FAQ Junior Racing

What if if I've never sailed before, can I come to a practice and check it out?Yes, you are welcome to come to a practice to see what it is like. Send Coach Molly director@pysf.us an email and let her know when you are hoping to visit. At practice, you will ride along with the Coach in the motorboat and sometimes get in a sailboat if the conditions allow. Please make sure to bring the signed permission form.

What do my kids need to bring to practice?

  • Sunscreen, water bottle, lifejacket, sailing boots, gloves, spray gear, bailer, chin guards, and most importantly a good attitude and an open mind!
  • Gear: West Coast Sailing is a great site that has most everything you are looking for. http://www.westcoastsailing.net
  • Bailer: don't spend money on a bailer. An Arizona Ice Tea jug, or a big bottle of Tropicana Orange Juice with the bottom cut off work perfectly. As you drink up save the bottles and "recycle" them to PYSF as one can never have enough bailers. (plastic jugs of bleach, milk, etc. work as well, but the rectangle shape of the juice bottles works well with the flat edge being flush with the floor of the boat)
  • Chin Guards: This is personal choice, but as one is learning to crew in FJ's and skipper in 420's they bang their chins a lot. You will see many college sailors wear them. Again, personal preference, not mandatory.

What boats can kids learn to sail at PYSF?

PYSF has a fleet of boats that include:
  • Optimist -- designed for younger children. sailed by 1 person, has a single sail
  • Laser -- designed for people of all ages, has a single sail, sailed by 1 person
  • Flying Junior -- the most common HS sailing boat, sailed by 2 people, has 2 sails
  • C420 dinghies-- sailed by 2 people, has a spinnaker and trapeze for the crew.

What if I don't own a boat?

PYSF supplies the boats for the kids to practice and race in. As the kids progress in their racing, they will need to purchase their own boats and sails, as our level of equipment is at the intro level.  For High School sailing, all boats are provided.

How do I sail a C420 if I don't have a skipper or crew?

Skippers and crews get paired during practice. The kids check their schedules for competing in a regatta together. Most of the kids that enroll in the 420 practice do not have a set skipper or crew and are looking for partners.

What is the difference between High School and Junior Sailing?

High School sailing is comprised of seven districts, or conferences throughout the United States. California is part of the Pacific Coast District (PCISA). Sailors compete under their schools name. PYSF has high school students from over 10 schools throughout the area that all practice together. They then compete in regattas during the High School racing season (September - May). Boats used in High School sailing are mainly Flying Juniors, but 420s (without spinnakers or trapezes) and Lasers are also used. 

Junior Sailing is comprised of all Yacht Club and Sailing Center regattas around the country governed by US Sailing. Boats used in Junior Regattas are extensive (Optimists, El Toros, FJs, C420s, Lasers, 29ers, etc). Racing occurs all year.

What regattas do PYSF sailors participate in and what is the difference between all of these series?

  • PCISA - A series of of CFJ races hosted by PCISA and ISSA, that takes place throughout the school year. Skipper and crew must be from the same school (with rare exceptions). High Schools sail as a combined team of two boats. The combined scores for the series qualifies your school for the Pacific Coast Championship. The Pacific Coast Championship then qualifies you for the ISSA National Championship.
  • NorCal - A series of races that is hosted by Northern California Yacht Clubs and PCISA. Skipper and crew must be from the same school (with rare exceptions). Teams sail as one boat. The combined score from the entire series qualifies your school for the NorCal Championship. Your school must compete in at least 6 of the 11 NorCal regattas in order to qualify.
  • BAYS - A series of races where junior boats can race against each other (Opti Green, Opti Championship, Laser Full, Radial, 4.7, CFJ, C420, 29er). BAYS stands for Bay Area Youth Sailing. All sailors represent their yacht clubs at all series.

Where can I find information about high school sailing and the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association?

PCISA (Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association)
ISSA (Interscholastic Sailing Association)