2017 Schedule Now Available
The 2017 Schedule of Classes is now available. Download these schedules and save the dates.
Youth Sailing Classes
Course and Venue
The Sequoia Yacht Club Jr. El Toro program has been around for over thirty years, run by dedicated volunteer members of the Sequoia Yacht Club of Redwood City, CA. The lessons take place inside the Port of Redwood City at the recreational end, where the yachts and clubs are and where the water is protected and calm. This area of the port is roughly 15 acres in size, and is well insulated from the conditions of the San Francisco bay, which is over a mile to the east.
Close monitoring, instruction and guidance are provided on the water by a SYC Sailing Instructor riding on a safety boat. The kids are constantly close at hand, and are encouraged to not sail if they feel uneasy about it. The SYC JSP Sailing motto is "if in doubt, don't go out". This saying is stressed over and over again during the preliminary, on-shore "chalk talks" where we discuss safety and seamanship.
The classes emphasize safety conscious FUN sailing, considering weather, tides, traffic, etc. at all times. Besides learning general seamanship, like knots and equipment care, students learn boat nomenclature, rigging, boat handling, proper upwind sailing, tacking, downwind sailing, jibing, boat speed, racing tactics, sportsmanship and the rules of racing.
There are two levels of the Jr. El Toro program: Beginner, which starts at 9:00AM on Saturday mornings and Intermediate which begins at 11:00am, also on Saturday morning. The intermediate class is a feeder class into the advanced "Laser" class. There are a total of 10 lesson days, starting normally late January, Spring, and the early September, Fall sessions. See the Sequoia Yacht Club Calendar for the most current schedule.
The El Toro Sailboat
The El Toro is an 8' pram-type sailing dinghy which is sailed single handed. The boat is the first boat for almost all kids in the Bay Area. America's Cup skippers Paul Cayard and Tom Blackhaller, both Bay Area natives, learned to sail in El Toros.
- Age range 9 to 14
- Kids will be required to perform the "Water Comfort Test" by swimming along the length of a dock that is about 50 feet long. They jump in at one end and swim along the edge to the other end, turn around swim back and climb out.
- Must have their own Coast Guard approved life vest, Personal Floatation Device, rated for their weight
- Some assistance from parents would be appreciated during the lessons.
- Sign up early, it is a first come first serve protocol
Space is limited; there is only room for a maximum of six kids per class. The fee for the 10 week session is $190.00. This includes a US Sailing Level One Log Book sign off, a Diploma, a Berry's Basic Sailing instruction book, the use of an El Toro sailboat, and a Youth Membership in the Sequoia Yacht Club for one year. Please reply by email and indicate the following:
- Kids age
- Kids sailing experience (none required)
- Kids swimming abilities, a bonus, but not required!
- Your (the parents) ability to stay and help out during your child's lesson.
In order to achieve the above mission, Sequoia Yacht Club sponsors several other programs in Redwood City.