Learn To Race

SYC has established two Race Teams to provide the best opportunities for sailors interested in dinghy racing. Regular off-season meetings are held with race team member parents to explain expectations & commitments required, and set the team schedules.

Optimist Race Team

There has never been a better time for young sailors to be part of the Optimist Race Team. Recognized as the largest active one design class in the World, the Optimist is the perfect platform to introduce sailors to competitive racing. Many say – “if you can sail an Optimist fast, you can sail any boat fast”. We require a minimum of three sailors to operate the Optimist race team.

The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) has carefully structured the class creating class divisions based on experience and age – learn more here.

Optimist Race Team Qualifications

  • Sailors should have completed at least CYA White Sail Level 2 or CANSail 2. Sailors are expected to demonstrate their confidence as most training sessions are undertaken on Lake Huron.
  • Sailors shall be at least 9 years old.
  • Parental involvement and assistance is essential to the Team’s success. Parents should be willing to assist with the Teams logistics including transportation to and from regattas.
  • Sailors who maintain a keen interest in racing are encouraged to stay in the Team until class rules restrict their eligibility to race.
  • Racing Optimists are supplied to Team members (we have 5 available)
    - Sailors must accept responsibility for all equipment while in their care.
  • Sailors are encouraged to become members of the Canadian Optimist Dinghy Association to assist with class development.

Open Race Team/Advanced Training

Ideal for the avid racer or experienced sailor wishing advanced training, the program will advance the sailor’s skills in their chosen class of boat. Sailors are encouraged to use their own boats. We do have available a limited number of single and double handed dinghies available for use for those without personal boats (Byte, 420's, Laser >>'s) Instruction will include boat tuning, tactics & strategy, advanced boat handling, fitness & nutrition. Students will be encouraged to attend selected regattas. It is not mandatory to attend regattas if the student desires to participate in the advanced training only. Spring Training for those planning to attend regattas will start weekends in late April or early May, weather dependent.

Advanced Race Team Qualifications

  • Sailors should have completed Bronze Sail Level 4, CANSail 4, or have demonstrated skills and regatta experience.
  • Sailors shall be at least 14 years old.
  • Parental assistance with transportation and regatta support is required.
  • Sailors are expected to be members of their National Class Associations.
  • Sailors should recognize the importance of representing SYC and comply at all times with the Team’s Code of Conduct.