Youth Sailing

Meet The SFYC Youth Sailing Staff

Justine O’Connor – Youth Director
Jackson Benvenutti - Head Coach (High School, 420, Team/Match Racing)
Lars Berg-Andersen - Head Laser Coach
Nico Winograd - Head Opti Coach
Parker Shinn- Laser/420 Coach
Eliza Richartz – Opti Coach
Halsey Richartz – Opti Coach
*A summer staff of 18+ instructors is hired seasonally

SFYC Race Team Calendars

420 Race Team                  High School Sailing Teams 
Laser Race Team                 Big Boat Team
Opti Race Team                  

SFYC Youth Racing Programs

Youth Sailing at The San Francisco Yacht Club has a number of distinct components: Learn-to-Sail Instructional Programs, Race Teams, High School Racing, and Private Sessions are organized through the Youth Sailing Office. Below is an outline of these activities and details can be found under the various headings to the left.

Youth Instructional Programs

In the Spring, Summer, and Fall classes are offered for beginner, intermediate, and advanced sailors. Members and non-members from 7-16 years of age are welcome to participate in these fun and instructional sessions. The Summer Program takes sailors between 7 and 13 years of age and will develop their skills in small prams, like the Optimist, and JY Trainer. For sailors, 8-16 years of age who prefer to stay drier and get the feel of "cruising," classes are available in J24 keelboats. For the young teens with an interest in small boats and/or competition, we have Club Flying Juniors (the high school and college racing boat), 420s, Lasers.

High School Racing
The San Francisco Yacht Club currently hosts three Marin County high school teams. 25 sailors practice in the Club Flying Juniors between September and May each year. During the season the teams travel throughout California, participating in 11 "NorCal" Regattas plus 5 "PCISA" Regattas. The PCISA (Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Sailing Association) regattas are qualifiers for the "Mallory Cup Regatta" which is the National High School Sailing Championship. The "NorCal" events are stand-alone regattas which allow Freshmen to Seniors, and even 8th Graders, to gain valuable racing experience. Marin Academy, Branson, and Redwood high schools are the teams presently sailing from The San Francisco Yacht Club. 


High Performance Sailing

When young sailors have mastered all the basic sailing skills they can satisfy their desire for competition by joining the SFYC Racing Teams. Under the guidance of highly skilled coaches, sailors prepare themselves for the challenge of sailing regattas in Optimist Dinghies, CFJs, C420s, Lasers, and 29ers. SFYC is working with St. Francis Yacht Club, Encinal Yacht Club and Richmond Yacht Club to cooperatively develop the best youth sailors in the country. By coordinating training with other clubs and taking advantage of our consistent winds, our sailors will be prepared for national and international sailing competition. 

Private Sessions

If a sailor needs private coaching to prepare for the National Championships or perhaps just to master their Optimist tacks, the Youth Sailing staff is happy to offer private instruction and small group sessions. For further information contact the Youth Sailing Director.