How to help your child succeed in sailboat racing / Ephraim Regatta volunteers still needed

Dear EYC parents,

The EYC’s Optimist Regatta on July 20-21 provided an instructive example of healthy parental involvement in junior sailing.

Jim and Erika Zaiser of the Pine Lake Yacht Club traveled over 3 hours to the EYC so that their three junior racers could compete in the Optimist Regatta. They brought their three privately owned Optimists. Jim and Erica helped their children launch their boats, made sure everything was rigged correctly, and spent almost the entire regatta on the water providing between-race assistance and coaching to their children.

Are doing doing everything you should to help your child race successfully?

  • Have you purchased a boat for your child?  Buying a boat insures that your child can always race, without disappointment if he or she doesn’t draw one of the EYC’s boats.  Buying a boat means your child knows that he (and not the EYC staff or Equipment Chairman) is responsible for the condition and race-readiness of that boat.  Buying a boat sends a message to your child that you care about his or her success.  Used Optimists and Lasers are readily available, not very expensive, and can be resold for almost what you paid.
  • Have you made sure your child has all the necessary equipment?  Your child can probably get by without a $35 pair of sailing gloves — until the next windy day, when her hands could be raw and blistered.
  • Did you take the time to read the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions, so that you understand the rules which apply to the event in which your child is competing?
  • Have you taught yourself how to correctly rig an Optimist, a 420, or a Laser?  There are plenty of books and online resources on this subject.
  • Do you help your child rig correctly, troubleshoot any problems with the boat, and make sure your child makes it out on to the race course on time?
  • Do you provide books, magazines, and other resources to help encourage and develop your child’s love of sailboat racing?
  • Are you out on the water, not just encouraging your child, but watching carefully to assess your child’s skill level, and to determine where your child needs improvement?  On-the-water coaching by knowledgeable parents between races is not only permitted, but encouraged.

Jim and Erika’s sons finished first and fourth in the Optimist Regatta.   Jim and Erica’s daughter didn’t place high; in fact, she chose not to race the first day, but on the second day she decided it would be more fun to race with the other kids, and she didn’t finish last.

Junior racing success doesn’t necessarily mean winning.  A child is racing successfully if he or she is having fun, learning, and improving.  The Zaisers did everything they could to help their children race successfully.  Are you doing everything you can?

Yours in wind and water,

Jay Lott, EYC Education Chairman


We still need a few more volunteers for the Ephraim Regatta August 3 and 4:

— We need someone young and strong to ride on one of the mark boats to set and haul anchors

—  We need someone to greet sailors and hand out registration packets from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM on Saturday, August 3.

—  We need someone to greet arriving sailors and assist with launching and recovery at the Firehouse Ramp

—  We could use one more competent powerboater to drive a safety / tow boat; you can provide yourself and your boat, or you can drive one of the EYC’s powerboats.

If you would like to volunteer for any of the above please contact [email protected]