Starcross Yacht Club is a recognised RYA Training Centre and accredited OnBoard Club. As well has having fun, we aim to encourage good skills and seamanship through the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme with the award of certificates. In line with RYA guidance, sessions are overseen by Senior Instructors and delivered by a mix of Dinghy Instructors, Race Coaches (Level 2), Assistant Instructors and parent helpers.
Which boats are sailed? Do I need a boat?
The club owns a range of boats including a fleet of Optimists (six new in recent years), 6 RS Teras (new in 2022), several Toppers and four RS Fevas, all of which are regularly used by Juniors on Fridays.
Juniors are very welcome to use club boats initially. After the first year or two, we actively encourage Juniors to get their own boats so that they can start to come down more regularly and get more involved in the Club sailing. There are a wide range of classes sailed, including Oppies, Toppers and a strong and growing RS Tera fleet.
Parent responsibilities for the Friday Junior Sessions
SYC Junior Training is not a commercial enterprise. It is staffed by appropriately-qualified volunteers who rely upon the support and cooperation of parents for the smooth and safe running of the Friday sessions.
- You need to be SYC Family Members for your children to take part in the Friday sessions
- Parents need to remain on site for the whole of the session. If both parents are absent then a Club member must be nominated as temporary guardian.
- All communication is via Slack (an app available on smartphone or computer), and parents of all Juniors will be expected to join this to be up to date with arrangements and logistics.
- You’ll need to help your children in rigging, de-rigging and storage of all club and their own boats.
- You need to help out on Fridays – the sessions are entirely volunteer-led by parents and Club members, and parents are expected to lend a hand. You don’t need to be an experienced sailor (there is all sorts of help needed!), and it's fun to be involved. Help will include things like launching, recovery and storage of safety boats and the Junior boats (bring suitable clothing and be prepared to get wet!), galley, and tidying up at the end of the session. (Failure to help may lead to exclusion in future years)
- Children need to own and wear suitable clothing including: buoyancy aid, wetsuit, wetsuit boots & gloves, hat and waterproofs. (There is a rail of outgrown junior clothing at the Club, which is available to buy; and Facebook Marketplace - one possible group is here - and ebay are both good sources of outgrown kit)
- Parents must ensure their child’s boat is seaworthy, registered with the Club Berth Marshall (whether it is kept at SYC or not), and insured in accordance with Club rules.
- Parents need to take responsibility for making sure that your child abides by the safety rules. (These will be issued at the 1st training session each year)
How to get Involved?
The SYC Junior Nights are for the children of SYC Family Members, who are aged between 8 and 18 inclusive on the 1st April of that year. They take place on Friday evenings from April to mid-July (with informal free sailing sessions often continuing on Friday evenings through the summer holidays), and cater for both beginner to competent sailors.
Children need to be changed and have boats rigged for a prompt 6pm start.
The sessions are organised and run by Club volunteers who are RYA Instructors, Assistant Instructors or Race Coaches, with the aim of encouraging children to sail, race and have safe fun on the water. We may also be running a younger splash group from 6 – 8 year olds, to act as a taster for water sports and sailing.
The cost is £44/child per season which contributes towards maintenance and fuel for the club dinghies, safety boats and equipment. Fees are payable with your annual membership renewal.
Interested in signing up?
All ages from 8+ and all experience levels are welcome, although there is a limit to the number of beginners we can take. Sessions start March or April (usually around when the clocks change) and run through until the start of the summer holidays in July. There are then often informal sessions - as well as the regatta - which run through the summer holidays.
You can express interest at any time of the year here, and we will let you know sometime in February whether you have been successful. You need to be a member of SYC to join the junior section, but you can apply to SYC at the same time as applying to join juniors. Current SYC members have priority for places until January 31st after which places will be opened up to new applicants in order of application.
We will contact all returning Juniors via Slack with details of how to join for the coming year.