Saturday, October 7, 2017

Good Boathandling Videos to Watch!

Green & Lime Fleet Families!!
We've had a great month of practice! Both Green & Lime are raising their game to the next level. Both Teams are working on more efficient boathandling, particularly tacks - leading up to to roll tacks. A picture is worth one million words, I told both groups I'd send some links to videos for them. There's lots of video out there;  boats capsizing, surfing waves, feel free to search around for lots of Opti sailing fun from all over the world!

Here are links to some YouTube Videos.  Please share these with your sailor, and feel free to watch them with him/her!! Look at the body/leg/feet/hand positions.
Some by the RYA... (Royal Yachting Association) Great Britain's National Sailing Authority. They are great demos of tacks!! 

Tacks in lighter & lumpy, Crossing boat with a hand on the centerboard trunk (not RYA).

All the sailors should join the US Opti Class - for more info and for a great video, Checkout
Reach out with questions!! 


-Coach Amy

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Accommodations for Upcoming Regattas

CYC Green Team,

USODA Midwest Championship at Tawas Bay Yacht Club. Team Picture: CYC RWB and Green Sailors.

We had a blast at the USODA Midwest regatta last weekend! Many of you are discussing plans for the next two upcoming regattas, which is awesome! I’ve had a couple questions about hotel accommodations. You are welcome to stay wherever you would like, but below is where I’ve booked rooms for the coaches.

  1. US Junior Olympics regatta @ Macatawa Bay Yacht Club October 7-8th. There are 20 rooms left at the Quality Inn and several other hotel options in the Holland area. I did not reserve a room block, but if you would like to stay at the Quality Inn , it’s about 12 mins away from MBYC. There will be no practice on Friday. The drive is about 3 hours so you may want to arrive Friday evening if you’re not a morning person.
Quality Inn:
422 E. 32nd St.
Holland, MI, 49423
Front Desk:(616) 392-1000

  1. Halloween Spectacular @ Lake Geneva Yacht Club, October 28-29th. Please see the Notice of Race (NOR) attached. The NOR has a few hotel recommendations.  I booked a room for the coaches at the Fontana Village Inn about 8-12 mins away from the Club. There will be no Friday practice so if you are up for making the 2 hour drive on Saturday morning, then you only need to book for one night.

Fontana Village Inn: 

I will send out a detailed regatta schedule a week prior to each event. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions. I’m thrilled with the amount of enthusiasm and participation that we have for these upcoming events!

Thank you,

Julia Melton | Sailing School Director

Saturday, September 9, 2017

USODA Midwest Regatta Logistics

Opti Team,

Next weekend is USODA Midwest Championship at Tawas Bay Yacht Club! Amy will be coaching Green Fleet and I will be coaching RWB for this regatta.

Please come help load your boats on Wednesday Sept 13 at 5:15pm. If you are unable to load your boat at that time then you have two options:


  1. Ask another family to load your boat for you. IT IS NOT THE COACHES RESPONSIBILITY TO LOAD YOUR BOAT.

I will be arriving to Tawas Bay Thursday night with the trailer of boats practicing on Friday and Amy will be arriving late on Friday night with the 6 boat trailer.

Weekend Schedule:

Friday, September 15
9am-12pm CYC Green Fleet Practice
12-4pm CYC RWB practice
3-6pm Check-In: Competitors & Coach/Support Boat Flags
6:30pm Welcome Reception

Saturday, September 16
*Arrive to Club as early as needed to be rigged and ready at 8:25am.
7:30-8:30am Check-In: Competitors & Coach/Support Boat Flags Continental Breakfast
8:25am  Rigged and Ready
8:30am CYC Team Meetings
8:45am Coaches Meeting
9:00am Competitors, Coaches and Parents Meeting (Mandatory)
*CYC Team Meetings again after Competitors Meeting.
9:30am Harbor Start
1030 First Warning – Championship Fleet Lunch on the water
After Racing Competitors Dinner

Sunday, September 17
*Arrive to Club as early as needed to be rigged and ready at 7:40am.
7:00-8:30am Breakfast
7:40am Rigged and Ready
7:45am CYC Team Meetings
8:00am Coaches Meeting
8:30am Harbor Start
9:30am First Warning – Championship Fleet Lunch on the water
1430 No first warning signal after this time
After Racing Awards Ceremony

Be sure to read the Notice of Race before arriving to the event. Also, please sign up to bring heathy snacks for the kids to share on the coach boats. We will have jugs of water on our coach boats so pack a refillable water bottle that your sailor can clip on to the boat.

Essential items to bring:
-sailing gear: booties, spray gear, gloves, layers (fleece, wetsuit, spandex, etc.)
-refillable water bottle
-healthy snacks
-sunblock, hat, sunglasses
-race team pinny
-notebook to take notes
-binoculars (for parents on land)

We are looking forward to a fun event! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

LINE HONORS is offering all student sailors 25% off

LINE HONORS is offering all student sailors 25% off all GILL, ZHIK & ROOSTER products through September 30, 2017. 

Use coupon code - "STUDENT17"

Please note...special ends on 9/30/17

Bob Hillier | Owner

"From an Inland lake to the Southern Ocean, we have the sailing gear for you"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Need Housing for USNT Sailors Sept 1-4

Chicago Yacht Club has agreed to host a practice weekend for the US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) National and Development teams. The purpose of the US National Team and Development Team is to improve the level of Optimist sailing in the United States by providing high level training to top US Optimist sailors who compete internationally.

The US Optimist National and Development teams meet regularly during the year to train as a team in a variety of conditions, and to receive coaching offered by top Optimist coaches from around the US. 

Team members travel solo without parents to practice weekends.

The practice weekend at Chicago YC is September 1- 4, 2017. 

This practice is an opportunity for Chicago YC to showcase our facilities and our growing Optimist dinghy program. Our Optimist race team has one member on the US Development team and, in the last few years, several sailors have qualified for the USNT/DT selection regatta. 

The USODA asks the host club to provide housing for the team’s sailors as a way for the visiting sailors to meet new people, hone their independence skills, and provide inspiration for young sailors.

We looking for host families to provide housing and transportation, details are below. Host family time commitment is at the beginning and end of each day. The “SCHEDULE” section below there is an outline of the weekend with the host family responsibilities in bold.

Practice Weekend Schedule:
Friday, Sept 1
  • 3pm – 5pm: scheduled flight arrival at O’Hare and Midway , meet parent chaperones and host club drivers for drive to Chicago YC (looking for volunteers)
  • 5-8pm – sailors at Chicago YC for welcome dinner
  • 8pm – host family pick up

Saturday, Sept 2, and Sunday, Sept 3
  • 7:30 am: sailors arrive at Chicago YC
  • 7:30 am: breakfast at Chicago YC
  • 8am – 7pm: team activities
  • 7pm: sailor pick up
  • 9pm: lights out

Monday, Sept 4
  • 7:30 am: sailors arrive at Chicago YC
  • 7:30 am: breakfast at Chicago YC
  • 8am – 4pm: team activities
  • 5-7pm sailors to O’Hare and Midway with host club drivers, meet parent chaperones for escort flights
Details on Host Family Duties
Housing – 
  • It is ideal for the sailors to have at least one other teammate at a host family house. This helps with team building for the sailors and helps to keep the number of host families to a minimum. We ask that you host 2-3 sailors if possible but will be happy to have host families that can host 1 sailor.
  • Sailors of the same sex can share a bed or air mattresses. Sailors can sleep on a couch.
  • Sailors do not need their own room(s)

Meals - 
Main meals are provided by the USNT/DT at Chicago YC. Snacks are nice but not expected.

Laundry - 
USNT/DT members do not expect laundry during their practice session. They will pack enough clothing for the practice.

Transportation – 
  • Sept 1 between 3 and 5pm – this is arrival day at O’Hare and Midway. The parent coordinators is working on easy ways to transport the sailors to and from the airports to minimize the need for every host family to go to O’Hare and Midway, volunteers for this duty are appreciated.
  • See the “Schedule” for estimated times at the beginning and end of the practice days for transportation needs

If you are able to assist with providing housing and transportation as a host family, please contact Kathy Barnard at to finalize the details.

Announcement of the assignment of USNT/DT team members and host families will be made around August 29th.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Green Fleet Sailors Compete at North Shore Cup

North Shore Cup Write Up
 By Coach Abigail McFadyen

Green fleet sailors having fun waiting for the wind!

Just a few miles up the shores of Lake Michigan, 9 CYC green fleet sailors went to compete in Lake Forest for the North Shore Cup on July 21. An AP flag (postponement) was raised at the start of the day and it was not until 11:30 that the first race got off. The sailors conquered the windward-leeward course that they so often sail around at practice. Unfortunately, only one full race was run due to declining wind. But as the racing rules of sailing state, even just one race constitutes a regatta. Notable finishes include: Grace Renz in 2nd, Cal Kinnear in 4th, Spencer Von Peterffy in 6th, and Tyler Crabb in 8th. Congrats to all 9 sailors for a job well done!

Cal Kinnear rounds the windward mark ahead of the fleet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 Fall Opti Program


The summer will be over before we know it and so it’s time to start thinking about the fall! This email has important information you need to know to start planning for the season.  This fall we are offering three Opti fleets: Lime, Green and RWB. Fleet descriptions are below, please let me know if you are unsure as to which fleet to sign your sailor up for. Additionally, please mark your calendars for our preseason parents meeting on Wednesday, August 30th at 6pm.

2017 Fall Lime Fleet
Lime Fleet is designated for beginner sailors fresh out of our summer learn to sail programs. The emphasis is on basic seamanship, rigging, steering, sail control, balance, boat handling, safety, learning, and fun! Through classroom and on-the-water activities, students are introduced to water safety, boat controls, basic sailing maneuvers, basic seamanship, wind direction, sailing a course, navigation and marine ecology.  Lime Fleet sailors are between 7 and 10 years old. Ultimately the goal for students of Lime Fleet is to build self-reliance and confidence through sailing an Optimist without another student, or Instructor in the boat. Sailing alone demonstrates the proficiency we intend for every sailor. Prerequisite: Sailors have completed summer sailing Levels 2, 3 or recommended by their coach. Sailors should have an interest in sailing and are able to sail their own boat.

Sundays, 12-4pm

Sept 10,17,24
Oct 1,8,15,22,29
Nov 5,12,19 (practice will be weather dependent)

2017 Fall Green Fleet
Green Fleet is a beginner and intermediate level Optimist racing program, designed to build on the basic sailing and racing skills. Green Fleet sailors are typically between 8-12 years old. Green fleet sailors are strongly encouraged to purchase their own Optimist or they can charter a Club Opti in the fall. The curriculum focuses on improving sailors' boat handling, racing skills and rules knowledge.  Green Fleet sailors learn more about small boat racing, including tactics and race courses. Sportsmanship, care of and responsibility for equipment is emphasized in all activities. The Green Fleet sailors are strongly encouraged to travel to both local and national regattas. Regattas help create personal connections and relationships with other young sailors from different Clubs. Prerequisites: Sailors have sailed in at least one season of Lime fleet, sailed in a regatta or have shown advancement in boat-handling, seamanship, and general knowledge.

Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4pm
(unless there is a *scheduled regatta)

Sept 9-10
Sept 16-17 *USODA Midwest Championship
Sept 23-24
Sept 30-Oct1
Oct 7-8 *Junior Olympic Sailing Festival Michigan Championship
Oct 14-15
Oct 21-22
Oct 28-29 *Halloween Spectacular
Nov 4-5
Nov 11-12
Nov 18-19 (practice will be weather dependent)

Dec 26-30 *Orange Bowl Regatta (Important note: Orange Bowl registration opens on Sept 11 at 8am and fills up fast!)
Feb 2-4 * Valentine’s Day Regatta
March 2-4 *Sunshine State Championship
March 9-11 *Gulf Coast Championship

2017 Fall RWB Fleet
The Red, White and Blue (RWB) Fleet is for intermediate to advanced Opti sailors who are ready to compete at the highest level and are under 15 years of age. The Opti RWB Team competes in many local events, but also prepares sailors for national and international Optimist events. RWB focuses on advanced boat-handling, strategy, conditioning and tactics.  The sailors become exposed to a strong team atmosphere, learning both fleet racing and team racing skills. Prerequisites: Sailors have advanced past the Green fleet curriculum and own their own Optimist.

Wednesdays 4-7pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-4pm
(unless there is a *scheduled regatta)

Sept 6
Sept 9-10
Sept 13
Sept 16-17 *USODA Midwest Championship
Sept 20
Sept 23-24
Sept 27
Sept 30-Oct1
Oct 4
Oct 6-9 *USODA SE Championship
Oct 11
Oct 14-15
Oct 18
Oct 21-22
Oct 25
Oct 28-29 *Halloween Spectacular
Nov 1
Nov 4-5
Nov 8
Nov 11-12
Nov 15
Nov 18-19 (practice will be weather dependent)
Nov 24-26 *USODA Midwinter Championship

Dec 26-30 *Orange Bowl Regatta (Important note: Orange Bowl registration opens on Sept 11 at 8am and fills up fast!)
Jan 12-15 *USODA Team Race Midwinter Championship
Jan TBD *Mexico Heavy Wind Clinic w/ Coach Hector
Feb 2-4 * Valentine’s Day Regatta
March 2-4 *Sunshine State Championship
March 9-11 *Gulf Coast Championship


Parent Meeting
We will have a Opti parents meeting on August 30th at 6pm to go over our season calendar and other information you need to know for the fall.

Opti Blog
Please subscribe to the CYC Opti Blog! The Blog is used for team communication. If you are not already subscribed, enter your email address in the “Follow by E-Mail” box (top right) to get posts e-mailed to you. On the Blog you can find our Google Calendar, the regatta schedules and regatta signup sheets. I will be showing how to use the blog at our parents meeting.

Green and RWB sailors are expected to attend as many of our supported regattas as possible. Sailing in regattas is an important part of the learning process, engenders team unity, and is one of the most fun aspects of junior sailing. To register for regattas, you need to sign up on the Blog in addition to registering for the event. Mark your calendars: Orange Bowl registration opens at 8am on September 11th and fills up in the first 30 minutes after opening.

Series Racing
This fall we are introducing series racing! There will be 3 series races held during practices in the fall. Parents are encouraged to watch on the sea wall or help out with Race Committee if you have a powerboat.  Series racing for  RWB and Green fleet will be scored separately. The overall results from the 3 race days will be determined and trophies will be awarded to the top three boats in each fleet at the fall banquet on November 29th. Fall Series races are scheduled for October 1st, October 15th, and November 5th.


If your child wants to continue with Green Fleet, it is highly recommended that you purchase an Opti. Places you can find Optis for sale:  (and sign up your child as a member), Sturgis Boat Works and McLaughlin has used charter boats. Look online and please send us information on the boat before buying.

Lime fleet and green fleet sailors who do not own an Opti can charter one from the Yacht Club. Sailors that wish to charter will be assigned their own hull, sail/spars, and blade. On the first day of practice, these assignments are given along with a charter agreement form that the sailor and parent must sign. The charter fee is $100 for the fall season. Sailors must report any damage or repairs needed to their coach immediately and these will be fixed or replaced.

Sailors will need additional warmer sailing gear for the fall.

  • warm base layers made for sailing (hydrophobic material)
  • Long sleeve tech shirts and clothes that can get wet
  • Closed toed shoes or dinghy boots
  • Fleece hat
  • Spray top
  • Spray pants
  • Gloves
  • Dry suit (recommended for the fall, required for the spring)
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, rash guard)
  • Coast Guard Type III approved Life Jacket.
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Towel and a change of clothes
  • Gear bag

Be sure to put your child’s name on everything! Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m looking forward to a fantastic fall season!

Julia Melton