Racing Skipper and cruising Programs

The Upper Minnetonka Yacht Club is offering two unique programs for interested sailors. The programs will open the doors to the world of sailing by providing an easy and inexpensive way to learn to sail, pleasure sail, and importantly, race sailboats. It is offered as a peer-based, non-pressure, advancement of sailing skills beyond the basics. This offering involves:

• Access to boats for people that do not have them or cannot afford them;

• Teaching sailing skills, safety, and boat maintenance to those new to sailing;

• Provide racing clinics to help sailors feel comfortable with racing and gain advanced racing skills; and because it is about the people,

• Social interaction before, during, and after sailing events whether it be after clinics or after racing.

A little background first. In 2018 the Racing Skipper Program starting as a joint venture between our Upper Minnetonka Sailing School, the UMYC, and the Twin Cities Sailing Club (our of Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Minnesota). This program is designed to provide an avenue for TCSC and other sailors to become comfortable with scow racing (MC Scows in particular but, also includes E Scows), increase their racing skills, and participate in club racing (with the UMYC and the Lake Harriet Yacht Club on Lake Harriet) and off-lake regattas.

In 2019 the Cruising Skippers program was added as an UMYC program that allowed TCSC and UMYC members an opportunity to learn to sail, pleasure sail, and race on a small keel boat (Precision 21) on the Upper Minnetonka.

Plans currently being discussed for 2020 include:

• Once or twice a week peer training for people interested in learning to sail, and Skippers that already know how.

• Once-a-week Racing Clinic taught by top sailors in the region, as well as peers.

• Pre-race on-land caulk talk on UMYC race days.

• Use of Skipper Boats on first come basis when not used for scheduled training, clinics, or regattas (that is, Racing Skippers or Cruising Skipper activities).

• Social events with sailors from UMYC, TCSC, and LHYC.

• Peer-run including teaching and maintenance:

o Members that achieve Skipper, Racing Skipper, and/or Cruising Skipper status commit to teach those that have not as part of their membership; and that

o All members commit to support boat maintenance and specific members are responsible for maintaining specific boats.

• Boat availability:

o MC Scows (initially two, growing to six over two years); and

o Small keel boats (initially one, growing to four).

At the present time we have two MC Scows available and one Precision 21 and hope to increase the fleet of boats as the programs grow and demand increases.