Junior Sailing

Junior Sailing

Welcome Junior Sailors & Parents!

HYC Jr. Sailing Mission Statement:

“The mission of the HYC Junior Program is to develop sailing, seamanship, and racing skills in a safe, fun and structured environment for our youth.  HYC Juniors will demonstrate respect and care for others, care for their equipment and always be willing to lend a helping hand both afloat and ashore.  We will create skilled and confident young people who will be a lifelong credit to the Hampton Yacht Club and their community.”

The Hampton Yacht Club Junior program was established by the board in 1950.  Since the inauguration of the program the club has had a rich history of producing graduates that would go on to become collegiate All-Americans, national and international coaches, and world champions.  The junior program offers a variety of classes to meet the needs of a wide range of abilities throughout the entire year for sailors age 5-18. Program enrollment is open to anyone interested in learning how to sail and is not limited to HYC members.  The sailing program follows a detailed curriculum that is delivered each day to the sailors by qualified instructors and coaches. The learning model that HYC unveiled in 2020 is designed to promote lifelong sailing in a variety of sailing disciplines, including both racing and non-racing, to provide a skill development path for every sailor. It is the recommendation of US Sailing that students experience a variety of boat types and sailing disciplines. The skills built at an early age lay the foundation for safe, fun, and successful sailing for a lifetime.

There is a blend of classroom training, land drills, instructor demonstration, on the water practice, and debriefs; however expect every day to incorporate something new and fun!!! 

In addition to the instructional programs, juniors on the competitive track are encouraged to participate in regattas that are scheduled throughout the national circuit in the Optimist, Feva, c420, and other classes as they wish and/or eligible to compete. The junior program has assets for both Optis, Fevas, and c420s that are available for parents to use for out of town regattas.  Click here for more information on junior race teams.

Program History

At the 1949 HYC annual meeting, the Board of Directors created a youth sailing program. The first year of the Junior Program was held during the summer of 1950. Since then, the Hampton Yacht Club has fielded many fine teams of young sailors winning many Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association junior club championships. The first junior program building, the “Junior Shack”, was located on the current site of the Yacht Club. A new building was constructed in 1975 and in 1997 was named in memory of long time racer, committee chair and junior supporter Tom Brady. Outstanding junior members have become members of the U.S. Sailing Team, gone on to compete in the Olympic trials, coach championship collegiate teams, qualify for U.S. Bemis, Sears & Youth National Junior Championships, qualified for the North American & National Optimist Teams and have won numerous national sailing honors. Many adult HYC members have come from the ranks of our outstanding Junior Program.

Program Camps

The Hampton Yacht Club offers all year round youth sailing including spring, summer, fall and winter sailing for all levels of sailors from beginners to our racing team.

Summer Program (Mid-June – August)
Fall Program (Sept-October)
Winter Program (December – March)
Spring Program (March – June)

  • 2022 Junior Regattas Hosted by Hampton Yacht Club
  • June 28-29 Commonwealth Cup, Virginia State Championship
  • June 28-30 Sears, Bemis, Smythe Area C Qualifier for the US Sailing Junior National Championships
  • August 19-21 USODA National Team Racing Championship

Learn About The Boats We Sail

Click on the type of boat in order to see their official homepage, giving you insight to what type of boat class your student will be getting involved in.
optimist dinghy

Optimist Dinghies


These boats are perfectly designed for young sailors to gain both confidence and independence without intimidating them.  They are also an International racing class with over 50,000 active members worldwide.

Sail Cubes


The Sail Cube was developed as a training platform for our sailors ages 5-10 learning how to sail or are on the path to start sailing the Optimist. It’s rotomolded plastic hull is more forgiving for use in learn to sail applications. It’s a very easy boat for young sailors to enjoy due to it’s simplistic rig which makes it very quick to set up and go sailing!

Laser Sailing


Number of boats in our fleet: privately owned

These boats are an Olympic class of racing boat.



These boats are an international class of racing boat sized-down from the Olympic 470 Class with junior sailors in mind.  They are fast and light with spinnaker capability.

RS Fevas


This is the world’s leading double handed dinghy for youngsters. This boat has exciting performance, modern style featuring a self draining cockpit and an asymmetrical spinnaker. This boat is used for learning how to sail or learning how to race for ages 13-18.

Friday Womens Sailing team racing the sonar

Sonar Keelboat


The Sonar keelboats were procured as an amenity to the membership of HYC to serve both the junior and adult programs operating out of the Brady Sailing Center. The Sonars offer an open cockpit, excellent for teaching sailing to all ages and are very popular for team racing.

Race Committee anchored at the starting line

Motorized Chase Boats

At Hampton Yacht Club safety is our number one priority. Our professionally maintained fleet of chase boats consist of rigid hull inflatable boats and whaler/skiff style hulls that allow our instructors and coaches to provide close on the water feedback and maintain a safe watch over our fleet.

HYC Junior Sailing Board

The Board oversees the development, promotion, and implementation of the HYC Junior Program.