities, from beginners through competitive racing. 

All classes are seven weeks beginning the Monday following the completion of the Grosse Pointe public school year. There is a one week break after four weeks which coincides with the Bayview Mackinac Race.

The GPC Junior Sail program owns and maintains its own fleet of Optis and 420s. The participants are not required to own a boat and no additional fees are charged for use of the boats. 

Optimist Learn To Sail
Ages: 7 - 13
Weigh Limit: Less than 120 lbs
Equipment: Opti
Calendar: Monday through Friday; 8:30AM - 12:00PM; 7 and 4 week programs.
Prerequisites: Students must be able to pass a swim test.
Fee: 7 week program - $950; 4 week program - $750
Description: Open to sailors with little or no previous sailing experience. This class offers instruction in basic skills, enabling a child to feel confident sailing a single handed dinghy. Concepts include: capsize recovery, sail trim, boat terminology, points of sail, upwind sailing, tacking, jibing, and safety, with an overall emphasis on fun and becoming comfortable on the water. Our unique harbor enables the kids to practice sailing in a safe and protected environment. By the end of the first season, the class practices racing techniques such as starts and buoy racing.

This program also focuses on the kids having fun in and around the water. The program recognizes that beginning sailing can be intimidating and monotonous at times. As such, the program will include on-land activities such as capture the flag, kickball, frisbee golf and other fun activities. In addition, the program has access to kayaks, paddle boards, and other on-the-water activities to help the kids acclimate to the water.

Note: Special requests for 420 learn to sail will be considered. Please email to inquire. 

Racing - Ages 9 to 18
Ages: 9 - 18
Equipment: Opti, 420
Calendar: Monday through Friday; 8:30AM - 4:30PM or 1:00PM - 4:30PM; 7 week program only.
Prerequisites: Students must be able to pass a swim test. Sailors must have completed the beginner sailing class or have similar training of beginning skills to be approved for this class.
Fee: $1,400 full day; $1,100 afternoon
Description: The race team attends several regattas throughout the summer and classes are used as training sessions, focusing on advanced boat handling skills, race strategy, tactics, and rules. Coaching is targeted specifically to each student and is aimed at taking his/her sailing to the next level. Note that those sailors participating in the full day program will have the ability to buy their lunch from the Club's snack shack.

Green Racing.  The Green Fleet is a beginning racing fleet for sailors interested in sailing in DRYA regattas (participation in regattas is not required). The Green Fleet works on racing techniques such as starts, sailing windward/leeward courses, tactics, and the rules of racing. At DRYA regattas, the Green Fleet has their own race course with one start. If a sailor places in three regattas during the season, they will be moved to the R/W/B fleet.

Red/White/Blue Racing.  The RWB racing is divided into three age groups depending on age. White is the youngest through age 10, Blue is 11 and 12, and Red is 13 through 15. Age is determined as of the first regatta of the season per the DRYA rules. The RWB fleet has the widest range of sailing skills and is also the largest fleet in the DRYA, with up to 30 boats in one start although each fleet is scored separately. 

420 JAM Racing.  This fleet is for more experienced sailors who are new to the 420. This fleet is jib and main only, no spinnakers or trapping.

Racing 420.  This fleet is for the serious racer. Skipper and crew both have racing experience and are competitive with a spinnaker and trapeze. Coaching focuses on racing and improving techniques.

Private Lessons
We encourage sailors to develop their sailing skills and confidence with one-on-one private lessons. Conducted on weekends or evenings around your schedule, private lessons are a great way to work on specific skills or develop confidence on the water. Private lessons may be arranged with one of our qualified instructors. Contact Chris Cyr to arrange a private lesson.

                                Learn To Sail Details

Week 1:  This week is filled with vocabulary, knot tying, mechanics of the boat, a brief understanding of wind and direction, and safety procedures.  There is a lot to learn for these beginner sailors before they can hop in a boat by themselves. 

Week 2:  The first week on the water.  Instructors focus on each sailor gaining a familiarity with the boat through individualized instruction and review of week one material.  Some sailors may gain a feel for the helm quickly, while others may take a longer.  It is important to have all sailors on the same level in order to facilitate a safe environment and form a solid foundation for future skills.  

**These are often the most frustrating weeks for both sailors and parents alike.  The sailors that grasp the sport quickly are frustrated by the slow pace, and the sailors that are having trouble may become intimidated by being on the water by themselves.  Please contact Scott Stevenson during these weeks if you have a specific issue, but be assured that the pace does pick up and no sailor will be left behind in the process.   

Week 3-4:  Points of sail. During these weeks instructors will focus on downwind and upwind sailing, reading tell-tales, and correct sail trim and tuning.  While many of these lessons were taught in previous weeks, sailors now are gaining an better understanding through hands-on experience.

Week 5-6:  Introduction to racing.  Sailors will begin to race on a simple windward-leeward course.  Focus will be on an understanding of the starting sequence, starting (on time), and downwind/upwind sailing. 

Week 7:  Preparation for Green Fleet.  During this week we focus on getting the sailors prepared for next year in the racing program.  Instructors will focus on the finer aspects of starting, tacking, jibing, boat handling, tuning, weight placement, with a brief introduction into tactics. 

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