Youth Sailing Program

The Ithaca Yacht Club is committed to providing an excellent youth sailing program. Our program is open to members of Ithaca YC, as well as non-members. This often helps to facilitate friends attending camp and class together!


Help build the Youth Sailing Program by donating now to purchase new racing sails for our fleet of Opti's and 420's.  Sails are a sailboat's engine, and the best shaped sail is the fasted engine.   Our Youth Sailing Director, Sue Vandermeer has set a goal of raising $10,000 for really great sails for the IYC sailing team.  Please support our youth as they grow to learn the self-reliance and independence that being alone in a sailboat teaches so well.  Click here to donate.


Weekly Sessions running from June 26-August 25, 2017

Sessions run each week throughout the summer and sailors are welcome to attend one session or join for multiple weeks and build their sailing skills over the season. Fees for Sailing or Racing programs are $250 per week (members) and $315 per week (non-members) for 1-week sessions, non-refundable. Copious details regarding the program and process of payment are found in the download PDF file (See below).

Enrollment Incentive for Members Only:

  • Receive a $35 per week discount by enrolling your child for four (4) or more weeks (non-refundable, payment required before start of first desired session: $225/week).
  • Enroll more than one child per family and receive 10% off each additional sibling registration.

Laser-420 Regattas mostly on TUESDAYS. 
(except as noted)

Optimist Regattas mostly on WEDNESDAYS.  (except as noted)

About the Programs

One-week Youth Sailing sessions are held Monday to Friday each week for youth ages 8-17. All sailors must complete a minimum swimming requirement of 50 yards. We recommend completing this requirement with the lifeguard on duty before the first day of the program, although it can be done early on the first day of each session. 

Our programs are held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with a 1-hour break for lunch. The program is also available to children of non-members for a higher weekly fee. Beginner’s groups are kept small. All sailors may progress to a more advanced level upon recommendation of the instructors and approval of the Sailing director(s). They will learn beginning, intermediate, and advanced techniques in Optimist (dinghies), and 420s.

The Racing group is introduced to inter-club competition. Regattas and special events will occur throughout the season.

Enrollment in the Youth Sailing Program will be limited, and is on a first-come-first-served basis. Your place will be reserved upon payment.

Primary Contacts

Sue VanderMeer, Director of Youth Sailing, youthsailing@ithacayc.org

First Day Packet

Please be sure to bring the "First Day Packet" (part of the PDF download) with you on Day One of your child's program.

The "First Day Packet" is to be handed to the HEAD INSTRUCTOR only, at Ithaca Yacht Club Youth Clubhouse. 

Junior Roasts

These famous Roasts are held every Thursday in July and August. Volunteer "parent chefs" cook hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers provided at a nominal cost including beverage. The hot dogs and burgers are supplemented by dish to pass contributions from parents. The children love it! The Roast is followed by games organized by the Waterfront and Sailing staff. A marvelous time for all!
P.S. also a good time for parents to have some time off: dinner, a drink or just relax by the lake.

Awards Night

This event is held on the last Junior Roast of the year with awards and certificates presented by the Commodore, Instructors, and Youth Sailing Directors to the children. In addition to Certificates of Completion, awards are made in numerous categories such as sportsmanship, improvement, leadership, team building and excellence. Lots of memories!

 NOTES FOR PARENTS:   Interclub Youth Sailing Regattas   

If you would like your child to take part in these fun regattas, please let Sue VanderMeer know as soon as possible.
Transport of kids is generally done by parents, so let us know very soon whether you can help.
Kids need to take food and drink with them for lunch and on-water drinks. 
In the case of 420's, it is expected that, in general, we will borrow boats from the host club, and will not take our boats unless we are forced to, in order that we can compete.. In the case of Junior Olympics, parents need to borrow or charter 420's, if available at the host club.  The Instructor will take extra club boats, if not available to borrow from the host club, and if these boats are not taken by parents.

 Boats will be assigned by the Program Director - no child can assume "ownership" of a particular club boat. Equally, no parent can take boats without express permission of the Program Director, nor assume "ownership" of club boats. We will usually send at least one Instructor, along with volunteer parents, as a part of the IYC Team. However, if there are very few competitors going to a regatta, for example one boat, then of course it does not make sense to spare an Instructor, who otherwise has other more pressing duties, so we will obviously tailor the instructor support to the needs of the event.

Ithaca Yacht Club

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(607) 272-9171
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