Summer Phone: 920-854-7107



Learn to Sail at the EYC

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Education Schedule

All group lessons meet Monday through Friday.  Morning lessons meet from 9:00 AM to noon.  Afternoon lessons meet from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.

Students are welcome to take both morning and afternoon classes during the same session (e.g., Beginner class in the mornings and Adventure Sailing in the afternoons.)

Classes & Training at EYC

Education Overview

Ephraim Yacht Club Sailing Classes


The Sport of Sailing.  Sailing is a lifetime sport which is athletic but does not require unusual coordination, size or strength.  Girls and boys participate in lessons and compete in races together.  Sailing is social and at the same time rewards individual initiative and learning.  Sailing is low-impact and is very safe.  EYC students and parents consistently comment that the student completed lessons with a great feeling of accomplishment.  Sailing is also tremendous fun!

Lesson Overview.  The EYC offers sailing lessons during its summer season to junior and adult members of the EYC.  The EYC operates one of the oldest and largest sailing schools in the Midwest.  Each year the EYC teaches hundreds of students with a US Sailing certified staff of up to 16 instructors.  Our enthusiastic and well-trained instructor staff receives great feedback from parents and students!  The EYC maintains a fleet of 55 sailboats (Flying Scots, 420s, Lasers and Optimists) for use in its lesson program.  The EYC’s lessons include on-shore and on-the-water instruction, nomenclature, sailing theory, safety, seamanship, boat handling, sail trim, and boat care.  Both group and private lessons are offered.

Enrollment.  Advance online enrollment is required for group lessons.  For private lessons, online enrollment is not available; instead, call the EYC at (920) 854-7107 during the summer, or stop by the EYC during open hours to make an appointment.  **ATTENTION**  In order to benefit from 2017 lesson pricing, registration must be completed by 2 pm on the Friday two weeks before the start of the class.  For example, if enrolling in a Session C class, registration must be completed by June 22nd at 2 pm.  After that deadline passes, registration is still possible, but each class will cost an additional $25.00.  If a student has registered for a class early, but needs to change classes due to promotion inside the two week limit, the $25.00 fee will be waived.  We anticipate more classes than usual filling this summer.  To secure your preferred session and 2017 pricing, please register early!

EYC Membership Required.  Each student must be an EYC member in good standing. Students under the age of 25 must belong to the EYC within a family membership or as a student member. Students 25 and older must have a membership in one of the following categories — Single, Young Adult, Family or Senior.  Please note–Student memberships are no longer available for purchase through lesson registration.  They must be purchased through Club Express.  Please contact Membership Volunteer, Lisa Gifford, at for more information.

Scholarships.  Scholarships funded by the Aaron R Moore Scholarship Fund are available to students ages 7-16 who are year round residents of Door County and who would not be able to enroll but for this fund.  Students granted scholarships can enroll in any EYC sailing session.  The scholarship process is simple and confidential.  Parents seeking scholarships should contact the EYC Scholarship Chair at prior to membership and lesson enrollment.  Application should be made as soon as possible and prior to July 1.

Safety.  Safety is the EYC’s number one priority.  All EYC instructors undergo safety training as part of their US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor course, and all EYC staff take part in annual pre-season in-house safety training.  The EYC strictly enforces its PFD rule for instructors and students engaged in sailing lessons.  Safety concepts and techniques are integrated at every level of the EYC’s sailing instruction program. All EYC students must know how to swim, and must be comfortable swimming alone, in deep water, and in open water.

EYC Staff /Instructors

2017 EYC Staff /Instructors

The Ephraim Yacht Club employs a staff of 14 experienced and enthusiastic sailors.  All have received US Sailing Level 1 certification.  Many of the Senior staff have also received Level 2 certification.  All staff are Red Cross CPR and First Aid certified.  Most of our staff have “grown up” at the EYC and learned to sail on Eagle Harbor.  Many of the Senior staff sail for their college teams and compete during the school year.  They all look forward to sharing their love of sailing with the students.

Matt Andersen: Sailing Director

Matt grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and now lives in Ephraim full time. He is heading into his junior year at University of Wisconsin Madison where he is studying economics. Other than sailing, Matt enjoys many activities such as hockey, skiing, and fishing. He grew up in the EYC program during the summers, and sailed for the Loyola Academy sailing team in Chicago for two years during high school. He is currently a Level 1 certified US Sailing instructor. Matt has been sailing at the EYC since he was eight years old, and his favorite boats to sail at the club are 420’s. His favorite EYC event is the Ephraim Regatta and all the festivities along with it, especially Bratfest.

Stefan Peterson: Head Instructor

Stefan Peterson is the EYC’s Head Instructor and will be a Senior in the fall at Iowa State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. At ISU, he is the Commodore of the Iowa State Sailing Club and enjoys racing with the team in their first year in the MCSA! At the EYC, his favorite boat to race are 420’s but he also likes to take out Lasers. Stefan has been a life long EYC member and will mark the seventh consecutive summer instructing at EYC! He also plans on being US Sailing Level 3 certified for this summer. His favorite part of teaching sailing is seeing the students improving on the water and giving them positive feedback after class. Lastly, his favorite EYC event is Bratfest, with the Ephraim Regatta being his favorite regatta. He is excited to return this summer and can’t wait to start sailing in Eagle Harbor once again!

Benji Therien: Race Coach

Benji is currently a sophomore in college studying Applied Math. However, he plans to change his major to computer science in the fall. During the summer, Benji’s favorite boat to race is the Flying Scot which he sails in the Saturday morning race series and the Ephraim Regatta. When he’s not sailing, Benji enjoys playing hockey, skiing and working out. This summer will be Benji’s 4th working at the EYC. With his level 2 US sailing certification, he is looking forward to teaching more sailing this season.

Senior Instructors

Adele Gruner

Adele is finishing her freshman year at Boston College. She started taking sailing lessons at the EYC when she was 8 years old, and this will be her fourth year as an instructor. Before the summer, she is getting her Level 2 instructor certification. Her favorite type of boat to race is the 420 and she also loves to sail in the flying scot races on Saturday mornings. Adele’s favorite part about teaching sailing is seeing her students get out on the race course, and she looks forward to the Ephraim Regatta every year.

Will Gheorghita

William is a sophomore at the University of Southern California, where he’s majoring in environmental studies and minoring in business administration. He played soccer for four years in high school, basketball for one, lacrosse for one, and founded his school’s racquetball club. In college, he enjoys playing all these sports in his free time. William is US Sailing Level 2 (projected) certified, and his favorite sailboat to compete in is the Laser. He has been sailing at the EYC for more than a decade and this is his fifth year as an instructor. His favorite part about teaching at the EYC is watching his students grow year after year and advance through the levels to become the best sailors they can be. William has many favorite EYC events, but the one that stands out to him is Regatta Weekend and Bratfest.

Susie Voltz

Susie will be a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee double majoring in Kinesiology and Pre-Physician’s Assistant and is an active member of the UW-Milwaukee sailing team.  Susie and her teammates attended the Coed College Sailing National Championship last spring and hope to qualify again this spring. She began sailing at age 5 and has raced a variety of boats including: Optis, X boats, 420s, MC and A scows.  Susie is level 1 certified and has been a sailing instructor and coach at the White Bear Sailing School for the past 4 summers and this will be her first summer at EYC.  She is excited to spend her summer in Door County and learn more about EYC!

Topher Andersen

Topher is a Senior at Gibraltar High School and he will be attending Miami University in Oxford, OH next fall. He started a sailing team at Gibraltar two years ago and the team has been racing 420s in Chicago and Milwaukee area ever since! Topher is currently a Level 1 Sailing instructor and he is hoping to receive his Level 2 before the summer. His favorite boat is the Laser and he loves watching his students race in the annual Opti Regatta. Topher began taking lessons at EYC when he was old enough and he has been sailing ever since. This summer, Topher is looking forward to the Ephraim Regatta and he can’t wait to share his sailing skills with his students!

Abby O’Rourke

Abby O’Rourke is a senior at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. Abby is a level 1 certified instructor, and is planning on getting her level 2 certification prior to this sailing season. In the fall Abby will be attending Miami University. She is looking forward to sailing at the competitive collegiate level. Abby has been sailing at EYC for the past 12 years. One of Abby’s favorite things about teaching is seeing students return  year after year and watching them improve out on the water. On a Saturday morning  you can find Abby Racing in her Flying Scot out on the course. Her favorite regatta is the family regatta because she loves racing with her father while listening to his stories of sailing experience.  When there is not enough wind to sail Abby enjoys paddle boarding on the smooth waters of Eagle Harbor. She also loves cycling on Door County’s picturesque country roads. Abby’s most fond EYC event are the junior activities. The water games week has been a fond memory ever since she was a little kid. Nothing beats the bittersweet ending of summer at the Commodore’s Party when everyone is dressed up and smiling about the memories of another awesome summer in Door County!

Charlie Sidles

Charlie Sidles is an 18 year old returning to EYC for a 9th straight summer. This will be his 3rd summer as an instructor at EYC and his first year as a senior instructor. He has received his level 1 certification from US Sailing. Charlie’s favorite boats at EYC are 420s and his favorite EYC event is the junior activities. His favorite day of the week at EYC is Thursday because many members of staff and even some students wear bucket hats to celebrate bucket hat Thursday. Charlie will graduate from Lake Forest High School in June and will be attending Northwestern University in the fall.

Junior Instructors

Tommy Papenthien

TommyTommy is currently a 16 year old Junior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. Living in Colorado, Tommy is passionate about mountain biking and skiing and enjoys being on his High School’s mountain bike team in the fall and road bikes for a local development team in the spring. During the summer, Tommy loves to sail. His favorite type of boat is the Laser. The fast, minimalist design excites him and he enjoys how free it makes him feel. High winds are his favorite conditions, especially for racing. His favorite weekly series are the Lasers and he is hyped for the Rich Hall Junior Regatta. He enjoys Lasers so much that he will be returning as the Laser Fleet Captain so that he can maintain the quality of the fleet and encourage new Laser sailors. Tommy began taking sailing lessons at EYC when he was 8, and became an Instructor last year. Being an instructor was always a dream job for Tommy; his favorite aspects are being on the water, having fun with the kids, and helping kids advance from beginners to racers. Although he enjoys all EYC events, his favorite is always donut day. Tommy is an US Sailing Level 1 certified Instructor.

Derek Waleffe

Derek is a junior at Middleton High School in Middleton, Wisconsin. He currently is certified with a US Sailing Level 1 certification. Derek is a huge fan of both the yacht club’s Laser and 420 fleets, and enjoys racing the Tuesday night Laser series and Friday night 420 series. His favorite regatta of the year is the Ephraim Regatta and he is looking forward to racing in the 112th Ephraim Regatta this summer. Derek has been sailing as long as he can remember, from growing up sailing with his parents on their Nomad, to the last 8 years that he has spent sailing at the EYC. His favorite part of teaching sailing is seeing the kids having fun, and the joy on their faces when they accomplish a new skill. He hopes to see this joy at the annual Kickball junior activity, his favorite EYC event.

David Morof

This year, David is a Junior in high school at Glenbard West High. He has been sailing for 8 years and he is totally stoked for another year! Currently, David has his Level One US Sailing certification. During the summer, David loves to take out Capn’ Jack and Race in the Tuesday and Friday Laser series. While he will be joining the EYC for his third year of instructorship, he will be enjoying his ninth year at the club this summer. David really enjoys connecting with the youngsters at the club and instilling a genuine love for sailing! Personally, he likes attending the Junior activities and hanging with the kids.

Sophie Tasker

Sophie is from Elm Grove, Wisconsin, but has been coming to Door County for the summer for as long as she can remember. Sophie will be a senior at Brookfield East High School in Brookfield, WI in the fall. She runs cross country, track and field, and skis competitively for her school’s teams. She has her level 1 certification, and her favorite EYC boat to race is Mr. Welch’s Flying Scot, which she raced on with him and Ms. Lewis last summer in the Saturday morning Flying Scot series. She has been sailing since she was 5 years old, and has sailed for 8 years with EYC. She loves kids, and is very excited to help them develop the same love for sailing she has. Her favorite Ephraim Yacht Club event is Commodore’s, because she loves seeing all of her friends dressed up.

Margaret Gheorghita

Margaret will be a junior at the American International School of Vienna. During the year she enjoys playing on the volleyball and basketball teams for her school. She plans to complete Level One in Wisconsin this summer.  She has been sailing at the EYC ever since she was 8 years old.  Her favorite memory was sailing in the NACs in 2012 with former instructor Olivia Demarinis and two friends. Margaret loves the excitement surrounding the regattas, but her favorite event is the Brat Fest at the end of the summer. She has great memories of all the junior and teen activities, sailing in the FJ and 420 series, and jumping off the dock at the end of lessons. She is excited for this summer and the opportunity to pass on her love of sailing and lessons.

Two week classes

Two Week Sailing Classes

Two week classes

Beginner Sailing LessonsBeginner  An introductory course for students ages 7-17.  Students will learn sailing theory and terminology, basic seamanship, helmsmanship, and sail trim. Click here to see the list of skills taught at the Beginner level.  Students are divided into multiple class sections based on experience and age.  The Beginner class is taught in Optimists and Flying Scots.  Upon completion of the skills and testing, instructors will recommend that the student may enroll in Opti Racing, Intro to Lasers and/or Intermediate.  The cost for the two week Beginner class in the mornings is $360.  The same class in the afternoons is $300.  Both classes require a $10 textbook, available for purchase at registration.  Parents of seven year olds should consider the size, maturity and water experience of the child before enrolling him or her in this class.

Opti Racing  This two week class will be offered in three times; in a one week session from July 6-July 6 in the afternoons, in a two week session from July 9-July 20 in the mornings, and a two week session from July 23-August 3 in the afternoons.  The Optimist is raced regionally, nationally and internationally by sailors through age 15, and offers a great opportunity for this age group to improve their confidence, knowledge and racing experience.  The class will cover starts, upwind and downwind strategy, and the racing rules of sailing.  This class is open to students up to age 15 who have skippered in an Opti series race or regatta.  It can be taken multiple times, but completing the class does not qualify the student for the Intermediate class.  The cost for this class is $360.  No textbook required.

Intro to LasersIntro to Lasers   Students who have passed the Beginner class can continue to improve their single-handed dinghy techniques by moving directly to the Laser using the EYC’s Laser 4.7 rigs.  The Laser 4.7 is a smaller rig used with the standard Laser hull, allowing students as light as 77 pounds to transition from Optis to Lasers. Students will spend time learning how to rig and sail a Laser.  This class will be offered July 9-July 20 and July 23-August 3 in the afternoons.  The cost for these dates will be $360.  

Intermediate  Students will learn double-handed dinghy sailing techniques using the EYC’s fleet of Club 420’s.  Students will learn how to rig and sail a 420, including boathandling in a wide range of wind conditions as both skipper and crew. Includes an introduction to racing, including fundamental racing rules and techniques. Click here to see the list of skills taught at the Intermediate level.  This class is open to students who have passed the Beginner class and have intructor approval.  Students who pass the Intermediate Class are eligible for the Advanced and/or Racing Classes.  The two week Intermediate class in the morning costs $360.  The class requires a $10 textbook, available for purchase at registration.

Advance EYC Training

Advanced  For students up to age 17 who have been promoted from the Intermediate class.  This class is taught in the EYC’s fleet of nine Flying Scots with the goal of learning all the skills necessary to obtain an EYC Skipper’s License.  (Persons holding an EYC Skipper’s License are able to skipper an EYC-owned Flying Scot without staff supervision.)  The class emphasizes correct rigging, seamanship, boathandling in all weather, and spinnaker handling. Some racing instruction and racing-derived drills may occur, but students who wish to emphasize racing should enroll in the Racing class instead. Click here to view the list of skills taught at the Advanced level.  The Advanced class is offered in the mornings and costs $360.  No textbook required.

EYC Racing

One week classes

One week classes

Beginner  In Sessions A, B2, E and F, the Beginner class will be offered as a one week class.  See course description under Two Week Classes.  The cost for this class (either morning or afternoon) is $180.  There is a $10 required textbook available for purchase at registration.

Intermediate  In Session E, August 6-10, there will be a one week Intermediate class in the mornings.  See course description under Two Week Classes.  The cost for this class is $180.  There is a $10 required textbook available for purchase at registration.

Opti Racing  Opti Racing will be offered as a one week class from July 2-6 in preparation for the Opti Regatta.  Please see the Two Week section for a class description.  The cost will be $180.  

Sailing ClassesAdventure Sailing Enjoy sailing in beautiful Eagle Harbor with trips planned to Nicolet Bay, Horseshoe Island and Ephraim Beach. Basic skills will be covered in the context of a fun and relaxing atmosphere. This class is a great option for siblings and friends of varying ages and skill levels who would like to sail together.  Class will mostly be held in Flying Scots, though other EYC fleets may be used.  Open to ages 7-17 in separate, one week sessions.  Students may enroll in one or multiple sessions.  No required textbook.  The cost for this class is $180.

Powerboat Skills  Learn the basics of operating a small outboard motor boat, with an emphasis on safety and maneuvering in tight spaces.  The majority of class time will be spent on the water with plenty of hands on practice in starting procedures, steering and docking.  The class is open to students age 12 through adult, and is a great parent/child class opportunity.  We recommend that all students obtain a Wisconsin Boater Education card prior to beginning this class, but it is required for those born on or after 01/01/89.  The link for the Boater Education card course is  The cost for this course is $180, and there is a required textbook available from the EYC for $16.

Women’s Sailing Class   Students will learn and improve on the basics of sailing in a fun, social and comfortable environment.  The class will be tailored to the experience and interest of each group and will be taught in Flying Scots. Open to women age 18 and older.  Meets 3 hours per day from 1:30 pm till 4:30 pm.  No required textbook.  The cost for this class is $180 per week.

Private Lessons

Private Sailing Lessons

The Ephraim Yacht Club offers private sailing lessons by appointment. This is a great way to get a lot of instruction in a short period of time. Private lessons might be for you if:

  • Group lessons do not fit your schedule;
  • You want to learn at an accelerated pace;
  • You want intensive instruction to catch up to the other students in your age range;
  • You want to take a lesson together with specific friends or family members;
  • You want intensive instruction in a specific sailing skill; or
  • You feel more comfortable in a one-on-one situation with an instructor.

Private lessons are available to both adults and juniors. Up to four persons can take a private lesson together. The pace and content of private lessons are geared to the individual student(s) and can be taught in any of the EYC’s fleets, Flying Scots, 420s, Optimists or Lasers.

Private lessons are available by appointment. To schedule a private lesson, contact, or phone the EYC (920) 854-7107, or stop by the EYC during open hours.

Online signup is not available for private lessons.

2018 private lesson per-student per-hour rate, based on a single instructor:

  • 1 person – $35.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for a single student would be $105)
  • 2 people – $25.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for two students would be $150)
  • 3 people – $20.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for three students would be $180)
  • 4 people – $18.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for four students would be $216)

If private lessons are not for you, and you would like to learn more about group lessons for adults and juniors, please view alternative options on this page.

Education awards

Education Awards

The Larry Lewis Memorial Happy Camper Award is awarded in each lesson session to the most enthusiastic boy and a girl in the Beginner level in each of the morning and afternoon classes. The award is determined by the Beginner level instructors. The awards consist of gift certificates to local businesses.

Sportsmanship Awards are awarded in each lesson session to the boy and the girl who exhibited the most sportsmanlike attitude. The awards are determined by EYC instructor staff. The awards consist of gift certificates to local businesses. The US Sailing Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the EYC member who over the course of the season exhibits the best sportsmanship. The award is determined by the EYC instructor staff. The winner’s name is engraved on a plaque which is kept at the EYC, and the winner also receives a keeper prize.

Please contact the Education Committee at with any questions regarding the lesson program or class registration.