Optimist Prams & SailCubes:
Younger, lighter sailors use Optimists, with sailors typically weighing 80-125 lbs. and age up to 15. The 7′ 9″ length over all Optimist is the most common youth sailing program instructional boat and biggest youth racing class in the world. Optis are sailed with one camper aboard (we might put 2 aboard in special circumstances). Many of the top world Optimist sailors have become world-class Laser Radial or Laser 4.7 sailors after they “age-out” of the Opti. Many also go on to excel in double-handers such as the C420. We use Optis in the Beginning, Intermediate/Advanced, and Performance curricula.
Xcites are a workhorse single sail, cat-riggged recreational and teaching platform in our camp. Sailors weighing 50-200 lbs. and age 7 to 18 can be accommodated. It is appropriate to single-hand an Xcite or double-hand, with two smaller campers aboard when appropriate. The overall length is slightly under 10′. Xcites are not an organized class as are the other fleet boats. but are one design enough to be suitable for camp match and team racing drills. Excites are used in the Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced curricula.
Laser Full, Radial, and 4.7:
The Laser is a family of one-design sailing dinghies using a common hull (over all length 13′ 10″) with interchangeable rigging configurations for different applications. The Laser is designed to be sailed single-handed although two sailors may be aboard in special circumstances. The Laser is one of the most popular of the dinghy classes, with more than 275,000 boats worldwide. It has been an Olympic class since 1996. The Laser hull can be rigged with sails of different areas using similar parts. This allows for a breadth of sailor heights/weights and skill levels to sail in different wind conditions:
Full Rig – 160-185 lbs. with breeze to 15 knots;
Radial Rig – 135-170 lbs. with beeeze to 15 knots;
4.7 Rig – 120+ lbs. in breeze to 15 knots.
Lasers are used in the Intermediate/Advanced and Performance curricula.
The Club 420, or C420, is one of the more actively sailed junior boats in summer, high school, and collegiate sailing. It features a mainsail, jib, and an optional spinnaker. As a junior sailing boat, it is designed for two people to sail together. The minimum combined crew weight is 220 lbs. and a maximum of 320 lbs. We require significant single-handed sailing experience with demonstrated capability before we introduce campers to the C420. The boat is dynamic and teaches the new skills of crew communication, cooperation, and teamwork. In scholastic sailing, teams compete in C420s using the collegiate configuration which simplifies the boat by eliminating the spinnaker. In summer sailing, teams compete using the junior race configuration which includes the spinnaker. We use both configurations in camp. The C420 is used in our Intermediate/Advanced and Performance curricula and in special competitions outside of normal camp activities
Beginning Sailing: This curriculum teaches the fundamentals of sailing to campers of all ages who may have never sailed, have sailed but with little or no dinghy experience, want a refresher after time away, or simply enjoy time on the water with new or old friends. Topics include: parts of a boat and what the parts do; rigging a boat; sails and how they work; knots that you need to know; getting your boat righted and going again after a capsize; the wind clock and points of sail; sailing upwind and downwind; how to sail somewhere and get back home; and general skills for safe boat handling in low breeze conditions. Campers will learn by doing with higher emphasis on having a fun experience and lower emphasis on boat performance.
Intermediate/Advanced Sailing: This curriculum assumes mastery of beginning sailing skills and focuses on increasing camper confidence and boat performance when on the water in low through moderate breeze conditions. Campers must have completed at least one beginning sailing class or must demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge to sail this curriculum. Sailing skills are refined through games, challenges, drills, deeper understanding of sailing theory, and competitive activities that demonstrate boat performance and the more complex rules of the road (commonly called the Racing Rules of Sailing). Campers continue to learn by doing with emphasis shifting toward increasing boat performance. Campers will know how to identify their wind environmcnt, correctly balance their boat and steer and adjust their sails for all points of sail in light to moderate breeze, maneuver through complex tacking and jibing situations with conflicts, round marks to port and to starboard, back their boats, start and stop their boats and hold fixed positions, and master time/distance problems.
Performance Sailing: This curriculum focuses on further increasing camper confidence and boat performance when on the water in breeze up to 15 knots and refining the skills taught in the Intermediate/Advanced curriculum as they apply to competitive situations. Students will practice advanced sailing techniques: starting a sail boat race; understanding race courses, properly trimming sails including spinnaker applications; various competitive racing configurations and applying the Racing Rules of Sailing. Campers must have sailing experience and be able to demonstate their boat balancing and handling skills. Proper steering and sail trim on all points of sail must be routine and fully mastered. This curriculum will emphasizes racing in either single handed or crewed dinghies, and may include spinnakers. It targets campers who get their enjoyment from continuously improving their sailing performance and comparing that performance with peers through racing.