What do sailing students learn?

The specific skills enabling a sailor to steer a sailboat from Point A to Point B are only a small part of what junior students learn in EYC sailing lessons.

More importantly, sailing teaches many life lessons:

  • Sailing teaches students they can overcome challenges and accomplish something.  Learning sailing skills boosts students’ confidence in themselves.
  • Sailing teaches cooperation.  Sailing a double-handed 420 or a triple-handed Flying Scot teaches students that they can accomplish more as part of team than by themselves.
  • Sailing teaches self-reliance.  A single junior in an Optimist or Laser, or a crew of sailors in a 420 or Flying Scot, without an instructor on board, must do themselves what’s necessary to get themselves to Point B.
  • Sailing teaches sportsmanship.  Almost uniquely among Olympic sports, the rules of sailboat racing are self-administered by competitors.  Sailors are expected to self-penalize when they realize they have violated a rule.  Sailing teaches that the right way to win is to work harder and smarter than your competitors, not to cheat.
  • Sailing teaches preparation.  As four-time Olympic gold medalist Paul Elvstrom said, “The champions have won the regatta before it begins.”
  • Sailing teaches socialization. Junior sailors must interact with people of all ages, frequently on an equal basis as crew/skipper, or as competitors on the race course.  Uniquely among major sports, sailing is intergenerational.
  • Sailing teaches respect and care for the property of others — boats, sails and equipment.  At the EYC, we don’t treat our gear as disposable, to be thrown away after just a few years.  Every Flying Scot in the EYC’s fleet is older than every one of our instructors.
  • Sailing teaches that you should never stop learning.  Sailing takes so many forms, requires such diverse skills, has so many nuances, and contains so many tiers of competition, that there is always another challenge to overcome.

The best sailors in the world don’t merely know how to steer and trim sails.  They are also highly skilled communicators, engineers, managers, strategists, negotiators, promoters, planners, and financiers.  Each of them was once a beginner sailing student.

And of course sailing is tremendous fun!

Some testimonials from satisfied EYC students and parents are located here: www.eyc.org/testimonials

To learn more about sailing lessons at the EYC, or to register for lessons, go to www.eyc.org/lessons