Sail the St. Croix: Summer 2020 sailing school registration now open

Hudson-based nonprofit school offers classes next summer for everyone from 5-years-old and up.




6 minute read

Via Saint Croix Sailing School:

Photo courtesy St. Croix Sailing School

The Saint Croix Sailing School is a registered non-profit community sailing center open to all. We promote the growth of junior and adult sailing in the Saint Croix Valley and its nearby communities. Our focus is on children and teens from ages 7 through high school as well as adults of all ages.

We are dedicated to teaching time-honored and life-long sailing and racing skills on the water, with safety, fun and adventure for all. Those skills enable young people to learn teamwork, practice sportsmanship, develop self-reliance and respect nature.

SCSS offers sailing for ages 5 to 70+.  Younger students will enjoy our week-long Youth Sailing camps.  More experienced youth sailors can gain a competitive edge through our Youth Racing camps or the Club Racing teams.  High-school aged students can compete with neighboring schools on our High-School Racing teams.  Adults can gain ASA accreditation though our Adult Sailing programs.

Opti Sessions

The “GO-TO” class for junior sailors worldwide.

Ages 5-13 (up to 120lbs)

Lil’ Luffers

This three-day course is the perfect way for your little one to get their first taste of sailing.  Students will meet on Tuesday-Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm. Parents are asked to stick around and experience this course with their little ones. During this course, you and your child will learn how to rig an OPTI, steer the boat around the bay, and take a cruise down the river on the last day of class in a 22’ Keelboat. 

Ages 5-7.
Prerequisite: None!

Opti Explorer

This is the place to start your child’s love of sailing. Sailed around the world, the Opti is the go-to class for junior sailors. Meet every day Monday-Friday from 9:00-3:30. Sailors will learn on-the-water safety, rigging, steering, knots, and more! The end of the week goal is for your student to have a basic understanding of the mechanics of driving and sailing a boat. Each five-day session is designed to get your child comfortable and confident in an Opti.  This course can be taken multiple times.  Each week your sailor builds upon the fundamentals of sailing. 

Ages 7 – 13
Prerequisite: None!

Opti Racer

The Racing Optimist class is an exciting opportunity to fully experience the challenge of sailing at a higher level. Designed for students who have taken one, two, or even three weeks of the OPTI Skipper course. The OPTI racers will learn racing concepts including starts, upwind and downwind sailing, as well as boat trim for speed, racing rules, strategy, tactics, and more. US Sailing Certified instructors lead students in drills, practice races, and adventure downriver. The class meets in the morning from 9:00-12:00 for four weeks.

On select Fridays, the Opti Racers are encouraged to compete in local TCYS regattas. These regattas are held around the metro area. There is a $20 registration fee for each regatta.

Prerequisite: 1-2 weeks of OPTI Explorer

Club 420 Sessions

Ages 13-17

Week long sailing courses for beginners and intermediate sailors.  Multi-week Race camps are offered for advanced sailors.

Club 420 Explorer

For sailors 13+ who may have aged out of Opti Explorer or Racer. This is also a great place to start if you are new to sailing and over the age of 13. In this five-day session, students will learn on-the-water safety, tacking, gybing, sail trim, and boat handling. No experience is required to enroll in the C420 Explorer class.

Ages 13 – 17
Prerequisite: None!  View Times/Register for 2020

Club 420 Adventurer

Club 420 Adventurers are students who have taken a week or two of the C420 explorer and have shown advanced sailing ability. The C420 Adventurer is for students who are not interested in racing but would like to continue working on more advanced skills and techniques. Sailors will continue to work on points of sail and boat control. There will also be more advanced topics introduced like spinnaker sailing, reading the wind/weather, and other more advanced boat handling techniques.

Ages: 13 – 17
Prerequisite: 1-2 weeks of Club 420 Explorer View Times/Register for 2020

Club 420 Racer

The Club 420 Racer class is an exciting opportunity to fully experience the fun and challenge of sailing at a higher level. Designed for students who have shown their ability to sail at a high level in the Club 420 Explorer course.  Students will develop racing concepts including starts, upwind and downwind sailing, as well as boat trim for speed, racing rules, strategy, tactics, and more.  The class meets in the afternoon from 12:30-3:30 for four weeks.

Some Fridays the students will be encouraged to compete in the local TCYS regattas. These regattas are held around the metro area. The course fee does not include regattas fees.

Ages: 13-17
Prerequisite: 1-2 weeks of Club 420 Explorer (and instructor approval).

Spring & Fall High-School Racing

Building skill through competition and teamwork.

Competitive sailing for 7th-12th graders.

The programs include training on the St. Croix as well as participation in high school regattas throughout the region.

Weekday practices happen at SCSS as soon as kids can get there after school.  In these shorter practices, we use our limited time to focus more on technical drills to develop our racing skills.  We also have occasional weekend practices where we are able to take more time to focus on some more “big picture” ideas.

Adult Sailing

Courses to achieve your sailing goals. Sailing instruction for beginners or intermediate sailors.  Keelboat certifications and Club 420 sessions are offered.

Adult Keelboat Certification

ASA-101 is a beginner course for adult sailors with no previous experience, taught by certified American Sailing Association instructors, all whom have at least 10 years’ experience sailing. The boats used for ASA-101 are weighted-keel sloop-rigged sailboats, at 22 feet in length. After your ASA-101 certification, you’ll know what all of that means. For now, just know that they are very stable and safe and perfect for someone with no experience. This is the best course for any adult interested in sailing. By the end of the course you’ll be able to comfortably sail your own vessel up to 27′ in length, or serve as crew on a sailing vessel.

Adult Club 420 Sailing

This new program will let Adults get out on the water on our club 420 fleet. Each session is four, three hour, evening classes. In these classes you will learn the basics of sailing a club 420. This includes safety, tacking, gybing, upwind sailing, mark rounding, and more. On the last evening of class there will be a race to test your new skills against your classmates. This class is open to all beginners through advanced. Taking this class may also qualify you for our membership program. Enrolling in this program will allow you to check out club 420s during our open sailing times. To learn more about the membership program contact your instructor.

Wednesday Night Racing

Test your sailing skills every other Wednesday evening starting June 12th, 2019. SCSS will host (and provide boats) for an evening small boat racing series. This series is open to any sailor who has taken past classes at SCSS or can pass a basic sailing skills test.  This race series is all about improving your sailing skills in a fun, low pressure, race environment.

Registration for this program will be available soon!

Adult Big Boat Racing

This class is for adults with prior sailing experience.

Adult Big Boat Racing is a chance for you to get out on the river and race against other keel boats on J/22 sailboats. In partnership with the St. Croix Sailing Club, students will compete with an instructor in five Tuesday night races during the Spring. Students will learn all the skills that go into a sailboat race. Each Tuesday of the session there will be a onshore lesson covering starts, tactics, strategy, and more. On the water each student will get a chance to skipper the boat, raise the spinnaker, trim the sails, and so much more.

Registration for this program will be available soon!


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Sail the St. Croix: Summer 2020 sailing school registration now open