For youth aged 7 through 18, there’s no better way to spend the summer than by joining the ABYC junior sailing school program! Participants in the learn-to-sail programs can spend the months of July and August having fun learning to sail and meeting new friends. In the more competitive Learn-To-Race stream training runs from May through October and athletes may participate in local, regional and international regattas. Participants in both streams work towards achieving their CANSail level certifications, the new national standard. The following diagram depicts the progression of the Lean to Sail and the Racing programs.
White/Bronze/Silver being replaced with CANSail 1-6
This season ABYC is pleased to be launching the CanSail Dinghy Programming, the updated national Learn to Sail standard. CANSail, which focuses on Long-Term Sailor Development, will be replacing Sail Canada’s traditional level system of White Sail, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Our Sail Canada certified instructors have all been trained in the new curriculum and are excited to share it with the students!
CANSail offers the best parts of Sail Canada’s traditional levels in an updated pathway focusing on learning tailored to the sailor’s developmental stage. The aim of the program is to have key skills acquired and consolidated at an early age and follow by building in more complex skills, in order to promote lifelong athletics in the sport of sailing.
The CANSail program is split into 6 levels, (CANSail 1-6) which may be completed in either single or double-handed boats. In addition, there are 2 complimentary courses, Chutes & Wires 1 and 2, which cover double-handed skill development. Below you will find course descriptions and links to online registration forms.
Our summer programs operate Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm, and will be split into 2, 4 or 8 week sessions according to level. Below is a level equivalency chart comparing the traditional and new CANSail programs. Take a look at where your sailor fits into the new CANSail system!
Detailed Program Description
Optimist Learn-to-Sail Program/Wet Feet
Ages 7-9, two-week sessions during July and August, Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm excluding August Civic holiday.
This is an introduction to sailing for the young child with no previous experience. In stable, sturdy Optimist dinghies (designed specifically for beginners), sailors learn basic steering and sail control skills in a small-group environment. Off the water, instructors teach the points of sail, boat parts, and weather and safety information through games and interactive lessons. Highlights of this program include surprise theme days and excursions to the beach. This program emphasizes safety, fun, and learning, and provides ideal preparation for the CANSail 1 &2.
Junior Learn-to-Race Program
(Ages 8-14) – Offered in three sessions.
1. Spring training Sundays, noon – 4:00 pm in May and June,
2. Eight-week program, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in July and August (excluding August Civic holiday), and
3. Fall training Sundays, noon – 4:00 pm in September and October.
For young sailors interested in learning how to race, this program offers an excellent opportunity to practice in a small group with a dedicated racing coach. No previous racing experience is required however students should enjoy time on the water and have a growing interest in the sport. Students are taught in racing Optimists, the international youth racing standard. They can either sail in their own boat, as Junior Memberships are provided with summer enrollment, or in racing Optimists available for charter from the club. Throughout the year participants have the opportunity to participate in a minimum of 3 regattas at local, regional and international levels, depending on their personal objectives. Training programs are offered from May to October in spring, summer and fall sessions, which participants may opt in and out of depending on their training objectives.
For the 2013 season, the beginner racers will have their own dedicated coach and can focus on skill aquisition while they begin to learn about racing. They will be competing in the Green (beginner) Fleet while at regattas, where ample on-water coaching and support is provided. They have the ability to work on achieving CANSail levels during the program’s duration.
Experienced racers will have the opportunity to work with a dedicated coach on advanced skills and tactics in our Championship Fleet. This program is meant for sailors who have completed their Green beginner training in an Opti Race Program and are ready to compete at the Championship Fleet level. Again, sailors will be able to work on achieving CANSail levels during the program.
NOTE: Instructor approval is required for registration in this program.
This program requires a minimum of 3 weekends of travel and demands a moderate commitment from both sailors and their parents, who will be asked to chaperone at regattas and/or help provide transportation to races. In addition, regatta fees and travel expenses (transportation, lodging and food) are not covered in the program fee.
Resources:Optimist Racing Team - Sailor & Parent Guide
CANSail 1 & 2 (previously White Sail l, ll & lll)
Prerequisite: Must be 10 years of age or older, no prior experience required. Program operates in two-week sessions during July and August, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm excluding August Civic holiday.
This is a basic sailing course for new sailors or those with limited sailing experience. Sailors are introduced to the sport and learn the fundamentals while sailing in 420s and Picos. The course covers the basic elements of sailing theory (parts of the boat, points of sail) and on-water skills in safety, crewing, steering and seamanship. Sailors also learn basic physical literacy through fun activities and sailing games. As in the Opimist Program, the emphasis is on safety, fun and teaching youth sailors to confidently handle a small dinghy.
Note: Participants in this program learn the vital Sail Canada safety skill of righting a capsized sailboat, so be prepared to get wet!!
CANSail 3 & 4 (previously Bronze IV & Bronze V)
Prerequisite: White Sail lll or CANSail 2, Program operates in four-week sessions during July and August, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, excluding August Civic holiday.
In double-handed 420s, sailors build on existing skills in all types of conditions and to a higher level of proficiency. Sailors are introduced to concepts such as right of way, reading wind and waves, proper use of sail controls and tactical mark roundings. Highlights of the program include a trip to a Toronto area regatta. CANSail 4 participants are introduced to double-handed skills like spinnaker and trapeze, beginning to work towards their Chutes and Wires 1 certification.
This program emphasizes high-performance sailing and basic racing and acts as a foundation for the Racing Team. Because of the more advanced nature of this program, a four-week commitment is required.
Chutes and Wires 1 & 2
Prerequisite: Bronze V or CANSail 4, Program operates in four-week sessions during July and August, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, excluding August Civic holiday.
For the advanced sailor, this brand new course covers the acquisition and consolidation of double-handed skills such as spinnaker and trapeze work. Offered as a supplemental course to the development of skills taught in the CANSail levels, Chutes and Wires 1 & 2 can be completed either in conjunction with CANSail 3 & 4 or Chutes and Wires 1 & 2 can be completed after CANSail 3& 4. It’s an excellent fit for experienced sailors who have finished Bronze V or CANSail 4, but who are not ready for the Senior Race Team. Chutes and Wires 1 & 2 is not a prerequisite for CANSail 5 & 6 but sailors contemplating continuing in a double handed boat will benefit from completing this extra step.
CANSail 5 & 6 - Senior Racing Team (previously Silver Vl & Gold Vll)
Prerequisite: Bronze V or CANSail 4 or Chutes and Wires 2. Program includes a core eight-week session Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm excluding August Civic holiday. Coaching is available Saturdays noon – 4:00 pm during May, June, September and October.
The focus in CANSail 5 & 6 is on integrating higher-level boat handling skills in on-water drills and on-shore coaching sessions. Participants supply their own boats. Centered on the training camp atmosphere, sailors will refine advanced sailing skills and learn racing rules, tactics, strategy and regatta preparation. Sailors in double-handed boats will also work on consolidating skills in spinnaker and trapeze, working towards their Chutes and Wires 2 certification.
Sailing in Lasers and 29er skiffs, Race Team members spend the summer competing at various regattas throughout Ontario under the guidance of a Sail Canada certified Race Coach. Away from the club, Race Team members meet and compete with sailors at local, regional or international regattas. Training programs are offered from May to October in spring, summer and fall sessions, which participants may opt in and out of depending on their training objectives.
Note: This program requires 4 to 6 weekends of travel and demands a high level of commitment from both sailors and their parents, who will be asked to chaperone at regattas and/or help provide transportation to races. In addition, regatta fees and travel expenses (transportation, lodging, and food) are not covered in the program fee.
General Program Requirements
Space in all of the above programs is limited. Registration must be completed online. ABYC reserves the right to charge up to $250.00 for damage incurred to club equipment as a result of misuse. Furthermore, participants must:
|1.||Be minimum age – 7 years as of July 1. Maximum age – 18 years as of July 1|
|2.||Be able to swim 20 meters unaided.|
|3.||Bring own properly fitting Department of Transportation approved life jacket. Lifejackets can be purchased at any local boating supply store or outdoor sporting goods store (eg. Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canadian Tire).|
|5.||Bring own nut-free lunch and water bottle.|
Please note that fees paid qualify as child care expenditures for tax purposes. Appropriate receipts are provided.