2-Week Half-Day Sessions: Starting June 10, 2024 

Schedule: 9-noon Monday through Friday  THIS IS NEW in 2024! 

Program Cost: $500 per student

Macatawa Bay Junior Association (MBJA) offers an array of resources with the goal of teaching students how to sail. Additionally, we also provide expert instruction on how to race. Naturally, these learn-to-race courses—both our Optimist and 420/Laser programs—place a greater emphasis on racing tactics.  

We are very pleased to announce that Coach Cappy Capper will be part of our race coaching team in 2024! Also back to coach will be Eden Nykamp and LJ Nykamp! 

Sailboat racing classes also expand and solidify knowledge and confidence levels related to safety aboard. Repeated exercises in our sailboat racing course help students master techniques while developing that muscle memory. Even if the ultimate goal is cruising (and not racing), this experience in our performance sailing school is invaluable in establishing a robust understanding of what safe and efficient sailing means. 

Optimist Learn-to-Race
This program is geared towards younger sailors who are enrolled in 2nd -7th grade (8-12 years old), possess some sailing experience and have expressed an interest in competitive sailing. 

The primary focus is on improving boat speed, rounding marks, starts/finishes, and basic racing tactics. Regatta participation on Fridays is included, and strongly encouraged. These are perfect events for beginners as they promote and establish a wide array of abilities. To help students learn fundamental skills, they will participate in the WMYSA and MBJA Club Series on alternating Fridays. Tuition fees cover training at the sailing center and coaching at regattas. 

We recommend two or more two-week sessions for sailors who really want to improve their racing skills. Graduates from this class should consider joining Team Mac and the MBJA High School Team

Club Racing on Fridays!
On Fridays opposite the WMYSA regattas, we will be doing club racing (Optis, lasers, 420’s) during the afternoons. If you are signed up for race class, you will automatically be in this mini-regatta. We will be strongly encouraging students to participate in our inter-club Friday racing (as well as WMYSA events) even if they are not currently registered for the session. Opti racers have the option of bringing their lunch on Fridays and staying after class to race in the afternoon. 

WMYSA Team Mac Racing 

To help students learn fundamental skills, they will participate in West Michigan Youth Sailing Association (WMYSA) regattas held on Fridays at various nearby lakes throughout the summer. For qualified sailors, travel to out-of-state regattas is also available and encouraged. Tuition fees cover training at the sailing center and coaching at regattas. Fees for registration, travel and additional regattas expenses are not included.

The WMYSA Regatta schedule for 2024: 

Do we need a boat?
For this program, all boats are provided by the MBJA. However, if you have your own Opti, you are welcome to store it in the MBJA area during the session you are registered for.