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Parents Handbook

Sailor Responsibilities

All participants are expected to follow the rules and standards for conduct. 

Grounds Rules

  • Sailors are expected to keep the grounds neat and trash-free.
  • Boats must be properly stored in their assigned location with all loose gear removed from the boat after hours.
  • There will be no climbing or playing on boats, dollies, or trees.
  • Sailors may not operate any of the coach boats.
  • Wading and swimming are allowed only with a lifeguard on duty, accompanied by a watcher.

Parking Rules

  • Use of the parking lot is permitted during drop-off and pick-up. However, the parking lot is reserved for TAYC members on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 4:30-9:00pm. Non-TAYC members must park on the grass outside of the TAYC gates on Wednesday and Friday evenings.
  • We suggest that you drive up to the clubhouse, drop-off your guest(s), and proceed to the parking area outside the gates.

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A Primer on Optimist Racing Fleets

As a parent of a sailor in the Optimist Class, you will hear a lot of talk about "fleets". In races, Optimist Fleets separate sailors into smaller groups of similar age, skill, and/or maturity. In races, each Optimist displays a colored ribbon at the top of its sail (sprit), according to their fleet (Green, White, Blue, or Red).

Green Fleet was created for beginner or novice racers and typically have their own race course and race committee. The US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has a Green Fleet Policy, which encourages novices to attend their first regatta and encourages their continued participation in racing. The following must be met to participate in a Green Fleet Regatta:

  • Be age 15 or under during the calendar year.
  • Have not raced in red, blue, or white fleets unless there was no Green Fleet available at the regatta.
  • Sail an International Optimist Dinghy.
  • Once a sailor attains confidence in racing (typically one season), he/she may race in the open division, which contains age-group fleets:

Once a sailor attains confidence in racing (typically one season), he/she may race in the open division, which contains age-group fleets:

Fleet  Age Group
White Fleet White Fleet
11 - 12 years old Blue Fleet
13 - 15 years old Red Fleet

The White, Blue, and Red fleets race together. Trophies are awarded by fleet and by overall scores (independent of age group).

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Participating in Regattas

The Junior Sailing Program Staff would like to make your travel to and from the regatta a little easier. Before you attend any regatta, you should think about the following things.


Be sure to have memberships with CBYRA, US Sailing, and your child's respective class association. Many regattas make this a requirement to race. Some parents write these numbers on the inside of their child's lifejacket!


The program director will generally give directions on how to get to the regatta site and the time it takes to get there, however this information is also generally easy to come by online.

Launching Facilities

Does it have shallow water, floating docks, a long sail out to the course, beaches, etc.? Is there a large enough unloading area? It pays to be early. There are many regatta sites where it is hard to fit in trailers and boats if you are late. Your child may end up launching last and feeling stressed from rushing out to the course before the racing even begins!


You are responsible for the transportation of your children, their supervision, and their gear at regattas.

  • Club policy is that no child may ride with anyone under the age of 21.
  • Coaches will be on the water at the regattas posted in the Junior Sailing Calendar.
  • Parents cannot be on the coach boat. If you want to go out on the water, you must find or bring your own boat.
  • Unscheduled regattas are the parents' responsibility to organize. Coaches/instructors will not attend as a part of the program.

However, coaches are available for a separate fee outside of their junior program commitments. See the Parent Code of Conduct for more information.

Towing Responsibilities

While the program director will help arrange transportation, it is ultimately your responsibility to transport your child and his/her boat to a regatta or make other transportation arrangements for your child and his/her boat.

  • Never assume that a club trailer is going to a regatta.
  • When you accept the commitment of bringing someone else's boat or child to a regatta, you must follow through. Boats and children must go to the regatta site. If there is a delay or cancellation due to weather, it will be made at the site.
  • Pack up and double-check all of your equipment. If your boat is on a TAYC trailer, it is your responsibility to ensure your boat is secure and your gear is stored inside the trailer.
  • Everyone helps load and unload the trailer and coach boat.
  • Everyone also helps pick up at the end of the day.

Things to Bring to a Regatta

  • Always bring plenty of water or sport drinks. Not all yacht clubs supply water for participants. Dehydration is a real and serious problem on the water.
  • Always have at least some snacks on board your boat, and a way to store the trash that comes with these snacks. Lunch breaks can be late or at the end of the regatta. Hunger can disturb your racing strategy! It is the sailor's responsibility for placing his/her own food and water on the coach boat if the race does not break for lunch.
  • Make sure you bring money you might need, such as for the registration fee, phone calls, and snacks.
  • Remember to bring your life jacket, sunscreen, foul weather gear, hat, sunglasses, and a watch with a countdown setting.

Representing TAYC

  • TAYC Sailors have a reputation for being polite and following the Rules of Racing. Sailors should always thank the race committee after they finish a race and also act politely towards other sailors and coaches.
  • The awards ceremony is an important event and it is appropriate for all sailors to attend regardless of how they finish in the regatta. TAYC and the Junior Sailing Program expects all sailors to conduct themselves according to the Corinthian Spirit, as outlined by US Sailing.

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What to Bring to Sailing Class

What to Wear

  • Fast-drying shorts
  • Breathable shirts (preferably with long sleeves)
  • Shoes (closed toed shoes are required on the water - even when swimming)


  • Sunglasses 100% UV protection (preferably polarized)
  • Hat
  • Swimsuit

Every Day Supplies

  • Waterproof Sunscreen - apply before leaving house and bring some for later. (sunscreens with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc offer better protection)
  • Water Bottle (freeze the night before)
  • Life Jacket (Coast guard approved Type III)
  • Whistle (attached with short line to life jacket)
  • Bailer
  • Watch with countdown timer (for racing students)
  • Foul weather gear (optional)
  • Towel (optional)
  • Change of clothes (optional)
  • Lunch (if not ordering)
  • Snacks/Supper for Wednesday Night Races

Please make sure that you mark all clothes, accessories, and supplies with your name in a permanent marker.

Daily Packing List

  • Life Jacket (Type III, Coast Guard Approved)
  • Whistle (attached to life jackets)
  • Shoes or sandals with a closed toe and that securely attach to your feet are mandatory on the water. (Flip-flops are okay on land but not in the boat. Bare feet are not acceptable.)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses (Polarized are best.)
  • Sunscreen (Please apply in the morning and send for reapplication at lunch.)
  • At least one large water bottle (Frozen or mostly full of ice is best. We have a cooler for refilling bottles on land.)
  • Extra Clothes (optional)
  • Sailing Gloves (optional)
  • Towel (optional)
  • Lunch (refrigerated in the kitchen, regardless of how they are packed)

*Please check the weather daily to see if it's necessary to send rain gear as well. We will have sailing class rain or shine, windy or not.

If you plan to race

  • Watch with a countdown timer
  • An up-to-date US Sailing membership (online membership at
  • An up-to-date membership with the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association (online membership at or call 410-269-1194)
  • An up-to-date class membership
  • United States Optimist Dinghy Association:
  • International Laser Class Association:
  • Club 420 Association:

*US Sailing, CBYRA, and your class association memberships are required for many regattas and for CBYRA Highpoint standing so it is important to have them up-to-date before the summer sailing season starts. IF YOU JOIN CBYRA AND US SAILING AT THE SAME TIME YOU WILL RECEIVE A DISCOUNT!!!

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Boats, Parts, Equipment and Gear

If you need parts: try the following suppliers:

  • Annapolis Performance Sailing ( - Based in Annapolis, APS is a comprehensive performance sailing store. They sell boats (Optimists, Lasers, C420s), boat parts, hardware, accessories, line and apparel.
  • Seitech ( - Seitech makes launching dollies for all types of small watercraft. Their website features their full line of dollies, trailer racks, storage racks, parts, and accessories.

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Sailing is obviously an outdoor sport, and as such is subject to the weather. The program director will have the final say each day about sending students out onto the water. Weather conditions that may prevent students from going out onto the water are:

  • Too much wind (Yes, even sailors sometimes say this.)
  • Too little wind (Especially for students, if there is NO wind, and the boats will simply drift with tide, the program director may keep them on shore and wait for it to fill in. Sending young sailors out in no wind is a sure way to turn them off from the sport.)
  • If there is a threat of a thunderstorm (Safety is the key here!)

Over the entire summer, we usually miss only 3 - 4 days, sometimes only 1/2 days out on the water. This is not something over which we have control. Please remember that safety and fun are the key elements of junior sailing. If sailors cannot go out on the water, the program director and instructors will provide sailing and boating-related activities.

Review the Suspension/Cancelation Policy due to River Water Quality.

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Associations & Classes

The Tred Avon Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program would not be possible without the support of a number of organizations. The following is a description of those organizations that make our program possible. All Junior Sailing Program participants are encouraged to become members of Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, US Sailing, and their respective class association. Those juniors who plan to race must become members, as many regattas require this to participate.

Tred Avon Yacht Club 

Tred Avon Yacht Club provides the Junior Sailing Program with facilities and overall support, especially through the Junior Committee and Parent Volunteers. Sailors who are enrolled in the Junior Sailing Program are able to "sail under the burgee" of the club. This means that the sailor is able to participate in sanctioned regional and national regattas under TAYC affiliation.*

All sailors of the Junior Sailing Program may participate in TAYC activities and regattas during the program dates. Juniors sailors and their parents may charge meals, registration fees, etc. to their club charge account. Statements will be mailed monthly, you may chose to have your credit card charged automatically at the end of each month to avoid late fees.

*Note: Participation in regattas is only possible if affiliated with a sailing club or association.

Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association

Chesapeake Bay Yachting Racing Association is an organization comprised of over 75 member clubs, more than 50 classes of racing sailboats, and over 1800 individual members from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and North Carolina. The CBYRA website features schedules, results, area yacht clubs, and junior event information. The organization tracks all CBYRA-sanctioned regattas and uses a formula to rank all sailors. This is referred to as the High Point, and it gives the sailor a way of gauging him/herself against all of the other racers in their boat class. To be eligible for a High Point Award at the end of the season, a CBYRA Junior Member must have participated in 5 or more regattas during the year. Members can obtain a copy of the "Red Book," which lists all of the regattas on the bay with dates, logistics, and directions to the events. For more information, please contact CBYRA at (410) 269-1194 or visit them online at

US Sailing

US Sailing is the governing organization of sailing in the United States. US Sailing handles overall governance of the sport, considers rule issues, promotes the sport throughout the country, certifies instructors, promotes safety at sea, and supports sailboat racing at all levels. US Sailing sponsors regional Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals, which are promotional events/regattas to encourage participation in sailing. Participation in these events requires US Sailing Membership (

The Club 420 Association 

The Club 420 Association provides information on class regulations, rigging tips, and links to other sailing websites. Their website features a classified ad section for purchasing and selling Club 420 parts, equipment, and boats (

United States Optimist Dinghy Association

United States Optimist Dinghy Association is the national sailing class organization for Optimists in the United States ( It is the US member of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (

International Laser Class Association

International Laser Class Association provides information on Laser Class regulations, fleets, and schedules (
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association: is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. This site provides an overview of college sailing and contains a team database, individual directory, rankings, racing information, awards, and everything you need to keep up with the latest in college sailing (

International Sailing Federation

International Sailing Federation is the world governing body for the sport of sailing. Their website features news, events, regatta information, rules, rankings, sailors, and merchandise (

The Interscholastic Sailing Association

The Interscholastic Sailing Association governs secondary school sailing in the United States, in both independent and public high schools. Sailor eligibility starts at the ninth grade. Their website provides an overview of high school sailing and contains a team database, racing information, results, and everything you need to keep up with the latest in high school sailing (

Code of Conduct & Boat Rental Agreement

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