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ACYMC Class Descriptions - 2023

Instructional Program

Classes are on a first come, first served basis and a wait list will be created after the cap of 15 students per class is met. 

Please sign your child up for the class that most closely meets their age and skill.  Skill does not automatically override age, as other factors may help or hinder a student’s progress.  All class placements are at the discretion of the Head of the Instructional Program, Kaitlyn Gilson.  If you have any questions about which class to initially sign up for, please email Kaitlyn at with a copy to ACMYC instructional .


Opti 1 :  This beginner class is designed for children ages 8-9 with little to no sailing experience. Students will learn how to set up a boat and basic sailing skills.

Opti 2:  This class for children ages 9-10 with limited experience. These students have completed Opti 1 or similar experience at another program.  Students will improve their sailing knowledge and add more complex skills to their sailing toolkit.

Opti 3:  These classes are for children with more than two years of experience. Students will learn and master more advanced sailing skills, with an emphasis on safe and fun recreational sailing. 

Junior Sailing Program:  This class is an instructional class designed for students ages 11-16 who are interested in learning how to sail a number of different types of larger boats, including Cotuit Skiffs, Lasers, and occasionally 420s.  This class will focus on advanced seamanship and teaching a lifelong appreciation of recreational sailing.  This is not a racing class. 

About Kaitlyn Gilson
I am a junior in college majoring in elementary education and psychology. I am super excited for this coming summer and all of the changes being implemented. As head instructor of the instructional program, I want students to gain a love for sailing as they improve their basic sailing knowledge. Please reach out ( if you have any questions. I am looking forward to working with all of your children this summer!


Racing Program

Placement in Racing Classes is at the discretion of the Head of the Racing Program, the Opti Race Coach, and the 420 Race Coaches.  If you have any questions about which class is appropriate for your sailor, please email our Head of Racing, Sam Monaghan, at with a copy to .


Intro to Race Classes

Intro classes will be capped at 15 sailors. Please read the following descriptions carefully.

Intro to Opti Race (Green Fleet): This class will introduce sailors to Opti racing and will attend green fleet (beginner) regattas.  The goal of the class is to have fun learning racing concepts to prepare sailors for the Championship fleet.

Sailors who have completed at least P3 and are ready to begin learning Opti Race skills should sign up for Intro to Opti Race (subject to approval by race coaches). Students are expected to participate in the Green Fleet at several regattas.

Opti Race (Championship):   This class will focus on advanced racing concepts with the goal of preparing sailors for competition in the championship fleet. Concepts include reading puffs, playing wind shifts, and managing risk in large fleets.

This is an advanced racing class is for sailors who have surpassed Green Fleet level, usually having at least one full season of regatta racing.  Regatta participation is expected. Placement will be confirmed by the coaches after sign ups have closed.

Intro to 420 Race: This class is for sailors who have completed Opti Race or have the necessary equivalent  experience as determined by the race coaches to advance to 420 sailing.  This class is focused on teaching sailors to be comfortable sailing and rigging a 420.  It will cover basic racing concepts and will introduce sailors to spinnakers.  Sailors in this class will not attend regattas, but may engage in some mock races in class.


420 Race

Important Notes

  • 420 Race will be capped at 30 sailors.
  • Registration is not a guarantee of placement into 420 Race. Sailors may be referred to Intro to 420 or to the Junior Sailing Program as appropriate if requisite sailing skills are still developing or there is a noted lack of interest in racing. You will be contacted with any recommended changes to registrations.
  • While every effort will be made for sailors to attend regattas appropriate or the sailors’ skill level, ultimately attendance at regattas will be determined by the coaches, and factors including skill, interest, attitude, sportsmanship, attendance and overall needs of the team will be considered. 
  • Sailors will be polled regarding interest and availability at the beginning of the season.  Sailors participating in 420 Race are expected to want to participate in racing and regattas!
  • 420 Race will also incorporate team racing on a regular basis.

420 Race:  This class will emphasize the development of a fun and cohesive team environment while developing advanced racing skills.  Each sailor will be expected to both skipper and crew to gain an understanding of boat speed from both perspectives.

Sailors will work on trapezes, spinnakers, controlling boat speed, learn about the physics of sailing 420s (sail tensions, apparent wind, and land effects), and learn about how to manage risk and start well in large fleets of sailboats.  More advanced sailors will travel to several regattas and team race; developing sailors will primarily team race but may attend regattas as well.

About Sam Monaghan
I am excited to be leading the Race Program this summer, and to have the opportunity to help your kids grow as sailors and provide a fun environment to do so! I have spent my summers in Cotuit for my entire life and was fortunate to have also learned sailing through the program. I am now an active skiff racer and college sailor at Northeastern University. My vision for the Racing Program is to provide your kids with an experience that will allow them to grow as racers and as community members.
I am grateful for the instructors I had as a kid because they instilled in me the values of selflessness and hard work. These values define the CMYC and is what allows us to have such a tight-knit and caring community. I hope to not only develop your kids as racers, but get them involved as active members of this community. This includes encouraging and providing the resources for kids to get involved in skiff racing and the resources that can allow them to sail in high-school or college if they are interested.
If you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to reach out to me at:
See you all in the summer! 


Other Programs

Skiff Workshop & Opti Race Series

The Skiff Workshop offers educational instruction for those who seek to familiarize themselves with Cotuit Skiffs.  Sailors who attend the workshop are encouraged to participate in the Skiff Junior Series which takes place immediately following the workshop.

The Opti Series is a weekly opportunity for sailors in Opti 2 and above to race within the CMYC program.  This race series will be held once a week and is designed to offer an informal introduction to Opti racing for those who are interested.

These programs are offered free of charge and are open to anyone interested as a way to educate our CMYC sailors and allow younger sailors more opportunities to race as a community.