FBYC Junior Program Information


"Fishing Bay Yacht Club is one of the premier Junior Programs on the Chesapeake Bay and maybe the country."
Scuttlebutt Sailing, November 2016

Program Overview

The FBYC Junior Division’s primary goal is to provide a safe and fun environment for Junior sailors to reach their full potential. The program has continued to evolve and grow through the years. Its success is due to the continued commitment of the Board of Trustees to develop and support a top-level program, including investment in world-class coaches, the commitment from parents and other club members, and the dedication of our young sailors. Many of our Juniors begin sailing at FBYC at the age of five in Opti Kids, and continue to develop their skills through the years in various Junior Week classes and four separate race teams. Many continue to sail and compete at the college and adult level, and return to give back to the program. Each year, members who have sailed as Juniors in our Club bring their children or grandchildren to participate in our world-class Junior programs. At many events we see three generations of families participating as coaches,volunteers, or participants, representing 55 years of Junior sailing on Fishing Bay. This long-term commitment to excellence produces young sailors whose skills and sportsmanship are respected at every level of competition across the Chesapeake Bay and beyond, including national regattas in which our teams participated in recent years in Texas, Florida,  Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Canada. We routinely host major regattas, including in recent years the Opti Atlantic Coast Championships, Opti Nationals, and numerous Commonwealth of Virginia Championships.  In 2023 we will once again host the Annual Fishing Bay Junior Regatta. For more information, please see the FBYC calendar of events.

The Junior Division is divided into three organizational sections: education, racing, and support. At FBYC, parents and grandparents are invited and encouraged to join in the fun and participate as volunteers both on the water and on shore. Our philosophy is that if kids have fun sailing with their friends, they will come back for more! Last year, more than 250 individual Juniors, both members and non-members, participated in our various programs.

Junior Division Equipment

FBYC has invested in providing training sailboats utilized by the Junior Division. All of the boats and equipment are available for use by adult members and other divisions when not in use by the Junior Division. The Opti is the principal Junior training boat for the Club. The Club currently owns 20 Optis and 4 Club 420s for training purposes; there are also numerous transport trailers, five RIBs, and three outboard powerboats for Junior coaches. There are also larger powerboats utilized for regattas and Junior Week. The Junior Division maintains a dedicated building for storage of rigging, racing flags, and marks; maintains a rental cottage to house its coaches; and leases vehicles as needed to transport equipment and personnel to regattas.

Safety Requirements

Safety is the foremost component of a strong Junior sailing program. In 2012, Junior Division volunteers authored and adopted for use a Safety Manual and Risk Management Policy. This document governs most aspects of FBYC’s Junior sailing program. A copy of this document is provided to all coaches, instructors, staff, parents, and Junior participants prior to involvement in the program.

2023 Junior Events

Spring, Winter and Fall Race Teams

The teams train and attend regattas through-out the year under the supervision of a professional coach on a per diem basis.  

Opti Kids

This weekend educational program for our youngest beginning sailors is offered on two consecutive weekends in early summer. The program is designed to introduce young children to sailing in a safe and fun environment, and to engender a love of the water and sailing. Parent participation is required. Ages 5 to 8. For dates for this program, please see the FBYC website calendar of events.

Junior Week

This week-long sailing day camp offers classes for beginners to experienced racers. Classes include Beginning Opti, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate Opti I through III, Opti Racing, Advanced Opti Racing, Beginning Laser Racing,  Advanced Laser Racing, Beginning 420 and Racing 420's, and Group Sailing in keelboats. Classes are taught by professional coaches, US Sailing instructors, and experienced volunteers. Ages 6 to 18.

For dates for this program, please see the FBYC website calendar of events.

Sailing School

The Junior Division is now offering structured group classes to Juniors (and adults!) in the Club's Optis, and 420s for nine weeks during the summer.

Take one class or multiple classes to progress your sailing skills in a single summer; this program is designed to increase your sailing comfort level by building experience in a single boat or learning to sail a new boat.

The classes will be taught by our sailing instructors and are taught in Fishing Bay. The lessons are designed to capitalize on small class sizes, and are a great follow-up to the group lessons offered during Opti Kids and Junior Week.

Lunch and preparations: All sailors must bring their own lunch, a water bottle, PFD, and water shoes. Snacks and sunscreen are also recommended. Junior sailors must be attended by an adult during the lunch break.

Schedule: See the Sailing School Webpage at https://www.fbyc.net/junior-sailing/sailing-school/

Development Team

This race team is devoted to teaching novice sailors and beginning racers the fundamentals of racing, including boat speed and handling, tactics and strategy, whistle and flag starts, and mark rounding. The team is coached by college-level sailors, often graduates of our Junior program, who concentrate on building confidence and taking young sailors to the next level of sailing in a safe and fun environment. The team will practice or attend regattas Thursdays through Sundays, and no sessions are mandatory. In 2023, we will support an Opti Green Fleet Team and an Opti White/Blue/Red Team as part of the program.   Additionally,  if five or more Lasers register, we will also support a Laser Team.  Regattas are centered in the Southern Bay where overnight stays are unnecessary, and will include Junior regattas at Ware River Yacht Club, Rappahannock River Yacht Club, Hampton Yacht Club, and our two summer regattas: the Commonwealth of Virginia Junior Championship and the Annual One-Design. Ages 7 to 15 (The team may be subdivided based on age).

Opti Race Team

This advanced race team is for experienced Opti racers, and is coached by a world-class professional coach. Team members provide their own boat and equipment. The team will practice or attend regattas five full days a week and travel to select regattas on the Chesapeake Bay. The team may also attend large national and regional USODA events outside the Chesapeake Bay area. Significant travel is required. The coaches will concentrate on individualized instruction centered on advanced racing techniques in preparation for top-level competition. Ages 10 to 15. 

Laser Race Team

This advanced race team is for experienced racers with prior racing experience, coached by a world class professional coach. Team members provide their own boats and equipment. The team will practice or attend regattas five full days a week and travel across the Chesapeake Bay. The team may also attend large national and regional regattas outside the Chesapeake Bay area. Significant travel is required. Ages 13 to 18.

420 Race Team

The 420 Race Team will be an advanced race team for experienced racers with prior racing experience, coached by world-class professional coaches. The team will practice or attend regattas five full days a week and travel across the Chesapeake Bay. The team may also attend large national and regional regattas outside the Chesapeake Bay area.  Significant travel is required. Ages 13 to 18. 

FBYC Annual Junior Regatta

This year, FBYC will once again host our Annual Junior Regatta the Saturday and Sunday following Junior Week. Teams are expected from across the region. We encourage all Junior Week sailors to attend, and we will offer a Green Fleet seminar and on-the-water coaching for novice racers (and their nervous parents!) making that first scary step into regatta racing. Additional classes will include Red, White, and Blue Opti Divisions, Lasers, and Club 420s. Open to all Juniors. Please visit the FBYC website, www.fbyc.net, for the NOR and on-line registration.

For complete details on CBYRA High Point Junior Regattas go to: http://www.cbyrajuniorsailing.org/Race-Info/High-Point

Fishing Bay Yacht Club
Office Mail: Fishing Bay Yacht Club, 2711 Buford Road #309, Bon Air, 23235,
Clubhouse Address: 1525 Fishing Bay Road, Deltaville, VA 23043 (no mail delivery)

Phone Numbers: Club House 804-889-2327

Contact Webmasters