Join the Junior Racing Team! We happily invite all students from beginners to advanced level sailors to come and participate in Asheville Sailing Club and The South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) events with us. Participating in sailing from elementary and middle school through high school leads to regional and national competitions, summer race opportunities, collegiate sailing, employment opportunities, and best of all, lifelong friendships.

After School Sailing

Why Sailing?

  • Sailing is a co-educational competitive sport.
  • Colleges actively recruit talented sailors for their college teams.
  • Sailing involves physical strength and agility, and teaches students about navigation, physics, the marine environment, and the importance of teamwork.
  • Sailing is an activity that literally can take you around the globe and provide a warm introduction to other sailors in just about any country.
  • Sailing is a sport that you will enjoy throughout your life.
  • Supervised use of host club facilities, offering quality access to the water.
  • Safety and rescue boats are on the water at all times with liability coverage under the Club’s insurance policy.
  • Professional coaching during regattas and practices.

How much does it cost?

  • We pay for professional coaching, safety boats, and maintenance to racing boats…
    • $800 for entire year registration including practices and regatta coaching – or pay by the season. (Note: Race Team fees do not cover transportation, shared-lodging, or non-included food at away events.)
  • Membership to The Asheville Sailing Club: $50 dues per family, for fun, racing, camaraderie, and insurance.
  • SAILING Uniform: One-time cost of $52 per sailor for a pinnie before spring regatta season. (Group Orders)
  • ADDITIONAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: clinics and summer programs are offered as a way to further enhance sailing skills. (Fee varies)

No sailor will be turned away for financial reasons. If you want to sail, please ask to learn about scholarship opportunities during registration. Our sponsoring non-profit, The Asheville Sailing Foundation, is committed to fostering the sailing experience throughout the Community and gladly offers support – partial or complete – for program registration fees, pinnies, and help with “away” regatta expenses.

What’s the time commitment?

The Junior Racing Team has four seasons:

  • Spring season: March – May ($185)
  • Summer Practices & Regattas: June – August ($285) Note: Most sailors work at Learn-to-Sail in exchange!
  • Fall Practices & Regattas: September – November ($185)
  • Winter season: December – February ($185)

More time spent in the boat is the best way to grow as a sailor!

Practices are on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:00 and one weekend day (varies due to race days) at Lake Julian from approximately noon – 5:00 pm.

On Sunday evenings a decision will be made and sent via text message to sailors as to which day will be the “sailing day” and which day will be off-the-water learning and academic tutoring/homework help.

Practices on Tuesday/Thursday will teach boat-handling, starting, race-planning, how to go “fast” and other things to help sailors be ready for the races on the weekends. (See the schedule below.)

Sailing Practices

All sailors are expected to rig (set up) and derig (take down) boats for practice. Sailing practices focus on team racing, strategic and tactical training, and physical fitness. Drills performed at practice will foster experience to properly prepare a sailor for regattas. Many practices will include mini-races to offer sailors the opportunity to try, fail and ultimately succeed at racing.

Since we have limited time on the water after school, practices will be no-nonsense and efficient. Sailors are expected on the water by 4:00 pm, off-the-water by 5:30 pm for derigging, and a de-brief with pickup at 6:00 pm.

Weekend practice races and Asheville Sailing Club Regattas have a starting gun at 1:00 pm and end before 4:00 pm. What time your sailor arrives or gets picked up depends on how fast they are at rigging and launching and how social they are after the races 🙂

High School Sailing Teams at a South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association Regatta
Photo: South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association

What do I need?

  • Permission from the ASC Sailing Program Director or previous attendance at AYS Learn-to-Sail Program
  • Family Membership in the Asheville Sailing Club ($50 for the year)
  • Completed Registration Forms and payment on Clubspot
  • US Coast Guard Approved Sailing/paddling Life Jacket (“PFD” – personal flotation device) We have some available to borrow until you aquire one of your own.
  • Closed-toe shoes! (Kayak shoes, Scuba Boots or purpose-made sailing boots…)
  • Raingear – no umbrellas 🙂
  • Weather-appropriate clothing. (Fleece and wool are great. Cotton, not-so-good.)
  • Enthusiasm and commitment

What do we sail?

Most junior sailing is “fleet” racing. It is done in double-handed one-design (all boats are the same) dinghies such as the Club 420 or single-handed Lasers, Sunfish, or O’pen Skiffs, or Optimist Dinghys.

Can I sail on a team this year?

YES! Both skipper and crew positions are needed! If you are interested in joining the sailing team, however, lack the experience, we will teach you. That being said, you should expect a fast learning curve, appreciate water sports, and understand that you will “learn by doing.” We offer a robust Learn-To-Sail Program with a few weeks focused on middle and high school sailing through intensive training and clinics in the summer.

Summer Sailing

Beginning Sailing Team sailors are encouraged to participate in at least one session of our Learn-to-sail summer sessions. In these week-long sessions, we focus on boathandling and the basic rules of the road.

What happens at a regatta?

Teams, determined by the head coach, are expected to arrive at the host regatta by a designated time (usually on Friday) to check in together. Families are expected to make arrangements for their sailors to get to the regatta either by driving them or carpooling. We try to have a group dinner together and stay together either camping or at a hotel. Sailing starts early Saturday and lasts most of the day. Breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner is included. At a two-day regatta, we race again on Sunday and are typically packed up and ready to head home before 4 pm. Our sailors are pretty independent and only need a designated chaperone. Parents need not attend every regatta. Parents with trailer hitches or trucks may be asked to help with boat transportation and logistics.

For Fall, 2021, the Race Team will focus on Local Regattas, held at The Asheville Sailing Club at Lake Julian. The SAYRA schedule included below is included as an example for next year’s racing program. Sailors may also be invited to participate in Jet-14 or Flying Scot Regattas with Asheville Sailing Club members. These arrangements will be fostered and enthusiastically supported, however fall outside the Learn-to-Race Program and are considered individual opportunities facilitated family-to-family.

Asheville Sailing Club

Fall Regatta Schedule for 2021
AYS/ASC Combined Schedule

September 26ASC Fall Points RegattaLake Julian
October 2AYS Practice RacesLake Julian
October 9ASC Fall Points RegattaLake Julian
October 16AYS Practice RacesLake Julian
October 24ASC Halloween RegattaLake Julian
October 30AYS Practice RacesLake Julian
November 6ASC Annual Meeting & Fun Races Lake Julian
November 13
Rain Date
ASC Annual Meeting & Fun RacesLake Julian
DecemberRace Camp, Weather PermittingLake Julian

AYS Race Team AWAY-Regatta Schedule

2021 SAYRA Jr. Grand PriClub Regattax Championship Series
Best 3 of 8 with 1 salt-water/1 fresh-water requirement

June 12-13South Carolina Yacht Club Jr OpenSouth Carolina YC
July 10-11Hobcaw YC Open RegattaHobcaw YC
July 24-25Carolina YC Clinic & RegattaCharleston YC
August 7-8Carolina YC RegattaRaleigh, NC
Sept 11-12Pluff Mud Regatta Beaufort (SC) YC
Sept 25-26 Board Bash RegattaLake Norman YC
Oct. 9-10Halloween RegattaAugusta SC
Nov. 6-7Midlands RegattaColumbia SC 

Other opportunities to skipper or crew at Asheville Sailing Club or other one-design class regattas arise throughout the season. You could race every weekend if you really wanted to! We’ll help find a boat for you.