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Sailing Overview

Our Junior programs range from introductory with a focus on developing a love for the lifelong sport of sailing, to competitive racing locally, regionally and international world class events.

Our Staff:

Meg Deegan - Waterfront Coordinator.  Meg and her husband Greg are long time members of SCYC and St Croix.  Meg has an extensive sailing background, with a passion for teaching sailing, she is a US Sailing Level 2 Instructor and holds a USCG Captains License.  She also has diverse experience in the profit, non-profit industries and financial management.  Meg energetically covers a mix of office administration and waterfront duties at SCYC for which we all are very appreciative.


Zach Steuer- Head Coach. Zach a alum of Salve Regina Universities Sailing Team has been coaching dingy and offshore racing since 2016. He has coached Opti's, Bic's, Lasers, 420's, and various keelboats. He has coached at Staples High School in Westport CT along with Milford Yacht Club and Cedar Point Yacht Club. He has also worked at Norwalk Sailing School which operates a community sailing center in Norwalk CT. Many of his sailors have placed in regattas along with moving on to become College Sailors themselves. 

Assistant Instructors:

Kamui Nieves

Ariana Schwartz


Sailing News
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  • August 05, 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Feature

    Youth Sailing: That was then, this is now

    Published on August 2nd, 2022

    Antony Barran reflects on the changes since his youth years in the 1970s and 80s in Marina Del Rey, CA.

    My early years were a very different time in sailing. There were no RIBs or professional coaches. The thought of sailing at college wasn’t a way into a great school, it was what you did once accepted to that school; thus, a solid high school academic career was the path taken to university.

    Sailing was an avocation. Today, it’s very different.

    My wife and I now split our time evenly between the west and east coasts, and we are slowly re-engaging in sailing, at the behest of our mid to late 20s children, after a more than 10 year sabbatical from it.

    I have the luxury, on occasion of wandering down to the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (Miami, FL) on a random Thursday afternoon to have a drink and relax as work permits. I never cease to be amazed at the accuracy of the AYSO/Club Soccer analogy shared in Scuttlebutt.

    There sitting at the club are a cabal of mothers and nannies. Their kids are out sailing with a professional coach and they sit in a folding chair, facing the water, book/work/laptop in hand; oblivious to the surroundings.

    I have asked them if they are from sailing families: “No” they reply. This should be great news. But alas, probing deeper you realize that the simple reality is they see this as a way to better complete a college application to a Tier 1 school.

    This isn’t anything more than a pathway into a good college. The family does not, nor will it ever be a “sailing family”. Once the high school student graduates the family will leave sailing as if it was an inconvenience no different from a bit of gum on the bottom of their shoe.

    My peers grew up in sailing families that raced actively. We were part of a community that was built around sailing. In the summer, we did three nights a week of racing – Tuesday and Thursday racing in Sabots and Lasers and Wednesdays racing big boats. We sailed 5-7 days a week.

    There were no coaches. We would coach each other. Our parents watched our races with interest. The few juniors that were really good were given opportunities to sail on the top keel boats in the area.

    I was always a fairly average sailor compared to my peer group. However, that set me up to be a solid, reliable sailor on almost any boat. More importantly, being average amongst the juniors around me in Marina Del Rey meant I was a much better sailor than the average adult.

    So I got to sail on keel boats in good positions interacting with the adults on a level playing field. That, more than anything, was the most important classroom I’ve had. Interacting at 12 with corporate executives, learning to speak their language, understand how they thought and realizing they are “just people” gave me a significant leg up on my professional peers in later years.

    Today’s junior sailing is focused on the same things that soccer and baseball prioritize: find the players that have a rare combination of natural talent and physical attributes and nurture them to the expense of all others. Idolize the top 5% and discard the remaining 95%.

    Sailing has become the same thing. Get good in an Optimist, qualify for big regattas and maybe some internationals. Sail doublehanded dinghies in college. Then leave the sport. Why are we wasting the other 95% of the kids that could become life-long sailors?

    Please don’t misconstrue my thoughts as a desire to unwind the current status quo. I do not. It’s not a zero-sum game. Rather, I would like to add to it. I believe that sailing needs to broaden its thinking. It needs to stop trying to fit the sport into a single narrative.

    For most National Authorities, the focus is on the Olympics. I have always found it interesting that US Sailing is the only federation in the Northern Hemisphere that sees a dual purpose of making money off big boat certificates and Olympic success. I think their results speak for themselves…not so glowingly.

    I believe there are two areas of sailing that could be leveraged to drive significant returns in the form of life-long participation and benefit for both the kids and the community:
    ————–
    1. College Offshore Sailing: I have recently spent quite a bit of time interacting with the College of Charleston and their Offshore Sailing Program. We keep our boat in Charleston and have opened it up for the offshore team to sail with us. Our first regatta was Charleston Race Week. The College had three boats racing with team members and alumni; ours was one of them. Notice I said that former team members were still coming back to sail on their keel boats. Busy with nascent careers, it allows them to stay connected. Offshore racing, less obvious than the dinghy teams, is a place for people that don’t have the correct physical attributes for a college dinghy racing.

    2. Community Sailing Programs: When on the West Coast, I live in a county of Washington State that is very small, has an amazing and overlooked sailing heritage, and a 20% high school dropout rate. My family is committed to building a local community sailing program with small keel boats (something like a J/22, Merit 25, Sonar, or similar) that are available for rent to the community, but primarily focused on an afterschool program for sailing. I believe sailing is a fabulous platform to get kids excited about STEM. As many know, the STEM side of education is often seen by students as the most repugnant and least relevant part of education and a significant contributor to the dropout rate.
    ————–
    We, as a community, need to embrace and welcome new families to our sport. But to truly succeed, we need to create new channels and entry points. Ones that are not focused solely on Collegiate and Olympic sailing, but rather, winning at life.



  • August 04, 2021 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    USVI sailor wins national sailing award . Article below.

    USVI sailor wins national sailing award.pdf


  • October 01, 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For many young people, sailing has been a bright spot in an otherwise challenging year. Getting on the water provides a respite from the difficulties of school and personal lives that have been disrupted, and the opportunity to disconnect from the day to day, digital world. I wanted to share a brief letter from Youth Advisory Board member Emma Friedauer on the impact that sailing has on kids and teenagers, and to highlight her passion for sailboat racing.

    By Emma Friedauer, US Sailing Youth Advisory Board  

    When I race, I feel like I belong. The racecourse is where I can go to decompress after a stressful week and spend time with my teammates and best friends. I have a sense of importance, focus, and drive when I’m racing, supported by a team that is practically my family. Sailing has become my happy place. 

    One of the most important things I’ve learned from racing is that there is always room for improvement. I can now apply this to all aspects of my life. In school I won’t give up when a certain subject or lesson is challenging. At work I try my best to do every part of my job to the best of my ability, because I know that the details will be important in the long run. Racing has taught me many life lessons that I may not have learned otherwise. 

    Together, my sailing community has become a family. We’ve learned how to support each other, on and off the water, encourage each other when we are struggling, and cheer each other on when we are succeeding. The sport of sailing has a way of unifying us, no matter our differences. It has changed my life forever and I will continue to pursue sailing for the rest of my life. 

    At US Sailing, we feel it is critical to see the sport from the participants perspective, especially kids. Thank you for your support of US Sailing’s Youth programs. Together we can help more kids like Emma grow into lifelong sailors.

    Sincerely,

    John Pearce, US Sailing Youth Director

  • March 05, 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    St Croix Yacht Club Laser Radial Sailor Places at 2020 Laser Midwinters East Regatta  

    The 2020 Laser Midwinters East Regatta held February 19-23 in Clearwater, FL saw challenging conditions, from no wind to over 20 knots of breeze with temperatures as in the high 40 on some days.  After ten races and a lot of hard sailing with over 80 boats in this highly competitive Laser Radial fleet, ISV sailors made it to the podium.

    Mateo Di Blasi finished 5th (STYC), Mathieu Dale 8th (SCYC) and Julian van den Driessche  21st (STCY). The top 8 finishers received trophies.  

    Midwinters East is the second in a three event qualifying series for the ISV Laser Radial sailors for the Youth World Championship to be held in Brazil in December 2020.  

    Top Finishers Laser Radial Class Midwinters East

    Coach Erik Bowers with ISV Laser Radial Sailors Mathieu Dale (SCYC) and  Mateo Di Blasi (STYC)

  • February 19, 2020 1:14 PM | Anonymous member

    Congratulations to both JJ and Lucy Klempen who are just 2 points out of first place with 20 points at the 29’rs Mid-Winter’s East Regatta at the Miami Yacht Club.  Our other St. Croix boat, Milo Miller and Steve Hardee are in 8th place with 42 points.  A total of 24 boats competed.  Great job, St. Croix Sailors!


  • January 17, 2020 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ten Socio-Emotional Benefits of Sailing

    Published on July 5th, 2018

    by Samantha Yom, SingaporeSailing

    There’s something about sailing that makes it quite unlike other sports. More than just skill and strategy, it teaches certain values that shape sailors into the unique athletes that they are.

    Yet, we’re often so focused on the physical aspects of sailing that we forget how much we stand to gain from the sport – both socially and emotionally. So here’s a list of the top 10 socio-emotional benefits of sailing.

    1. Grit

    You could say that just about any sport offers a lesson on resilience, but sailing is a sport that demands an inner strength far greater than most.

    In this sport, it’s sailor versus the elements. Whether you’re a novice experiencing strong winds for the first time or a national sailor met with three-meter high waves in foreign waters, you learn to keep fighting – no matter how uncomfortable it is. Capsize? Just upright your boat and keep sailing.

    2. Confidence

    Most sailors’ foray into the sport begins with the Optimist. It’s a single-handed boat, which means it’s controlled by a sole sailor. Alone on the boat, sailors – as young as six or seven – are constantly required to make their own decisions. They don’t always make the right ones, but the opportunity to think for themselves helps them grow in self-confidence.

    Once you’ve conquered three-meter high waves, you can do almost anything.

    3. Teamwork

    Though they sail individually, sailors are forced to work together from day one. After all, no one sailor can lift his or her Optimist boat alone. Over time, sailors gradually realize that working together not only helps speed things up, but also allows them to learn more from one another.

    4. Friendship

    Perhaps one of the most valuable takeaways from sailing is the friendships forged. It’s inevitable that sailors bond with one another during windless days and scary storms. You also get to make new friends with international sailors as well, especially during those international regattas.

    5. Sportsmanship

    Touched a mark without anyone catching you in the act? Complete your penalty anyway. Sailing is a self-governing sport, which means it’s completely up to sailors to abide by the rules and uphold the fairness of racing. It’s a matter of integrity and sailors learn the importance of playing fair and respecting the rules of the game.

    6. Learning to Lose

    In sailing, the conditions are ever-changing. Regattas are held over a few days and every day presents a different sailing condition. As a result, positions are always changing during a regatta – and even during a race itself. Unpredictable conditions also mean that you could go from leading a race to coming in dead last.

    You can’t win every single race in sailing, so sailors learn to accept defeat and move on – a particularly important skill since races are held back-to-back.

    7. Patience

    Whether it’s mastering a sailing maneuver or waiting for the next wind shift, sailing is a test of patience. Sailing maneuvers are so complex that it could take weeks of practice to execute them well, consistently.

    8. Responsibility

    Sailing is a sport that requires a fair bit of equipment. From bringing your sunglasses, gloves and wind indicator to cleaning your boat before a regatta – sailors learn to take ownership of their equipment from the very start of their sailing journey. They learn to be responsible for their decisions as well – be it a bad tactical decision or a sail setting.

    9. Managing Emotions

    As we’ve mentioned previously, sailing conditions can be quite unpredictable. It is through experiences of winning and losing that sailors gradually learn to control their emotions. They find ways to deal with their feelings when they’re alone on the boat – the joy, frustration, et cetera. At the end of the day, the best sailors are the ones who are able to best manage their emotions and prevent them from affecting their performance.

    10. Discipline

    Due to its nature, sailing can be quite a time-consuming sport. It takes up a significant amount of time on the weekends too – precious time that could be spent on school work or with friends. That being said, it builds a sense of discipline in sailors, as they learn to priorities the little time they have and stay focused.

    Summary

    And with that, we realize how sailing is not just a sport that keeps you fit, but also one that develops you into a well-rounded individual – something far more important than winning medals.



  • January 17, 2020 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    GHCDS Varsity Sailing Team competes at South Points #4, Ransom Everglades HS, Miami, Florida

    The GHCDS Varsity Sailing Team traveled to Miami Florida this past weekend to compete in the South Points #4 regatta held at Ransom Everglades High School in Coconut Grove Florida.  

    The weather was perfect for sailing, sunny and with winds around 15 to 20 knots, which decreased to 10 to 15 knots as the day went on.

    More than 25 teams participated across both varsity and junior varsity teams. Each team participated in 6 races per division, all on 420 class boats.  Sailors did an excellent job on the water and during the rotations, navigating the narrow canal to the dock with ease.

    Our GHCDS Varsity team sailing in A division skipper Mathieu Dale, crew Lucy Klempen and  B division skipper JJ Klempen and crew Elyssa Franklin did a stellar job holding their own in this very competitive Varsity fleet finishing 4th overall! Go Panthers!  

    https://scores.hssailing.org/s20/south-point-varsity/







  • December 16, 2019 1:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    GHCDS Sailing Team competes at South Points #3

    Friday December 6, 2019

    Friday GHCDS Sailors had  practice with the Venice High School sailing team at the Venice Yacht Club.  Arranged by Kelly Severn, past SCYC Waterfront Coordinator. Olivia Hanley, GHCDS and SCYC Jr sailor alumni joined the team and took them out on the water until the Venice team arrived, after practice our team enjoyed the Venice holiday boat parade. A big thank you to Sylvia Schindler for chaperoning our team! 

    Saturday, December 7, 2019

    The GHCDS Sailing team competed in South Points #3 held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, Florida.  A beautiful sunny day in Sarasota provided only enough light east breeze before noon to sail races one and two in A Division and race one in B Division, before dying out. Multiple General Recalls were the norm for both A and B division starts. After an almost 3 hour delay, a light westerly filled in (with current running up the course against the breeze) and race 2 in B Division was completed after three general recalls, followed by Races 3 in A and B Divisions, with rotations being completed between them. Competing for GHCDS Varsity Division A; Milo Miller Skipper/ Brielle Schindler crew,  Division B; Ariana Schwartz Skipper/ Elyssa Franklin crew. Lucia Bishop Alternate. Our Team did a stellar job in challenging conditions of light and shifty winds and held their own as freshman against mostly upperclassmen sailing teams! Our young team has a bright future ahead! https://scores.hssailing.org/f19/southpoints-varsity/full-scores/

     



  • November 15, 2019 6:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The GHCDS HS Sailing Team competed against the best high school sailors in the nation in two prestigious invitational regattas this past weekend,Nov 9&10, 2019, The College of Charleston Invitational and the Atlantic Coast Championship.  

    The College of Charleston Invitational(CofC) also served as the Caribbean qualifier for a berth in the District Qualifier for the HS National Championships.  Competing at College of Charleston in A division were skipper Mathieu Dale/crew Lucy Klempen, in B division Skipper JJ Klempen/crew Carson Oakley, Coach Mack Bryant (CDS Alumni and All American Collegiate sailor).  This 2 day event started on Saturday with 40 degree temperatures with a fluctuating 5-12 knot breeze out of the north and strong current playing a role tactically, with a hard push by sailors and Race Committee the fleet completed 14 races getting off the water at sunset.  On Sunday temperatures where only a few degrees warmer with light and shifty winds allowing only 4 races before the wind died. In this heavily competitive fleet our Panthers finish 4th in Division A and 6th in Division B for an overall finish of 5th out of an 18 boat fleet.   Antilles School finished 2nd overall qualifying them for a berth in the District Qualifier for HS Nationals. Well done Panthers we will get them next time!

    Our GHCDS Panther Sailors competing at Atlantic Coast Championship (ACC) in Toms River, NJ had a very challenging regatta, arriving late Friday night (thanks to airlines delays) to freezing temperatures and light and shifty winds.  Saturday high temps in the 30s, these Crucian sailors put up a good fight against some of the best teams in the Nation. Saturday began early with the sailors removing ice from their boats. The winds were light and shifty causing a two hour postponement while the race committee waited for breeze and made course adjustments. Our Panther Sailors had great attitudes and fought hard all day completing 9 races, getting off the water just before sunset. 

    Sunday was slightly warmer but with gustier heavy winds, the kids had some great races. Again completing 9 races rounding out 18 races for the regatta.  Division A skipper Milo Miller/crew Brielle Schindler rotating with Lucia Bishop finished 15th and Division B Skipper Ariana Schwarts and Elyssa Franklin finish 20th  for an overall fishish of 18th out of 20 boat fleet. Thanks to Tim Franklin who chaperoned our ACC Team



  • October 20, 2019 6:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SP#2

    High School Sailing– A note from Coach Stanton: GHCDS sent up 8 Sailors(a Varsity team and a JV Team) and a Coach to compete October 19, 2019 at the Second Points Regatta for the South Atlantic District (SAISA) in Jensen Beach FL.  There were 25 teams from around the State of Florida that attended the Regatta, over 150 sailors. The conditions were a bit overcast and winds were a bit sporadic. The teams were able to get four races in on Saturday. The GHCDS Varsity and JV team were sitting both in 7th after the first two races. The final two races the Varsity team got more comfortable with the conditions and boats and almost won the event! Varsity finished 2nd out of the 25 teams that attended. JV remained consistent and moved up one place in the last two races. Over all, a great showing for GHCDS.

    Varsity Team = A division; Mathieu Dale / Lucy Klempen, B division; JJ Klempen / Carson Oakley.

    JV Team = A division; Milo Miller / Scott Vercher, B division; Arianna Schwartz/ Elyssa Franklin.

    Mathieu Dale and Lucy Klempen, doing what they love, and doing it well!

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The Club is formed for the express purpose of promoting interest and activity in the ownership, racing and cruising of yachts and small boats; of providing a meeting place for members whose common interest lies in ships and the sea; of augmenting the recreational facilities and visitor attractions of the island; of exchange and courtesies with other yacht clubs of the United States and Caribbean islands, and of extending to visiting yachtsmen the hospitality of St. Croix.

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Office: 340-773-9531 
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St. Croix Yacht Club|
5100 Teague Bay
C'sted, St. Croix 00820

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