If you are looking for a great place to have fun and learn how to sail, check out the program at Shennecossett Yacht Club (SYC) in Groton, CT. Located next to UConn’s Avery Point Campus, SYC is just minutes from I-95, I-395, Route 1 and Route 117.

In 2009, Bill Gaynor, SYC’s Director of Sailing, restarted the club’s junior sailing program. If Bill’s name is familiar, that’s because he’s the recently retired Head Sailing Coach at Stonington High School and previously worked as a sailing instructor for both Mystic Seaport museum and Town of Groton. The SYC program has grown to include more than 90 youth and adult students each season, although classes are generally limited to 17 students. Two senior instructors, who are US Sailing certified, and four junior instructors, work under Bill’s direction.

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The SYC Sailing School offers three class levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Introduction to Racing. In addition, the Sailing School participates in local junior regattas and qualified students are eligible to compete on SYC’s team. Courses run from Monday to Thursday, from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, with a break for lunch. Lunch can be enjoyed on our covered porch or grassy lawn. Classroom training takes place inside the spacious clubhouse, and on-the-water training is held in beautiful Pine Island Bay, a protective cove that allows students to enjoy an easier early sailing experience in calm waters.

SYC maintains 21 boats for the Sailing School, including Optis, Flying Juniors and Club 420s. Boats can be used for practice at non-class times, with appropriate supervision, by Sailing School students whose parents are club members. The annual Sailing School picnic is held at the end of the season for all students, their parents and families. Before the festivities begin, students are invited to sail, under supervision. Everyone then gathers for a cookout, certificates are distributed, and awards are presented.

To learn more about the SYC Sailing School and see the 2019 class schedule, visit syc-ct.com. Online registration and payment is available. Keep in mind that classes fill up early. For more information, please contact Bill Gaynor at sailingschool@syc-ct.com.