Contact Program Manager MacKenzie McGuckin with questions or for more information.
What is High School Sailing?
High School sailing closely parallels the collegiate sailing format and all teams training in the local area are part of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA). This region is a part of the South East Interscholastic Sailing Association (SEISA). High School sailing is a co-ed sport mostly conducted in double handed boats, Flying Juniors (FJs) and C420s, with some single handed laser sailing.
Local high school sailing teams are sanctioned under both ISSA and SEISA and compete in regularly scheduled local, regional and sometimes national events. Teams participate in a number of regattas throughout the Fall and Spring seasons. The Fall season runs from approximately September 1 to December 15 and the Spring season from mid-January to Memorial Day weekend in May. The end of each season culminates in a District Championship and in the Spring, for those teams that qualify, the National Fleet Racing Championship (Mallory Cup) and National Team Racing Championship (Baker Cup).
High School Sailing Goals
The primary goals of High School Sailing are to:
- Introduce junior high and high school students to the sport of sailing
- Teach fundamentals of small boat handling
- Develop sportsmanship, integrity, and interpersonal skills
- Develop a respect for the sea and the environment
- Learn water safety and seamanship skills
- Instill a sense of responsibility for the boats and equipment
- Create a fun atmosphere in which the students want to participate
Racing is typically conducted in double handed boats, either Flying Juniors (FJs) or Collegiate 420s (C420s). For fleet racing, teams are divided into A and B divisions comprised of different skippers and crews for each division. Teams may substitute sailors as long as prescribed substitution rules are followed. Short courses are used, typically windward-leeward with a gate. Course completion times average 15-20 minutes. Generally only 1 fleet is on the water at a time. Two races are completed, then divisions switch, and the boat being sailed by each team is rotated. This allows for coaching and a break. Boat rotation eliminates the possibility of any team having an unfair advantage because of differences in each boat.
In Team Racing events, each team fields three boats to sail against three boats from another team. Teammates work together to outmaneuver the other team, using the racing rules of sailing so that their combined race scores are better than the other team’s combined scores.
The Bay Access Relationship to High School Teams
Bay Access is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization which owns a matched fleet of 18 Flying Junior boats. Bay Access charters its fleet of boats to high school teams who wish to participate in high school sailing. Bay Access assists in scheduling and providing regular coaching to registered teams. Because the boats must be maintained as a matched fleet for competition purposes, there are some restrictions on use of the boats and boat usage must be coordinated. The Bay Access fleet is stored at Lakewood Yacht Club on a floating dock.
As few as 2 sailors from a single school can make a team that is eligible to compete in local events. However, to make a team that can compete in all regional and national events, a school needs a minimum of 4 sailors (2 skippers, 2 crew). Ideally each team has 4 sailors or more.
Racing experience is not required to participate in high school sailing. Youth who are new to sailing are welcome, though a new sailor should expect to participate as crew rather than skipper until his or her sailing skills have reached an appropriate level. Usually, not all sailors are likely to sail at every regatta.
Each team will need at least one adult volunteer to serve as a liaison between Bay Access and the school team. Each co-ed team will also need at least one adult male volunteer and one adult female volunteer as a chaperon for travel events. Each school team establishes its own rules for practice attendance, regatta attendance, regatta team selection, minimum standards of conduct, grade standards and the like.
At the start of the spring 2017 season, practices for sailors with significant prior experience are on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3:30-6:00 pm at Lakewood Yacht Club. Practices for sailors without much prior sailing experience and for teams not located in the Clear Lake area have practices on Friday 3:30-6:00 pm. As the season moves on, the high school coaches will continually evaluate sailor skills and an individual sailor’s practice schedule may change. Bay Access will schedule weekend clinics from time to time as well, and they will be posted on this site. Practices usually start with a class room instruction then move to on the water implementation of the class discussions. The days of the week practices are held on are subject to change with each semester.
Within CCISD, PE waiver is available through the high school sailing program, and for students seeking PE waiver, attendance must comply with CCISD PE Waiver requirements.
Each sailor should come to each practice with the following at a minimum:
- Coast Guard Approved Type III or V Life Jacket
- Swim Attire or cold weather attire
- Sailing Boots or Sneakers
- Water Bottle
- Watch with a countdown timer
Gear can be purchased at KO Sailing which is located at 2321 Nasa Pkwy in Seabrook.
The base cost to participate in the Tuesday/Thursday practices is $400 per sailor for the Spring 2017 season; $250 per sailor for the Friday option. Participation is broken down between a fall and a spring season (plus travel costs). This base cost covers coaching at regularly scheduled practices, gas for coach boats, usage of the FJs at practices and some of the boat and sail repair / maintenance. Additional costs are incurred to attend regional and national regattas, whether local or out of town. Those costs typically include regatta registration fees, boat usage fees, boat damage deposits and for out of town regattas, sailor travel and lodging as well as travel, lodging and coaching fees for the team’s coach. Additional costs may be incurred to attend special weekend clinics hosted from time to time by Bay Access where additional specialized coaching is provided.
Are you ready to start?? Registration coming soon for Bay Access High School Sailing Fall 2017
What if you do not have a team or your team is too small?
- Start an Official ISSA/SEISA Recognized Team
- Rules for school teams vary from district to district and at private schools. Please contact the Bay Access HS Coach for assistance in organizing a recognized high school sailing team at your school district or private school.
- If you do not have enough students at your school interested to form a full team, you can still participate in practices and in any high school regatta that is strictly local or an open regatta. Sailors will be paired with other students who are also without a full team.
- Each regatta has an NOR (Notice of Race) document that lists the eligibility requirements of the regatta. The SEISA rep can help you determine what regattas you can sail in.
Joann Willits – SEISA President – email@example.com – 832-216-7726 (mobile – please leave message or text)
- Bay Access requires parental leadership and supervision for each team. The ISSA website provides some helpful outlines of the various critical functions. Each team would need a parent lead as well as an adult present at any regatta.
More Resources for Forming a High School Sailing Team
- SEISA District Contact (South East Interscholastic Sailing Association District)
Joann Willits – firstname.lastname@example.org
- SEISA Website: seisa.hssailing.org
- ISSA – Interscholastic Sailing Association – (hssailing.org)
- Bay Access High School Program Manager – email@example.com
Practice, Clinic and Regatta Schedules
- Practices are never canceled due to inclement weather (except perhaps for a named storm). Students will still conduct fitness training and classroom learning (strategy, rules, boat handling theory, knot tying, rigging and basic boat maintenance).
CCISD High School Racing Team
- Tuesday & Thursday – 3:30-6:00pm
Other High School Students and Development Teams
- Friday -3:30-6:00pm