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Sailing and Racing

Sailing Overview

Our Junior programs range from introductory with a focus on developing a love for the lifelong sport of sailing, to competitive racing locally, regionally and international world class events.

Our Instructors:

Meg Deegan - Waterfront Coordinator.  Meg and her husband Greg are long time members of SCYC and St Croix.  Meg has an extensive sailing background, with a passion for teaching sailing, she is a US Sailing Level 2 Instructor and holds a USCG Captains License.  She also has diverse experience in the profit, non-profit industries and financial management.  Meg energetically covers a mix of office administration and waterfront duties at SCYC for which we all are very appreciative.

Doug DeRue - Instructor.  Doug and his wife Cecy are long time SCYC members, islanders and impassioned        supporters of Junior Sailing.  Doug holds a US Sailing Level 1 Certification and digs sharing his lifelong love of sailing , but Doug's true passion is Beach Cats (and Cecy).  Doug has served as Club Manager, Board Member and continues as an Instructor and a tireless volunteer willing to jump in where/whenever needed.

Assistant Instructors:

Lucia Bishop - US Sailing Instructor - Level 2
Mathieu Dale - US Sailing Assistant Instructor - Level 2 
Elyssa Franklyn - Assistant Instructor
Alex Tonin - Assistant Instructor

Sailing Blog

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  • August 05, 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Youth Sailing: That was then, this is now

    Published on August 2nd, 2022

    Antony Barran reflects on the changes since his youth years in the 1970s and 80s in Marina Del Rey, CA.

    My early years were a very different time in sailing. There were no RIBs or professional coaches. The thought of sailing at college wasn’t a way into a great school, it was what you did once accepted to that school; thus, a solid high school academic career was the path taken to university.

    Sailing was an avocation. Today, it’s very different.

    My wife and I now split our time evenly between the west and east coasts, and we are slowly re-engaging in sailing, at the behest of our mid to late 20s children, after a more than 10 year sabbatical from it.

    I have the luxury, on occasion of wandering down to the Coconut Grove Sailing Club (Miami, FL) on a random Thursday afternoon to have a drink and relax as work permits. I never cease to be amazed at the accuracy of the AYSO/Club Soccer analogy shared in Scuttlebutt.

    There sitting at the club are a cabal of mothers and nannies. Their kids are out sailing with a professional coach and they sit in a folding chair, facing the water, book/work/laptop in hand; oblivious to the surroundings.

    I have asked them if they are from sailing families: “No” they reply. This should be great news. But alas, probing deeper you realize that the simple reality is they see this as a way to better complete a college application to a Tier 1 school.

    This isn’t anything more than a pathway into a good college. The family does not, nor will it ever be a “sailing family”. Once the high school student graduates the family will leave sailing as if it was an inconvenience no different from a bit of gum on the bottom of their shoe.

    My peers grew up in sailing families that raced actively. We were part of a community that was built around sailing. In the summer, we did three nights a week of racing – Tuesday and Thursday racing in Sabots and Lasers and Wednesdays racing big boats. We sailed 5-7 days a week.

    There were no coaches. We would coach each other. Our parents watched our races with interest. The few juniors that were really good were given opportunities to sail on the top keel boats in the area.

    I was always a fairly average sailor compared to my peer group. However, that set me up to be a solid, reliable sailor on almost any boat. More importantly, being average amongst the juniors around me in Marina Del Rey meant I was a much better sailor than the average adult.

    So I got to sail on keel boats in good positions interacting with the adults on a level playing field. That, more than anything, was the most important classroom I’ve had. Interacting at 12 with corporate executives, learning to speak their language, understand how they thought and realizing they are “just people” gave me a significant leg up on my professional peers in later years.

    Today’s junior sailing is focused on the same things that soccer and baseball prioritize: find the players that have a rare combination of natural talent and physical attributes and nurture them to the expense of all others. Idolize the top 5% and discard the remaining 95%.

    Sailing has become the same thing. Get good in an Optimist, qualify for big regattas and maybe some internationals. Sail doublehanded dinghies in college. Then leave the sport. Why are we wasting the other 95% of the kids that could become life-long sailors?

    Please don’t misconstrue my thoughts as a desire to unwind the current status quo. I do not. It’s not a zero-sum game. Rather, I would like to add to it. I believe that sailing needs to broaden its thinking. It needs to stop trying to fit the sport into a single narrative.

    For most National Authorities, the focus is on the Olympics. I have always found it interesting that US Sailing is the only federation in the Northern Hemisphere that sees a dual purpose of making money off big boat certificates and Olympic success. I think their results speak for themselves…not so glowingly.

    I believe there are two areas of sailing that could be leveraged to drive significant returns in the form of life-long participation and benefit for both the kids and the community:
    1. College Offshore Sailing: I have recently spent quite a bit of time interacting with the College of Charleston and their Offshore Sailing Program. We keep our boat in Charleston and have opened it up for the offshore team to sail with us. Our first regatta was Charleston Race Week. The College had three boats racing with team members and alumni; ours was one of them. Notice I said that former team members were still coming back to sail on their keel boats. Busy with nascent careers, it allows them to stay connected. Offshore racing, less obvious than the dinghy teams, is a place for people that don’t have the correct physical attributes for a college dinghy racing.

    2. Community Sailing Programs: When on the West Coast, I live in a county of Washington State that is very small, has an amazing and overlooked sailing heritage, and a 20% high school dropout rate. My family is committed to building a local community sailing program with small keel boats (something like a J/22, Merit 25, Sonar, or similar) that are available for rent to the community, but primarily focused on an afterschool program for sailing. I believe sailing is a fabulous platform to get kids excited about STEM. As many know, the STEM side of education is often seen by students as the most repugnant and least relevant part of education and a significant contributor to the dropout rate.
    We, as a community, need to embrace and welcome new families to our sport. But to truly succeed, we need to create new channels and entry points. Ones that are not focused solely on Collegiate and Olympic sailing, but rather, winning at life.

  • September 01, 2021 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • August 22, 2021 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Racing begins at 29er World Champs

    Published on August 26th, 2021

    Valencia, Spain (August 26, 2021) – The 2021 Zhik 29er World Championship got underway today for the 189 teams which completed three qualifying races in a building sea breeze which reached 15 knots near the end of final race which saw the Oscar flag flying to signal pumping under class rules was allowed. With two days of qualifying remaining, the early leaders are Antonia Schultheis/ Ole Ulrich (MLT) with top North Americans JJ Klempen/ Steven Hardee (ISV) and Sophie Fisher/ Hoel Menard (USA) in third and fourth respectively.

    Racing for the 189 teams on August 26-31. All competitors must be at least 13 years of age in 2021 with no maximum age, and prizes will recognize the top men’s and women’s teams along with the top teams under 17 years of age.

    North America is represented by seven teams:

    JJ Klempen and Steven Hardee (ISV):  18th

    Sophie Fisher and Hoel Menard (USA)
    Sammie Gardner and Alice Schmid (USA)
    Ian Nyenhuis and Noah Nyenhuis (USA)
    Anton Schmid and Peter Joslin (USA)
    Fynn Olsen and Pierce Olsen (USA)
    Griffin Gigliotti and Jack Welburn (USA)

  • August 04, 2021 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    USVI sailor wins national sailing award . Article below.

    USVI sailor wins national sailing award.pdf

  • June 24, 2021 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our very own Mathieu Dale  has clinched 4th in the International Laser Class Association, National Championship! 

    Result Link: https://theclubspot.com/regatta/RE55JpGbfE/results

    Event info: https://theclubspot.com/regatta/RE55JpGbfE

  • October 01, 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For many young people, sailing has been a bright spot in an otherwise challenging year. Getting on the water provides a respite from the difficulties of school and personal lives that have been disrupted, and the opportunity to disconnect from the day to day, digital world. I wanted to share a brief letter from Youth Advisory Board member Emma Friedauer on the impact that sailing has on kids and teenagers, and to highlight her passion for sailboat racing.

    By Emma Friedauer, US Sailing Youth Advisory Board  

    When I race, I feel like I belong. The racecourse is where I can go to decompress after a stressful week and spend time with my teammates and best friends. I have a sense of importance, focus, and drive when I’m racing, supported by a team that is practically my family. Sailing has become my happy place. 

    One of the most important things I’ve learned from racing is that there is always room for improvement. I can now apply this to all aspects of my life. In school I won’t give up when a certain subject or lesson is challenging. At work I try my best to do every part of my job to the best of my ability, because I know that the details will be important in the long run. Racing has taught me many life lessons that I may not have learned otherwise. 

    Together, my sailing community has become a family. We’ve learned how to support each other, on and off the water, encourage each other when we are struggling, and cheer each other on when we are succeeding. The sport of sailing has a way of unifying us, no matter our differences. It has changed my life forever and I will continue to pursue sailing for the rest of my life. 

    At US Sailing, we feel it is critical to see the sport from the participants perspective, especially kids. Thank you for your support of US Sailing’s Youth programs. Together we can help more kids like Emma grow into lifelong sailors.


    John Pearce, US Sailing Youth Director

  • March 05, 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    St Croix Yacht Club Laser Radial Sailor Places at 2020 Laser Midwinters East Regatta  

    The 2020 Laser Midwinters East Regatta held February 19-23 in Clearwater, FL saw challenging conditions, from no wind to over 20 knots of breeze with temperatures as in the high 40 on some days.  After ten races and a lot of hard sailing with over 80 boats in this highly competitive Laser Radial fleet, ISV sailors made it to the podium.

    Mateo Di Blasi finished 5th (STYC), Mathieu Dale 8th (SCYC) and Julian van den Driessche  21st (STCY). The top 8 finishers received trophies.  

    Midwinters East is the second in a three event qualifying series for the ISV Laser Radial sailors for the Youth World Championship to be held in Brazil in December 2020.  

    Top Finishers Laser Radial Class Midwinters East

    Coach Erik Bowers with ISV Laser Radial Sailors Mathieu Dale (SCYC) and  Mateo Di Blasi (STYC)

  • February 19, 2020 1:14 PM | Anonymous member

    Congratulations to both JJ and Lucy Klempen who are just 2 points out of first place with 20 points at the 29’rs Mid-Winter’s East Regatta at the Miami Yacht Club.  Our other St. Croix boat, Milo Miller and Steve Hardee are in 8th place with 42 points.  A total of 24 boats competed.  Great job, St. Croix Sailors!

  • January 17, 2020 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ten Socio-Emotional Benefits of Sailing

    Published on July 5th, 2018

    by Samantha Yom, SingaporeSailing

    There’s something about sailing that makes it quite unlike other sports. More than just skill and strategy, it teaches certain values that shape sailors into the unique athletes that they are.

    Yet, we’re often so focused on the physical aspects of sailing that we forget how much we stand to gain from the sport – both socially and emotionally. So here’s a list of the top 10 socio-emotional benefits of sailing.

    1. Grit

    You could say that just about any sport offers a lesson on resilience, but sailing is a sport that demands an inner strength far greater than most.

    In this sport, it’s sailor versus the elements. Whether you’re a novice experiencing strong winds for the first time or a national sailor met with three-meter high waves in foreign waters, you learn to keep fighting – no matter how uncomfortable it is. Capsize? Just upright your boat and keep sailing.

    2. Confidence

    Most sailors’ foray into the sport begins with the Optimist. It’s a single-handed boat, which means it’s controlled by a sole sailor. Alone on the boat, sailors – as young as six or seven – are constantly required to make their own decisions. They don’t always make the right ones, but the opportunity to think for themselves helps them grow in self-confidence.

    Once you’ve conquered three-meter high waves, you can do almost anything.

    3. Teamwork

    Though they sail individually, sailors are forced to work together from day one. After all, no one sailor can lift his or her Optimist boat alone. Over time, sailors gradually realize that working together not only helps speed things up, but also allows them to learn more from one another.

    4. Friendship

    Perhaps one of the most valuable takeaways from sailing is the friendships forged. It’s inevitable that sailors bond with one another during windless days and scary storms. You also get to make new friends with international sailors as well, especially during those international regattas.

    5. Sportsmanship

    Touched a mark without anyone catching you in the act? Complete your penalty anyway. Sailing is a self-governing sport, which means it’s completely up to sailors to abide by the rules and uphold the fairness of racing. It’s a matter of integrity and sailors learn the importance of playing fair and respecting the rules of the game.

    6. Learning to Lose

    In sailing, the conditions are ever-changing. Regattas are held over a few days and every day presents a different sailing condition. As a result, positions are always changing during a regatta – and even during a race itself. Unpredictable conditions also mean that you could go from leading a race to coming in dead last.

    You can’t win every single race in sailing, so sailors learn to accept defeat and move on – a particularly important skill since races are held back-to-back.

    7. Patience

    Whether it’s mastering a sailing maneuver or waiting for the next wind shift, sailing is a test of patience. Sailing maneuvers are so complex that it could take weeks of practice to execute them well, consistently.

    8. Responsibility

    Sailing is a sport that requires a fair bit of equipment. From bringing your sunglasses, gloves and wind indicator to cleaning your boat before a regatta – sailors learn to take ownership of their equipment from the very start of their sailing journey. They learn to be responsible for their decisions as well – be it a bad tactical decision or a sail setting.

    9. Managing Emotions

    As we’ve mentioned previously, sailing conditions can be quite unpredictable. It is through experiences of winning and losing that sailors gradually learn to control their emotions. They find ways to deal with their feelings when they’re alone on the boat – the joy, frustration, et cetera. At the end of the day, the best sailors are the ones who are able to best manage their emotions and prevent them from affecting their performance.

    10. Discipline

    Due to its nature, sailing can be quite a time-consuming sport. It takes up a significant amount of time on the weekends too – precious time that could be spent on school work or with friends. That being said, it builds a sense of discipline in sailors, as they learn to priorities the little time they have and stay focused.


    And with that, we realize how sailing is not just a sport that keeps you fit, but also one that develops you into a well-rounded individual – something far more important than winning medals.

  • January 17, 2020 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    GHCDS Varsity Sailing Team competes at South Points #4, Ransom Everglades HS, Miami, Florida

    The GHCDS Varsity Sailing Team traveled to Miami Florida this past weekend to compete in the South Points #4 regatta held at Ransom Everglades High School in Coconut Grove Florida.  

    The weather was perfect for sailing, sunny and with winds around 15 to 20 knots, which decreased to 10 to 15 knots as the day went on.

    More than 25 teams participated across both varsity and junior varsity teams. Each team participated in 6 races per division, all on 420 class boats.  Sailors did an excellent job on the water and during the rotations, navigating the narrow canal to the dock with ease.

    Our GHCDS Varsity team sailing in A division skipper Mathieu Dale, crew Lucy Klempen and  B division skipper JJ Klempen and crew Elyssa Franklin did a stellar job holding their own in this very competitive Varsity fleet finishing 4th overall! Go Panthers!  


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The Club is formed for the express purpose of promoting interest and activity in the ownership, racing and cruising of yachts and small boats; of providing a meeting place for members whose common interest lies in ships and the sea; of augmenting the recreational facilities and visitor attractions of the island; of exchange and courtesies with other yacht clubs of the United States and Caribbean islands, and of extending to visiting yachtsmen the hospitality of St. Croix.

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Office: 340-773-9531 
Fax:       888-344-8815 

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St. Croix Yacht Club|
5100 Teague Bay
C'sted, St. Croix 00820

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