Youth Racing Central

The place to go for all things youth racing

Start with a goal and work hard to achieve your dreams. Whether you want to improve your skills to have more fun sailing, win your local fleet, rival your national competitors, or strive to become an Olympian. The journey starts here!

Youth Calendar

YOUTH PERFORMANCE PATHWAY 

As part of its mission to increase sailing participation and excellence, US Sailing has released a new Youth Performance Pathway to connect youth racing sailors to “What’s Next” in the sport. The pathway is the culmination of a year-long review by a task force of experts from inside and outside of US Sailing.

The new pathway includes updated guidance on transitioning into new boat and board classes to clarify the progression to higher levels of competition. In support of the pathway, US Sailing is updating its programs and providing expert training and education at events and clinics for sailors, parents, and coaches.

The three-tier Youth Performance Pathway illustrates the progression from grassroots youth racing to higher levels of the sport, as well as lifelong sailing as adults. There is no single path through the sport, and each sailor is encouraged to “tack upwind” based on their own preferences and goals. While the plan encourages all sailors to achieve their personal best, it has also cleared a pathway for sailors who aspire to race at the national and international level, qualify for the US Sailing Team, and represent Team USA at the Pan Am and Olympic Games. Check it out!

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Clinics and Events

2023 Dates and Locations Coming Soon

US Sailing Clinics and Events

Junior Women's Clinic Series - The Junior Women’s Clinic Series is made up of small, regional clinics specifically for young women and coached by world-class female coaches from the US Sailing Team and top college sailing teams.

USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals - The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals are held across the country to capture the Olympic spirit and introduce youth sailors to their next steps in the sport.

Mixed 470 Program - Mixed 470: The US Sailing Team has launched the new Mixed 470 Program, which will gather talented sailors and connect them with boats, coaching, and logistical support in exchange for a commitment to the domestic training and racing schedule.

Additional Clinics and Events

2niner - Learn to Skiff - Hosted by 2Niner and SkiffGeneration, Learn2Skiff Clinics are multi-day technique clinics for sailors new to the 29er class.

California International Sailing Association (CISA) Clinic - The CISA Clinic is the west coast's premier youth sailing clinic, with the goal of teaching the nation’s best youth sailors how to do it better. Sailors must apply to attend.

Brooke Gonzalez Clinic - Brooke Gonzalez Clinic is Sail Newport’s annual Advanced Racing Clinic in Newport, RI. Sailors must apply to attend.

Classes

Racing Development, Performance, and Olympic Classes

The Youth Performance Pathway starts at the Racing Development tier, which includes popular “club” boats such as the Opti, Club 420, high school sailing, and many other learn-to-race boats and boards. This is where most youth racers get their start, learning to race locally and building skills and experience at the regional and national level. 

The Performance tier is the second step of the pathway and represents a step up to the faster, more technical boats and boards that are the global standard for youth competition. This is where sailors expand their technical sailing skills, develop as performance athletes, and compete on a national and international level.

The Olympic tier is the third and final step of the pathway and includes the boats and boards raced in the Olympic Games. Sailors at the Olympic tier are eligible to qualify for the US Sailing Team based on their competitive performance at the World Championship or other top international competitions. 

RACING DEVELOPMENT

Optimist

  • Type: Singlehanded Dinghy
  • Typical Weight Range: 70-125 lbs
  • About: The most popular racing trainer in the US and around the world, the Opti is small but technical, with a long history of teaching racing skills and developing highly competitive sailors.
  • Speed scale: 1/5
  • Website

PERFORMANCE

29er

    • Type: Doublehanded Skiff
    • Typical Weight Range: 240 – 290 lbs combined
    • About: With a powerful sailplan and minimalist hull, the 29er is fast and dynamic, requiring excellent teamwork and fitness.
    • Speed scale: 4/5
    • Class Website

OLYMPICS

470

  • Type: Doublehanded Dinghy
  • Typical Weight Range: 300 lbs combined
  • About: Fast and technical, the 470 has been sailed in every Olympics since 1976 and is the Mixed (one male & one female) Doublehanded Olympic Class.
  • Speed scale: 4/5
  • Class Website:

Video Resources

Strategy & Tactics

Weather & Sailboat Racing with Sea Tactics

Racing Rules with Dave Perry

Strategy & Tactics - Starting

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