Promoting Sailing on Pleasant Bay Since 1921
Once students understand the basics learned in crew class (usually after one or two seasons) students begin to sail the Optimist (a simple, one-sailed dinghy generally recognized as the best boat for instructing beginner skippers). In the beginner Optimist class, students may sail in a number of different situations depending on the combination of the student’s age, maturity, and skill level, as well as the daily weather conditions. These are either with an instructor, with another student, or single-handed. Students sail close to shore and under the close supervision of instructors. Focus in the beginner Opti class is on establishing a comfort level of being in a boat without an instructor once the student is ready, continuing to develop a young sailor's skills as a skipper, learning water safety, beginning to understand the racing rules of sailing, and having fun in a relaxed environment of a large group of students all of a similar skill level. Students begin to refine their skills through activities and games by putting them to use in a low-pressure racing context by the end of the season.