Competitive Dinghy Racing for Southern MD Teens

OVERVIEW

FALL 2020 UPDATE:

ISSA competition and programming will not occur this season. Maryland youth sailing programs including SCC are planning an independent practice and racing schedule to keep competition opportunities available!


Our high school sailing program allows students from schools throughout southern MD to participate in Varsity and Junior Varsity sailing in the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA). Middle school students are also encouraged to participate in our practices and some lower-level competitions. Sailing is an active high school sport in both the spring and fall seasons, running March-May and September-November respectively. Any student is welcome to participate in our program, regardless of whether a sailing team exists at their school.


Our teams actively participate in fleet racing and team racing, which are both demanding and satisfying aspects of the sport. Fleet racing could be described as a track race with one boat trying to complete a racecourse circuit faster than all other competitors. Team racing adds an extra dynamic with 3 boats from one team facing off against 3 boats from another team, much like a game in many contact sports. Both of these disciplines require a good knowledge of racing tactics and strategy, as well as a synergy between team members.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE


Our Fall 2020 season will run from August 31st through November 1st, with intermittent weekend events.


We get kids sailing every weekday afternoon, to maximize fun and learning on the water! We have opportunities for high-school- and middle-school-aged students, in both our FJ's and our fleet of prams.


Practices are held from 3:00PM to 6:30PM Monday-Friday. This season, our COVID-19 precautions include smaller group sizes of 12 sailors per practice. Each group will be able to practice either once or twice a week.


Our Head Coach, Josh Morrison, determines individual sailors’ placement into a group. Registration is by approval only, so make sure to reach out to Coach Josh right away at programs@somdsailing.org to secure a spot!


Sailors from around St. Mary's County all practice together, building a camaraderie among our sailors. This makes regional competitions fun, as we are often our own biggest rivals!


EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS

  • USCG-approved Type 3 PFD
  • Shoes or dinghy boots (no bare toes allowed!)
  • Wetsuit or drysuit required under some conditions
  • Sailing gloves recommended for protection from blisters and cold
  • Helmets optional; concussions have occurred at practice and regattas


REGATTA SELECTION


Not every sailor is able to attend every regatta. Sailing is a unique sport in that only a small number of team members participate in a single regatta. 


For fleet race regattas, 2 skippers and between 2-4 crews will be selected.


A team race regatta requires 3 skippers and 3-5 crews from one team.


Coach Josh selects sailors to attend regattas based on the type of regatta, skill, attitude, availability, attendance at practices, and competitive conditions (weight, etc).



PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

SCC wants the entire family to be involved in our children's programs!


Parent involvement is crucial to the success of our high school teams. We need parental help in support at our home regattas and a continuous presence on land and water at practices.


Additionally, the responsibility for travel arrangements to away regattas lies with the sailors and their parents.

National Structure

National high school sailing follows this structure:

  • Maryland/DC Interscholastic Sailing Association (MDISA): our “league”, in which most of our competitions take place. Basic, state-level competition as in any high school sport.
  • Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Sailing Association (MASSA): our “district”, to which our varsity teams are eligible to advance given a sufficient season ranking. MASSA extends from New York to Virginia.
  • Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA): national governing body and the highest level of scholastic competition, to which we hope to advance one day!