Boston Yacht Club expands its junior sailing program

Young sailors will have more choices this summer as the Boston Yacht Club expands its summer sailing program for Marblehead youths.

It’s 25 degrees outside, and the harbor is a cobalt blue, but inside the Yardarm building, BYC Sailing Director Gareth Petos-Bunney is thinking about the balmy days of summer.

“We will be expanding our junior sailing program this summer offering four, two-week courses for advanced junior sailors,” he said.

In the past, the junior sailing program offered a series of two-week courses.

People sail Optis in Marblehead Harbor. COURTESY PHOTO

The young sailors go onto the harbor aboard Sonars and Optis to learn the basics. Petros-Bunney said the goal is for them to develop a lifelong love of sailing.

He is also revising the adventure curriculum to be more STEM oriented.

“This will include science, technology, engineering and math,” he said. “We will show the youngsters the different shapes and sizes of sails, for instance, and what it takes to move the boat forward in the water.”

After-school sailing in June will be another new offering.

“We are excited about our expanded programs this year,” Petros-Bunney said.

Teens sail a Sonar, one of the crafts to be used in Boston Yacht Club’s summer junior sailing program. COURTESY PHOTO

The program will be run by six staff members, all residents of Marblehead, according to Petros-Bunney. He says he is excited that some of the staff are former students in the junior sailing program.

The program has grown since 2021. In 2020, it was canceled because of the COVID pandemic. Last year, there were 84 kids through the summer. The goal is to have 90 youngsters sign up this year, according to Petros-Bunney.

The 2023 schedule is as follows:

  • Session 1, June 26-July 7. 
  • Session 2, July 10-20. 
  • Session 3, July 24-Aug. 3. 
  • Session 4, Aug. 7-17. 
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