Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Junior Sailing & Tennis Program

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 9:30am

It is hard to believe, but there are just two more weeks of summer sailing before we quickly change gears and start high school sailing on Sept. 3 (tentatively).

As we approach the high school season, we are looking for chase boat operators. Absolutely no sailing or racing knowledge or experience is needed to support the Boothbay community sailing team. Our chase boats are out in case someone needs to come to shore, capsizes and needs assistance, or the coach boat has mechanical problems. All you need is to be proficient handling a small outboard driven boat and be at least 18. We practice Monday through Thursday, and you can commit to as much, or as little, as you would like. Please call the club and ask to speak to the Junior Sailing director.

Last week’s morning sailing session was the biggest of the season and saw us using nearly all the Optis as well as a few techs with some older beginners. Through the hard work of our staff and apprentices as well as our diverse fleet we have been able to get nearly 30 kids ranging from our 7-year-old mini mariners, to some 14-year-old beginners a great experience full of fun and learning. Tess lead a large fleet of beginners through who have now learned to rig, tack and reach. Today they are working on gybing and adjusting their sail trim before a game of 'man overboard' and tennis ball tag to end the day. Over the course of the week, Payton pulled out some more intermediate sailors to work on sail trim and Caleb worked with a group of sailors about to enter the afternoon green fleet on improving their upwind sailing and some racecourse basics.

We cannot say thank you enough to the BHYC members that enabled the purchase of the tech dinghies, a solid and versatile boat for the older beginner youth sailor.

In the afternoon, we have large mixed group of intermediate level sailors, and a few 420 racers. They focused on spinnaker work and some upwind trim refinement this week, with all our sailors showing improvement in both. On Wednesday they played "Dead Fish" a version of ultimate frisbee played on the water that we shamelessly stole from UNH. Some of the Opti Champ racers have moved onto 420s for the rest of the season, leaving Payton to work with a group of mostly green fleeters who will be stepping into their shoes in the future. Their week involved lots of upwind sailing, some pond swimming, a sail to Burnt Island for some exploring and a trip to town for ice cream.

The afternoon kids finished out the week with a club race day followed by some swimming. Stepping up from the Opti race program, Toby Clarkson and Arden Carleton were uncatchable. Oksana and Jackson lead the non-race division. While we do not host a race day every week to avoid burning out kids, we do feel it is important to give everyone some exposure, so all the afternoon kids took part, this time all in 420s. Bobby Clarkson deserves extra credit for volunteering to sail with Ava Pumo, a member of our Opti green fleet to help teach her the ropes of 420s.

Our mini Mariners have spent time in techs, and on Friday were joined by 10 YMCA Scamper Campers for a harbor sail aboard a Boothbay Harbor One Design daysailer. Special thanks to Deanna and Delly Clarkson, Lee Corbin, and Scott Blake for donating their time and boats to help give these kids a great day on the water. We’re excited about this aspect of our growing partnership with the Y. A scavenger hunt and local wildlife a plenty made for a fun morning.

On Aug. 12 and 13, we are hosting the annual “Battle of the Bay.” This low-key regatta is aimed to finish out the year with some fun. Monday has short course racing against some local clubs, and Tuesday the coaches race against the kids in some short, and some long courses. And, for the non-racers, on Thursday we host another Adventure Day, welcoming sailors from clubs across the state — stay tuned for the surprise destination.

Wednesday is our always-fun annual awards banquet and dinner — we can’t wait to see what pictures have been captured over the season and relive some fun moments.

Tennis continues strong as new players get expert instruction from our coaching team, and season-long players advance their skills and focus on matchplay. Our last Interclub match is Wednesday against CCIA at home. We look forward to welcoming them to our club to play some fun matches.