SESSION 2: July 18 - August 17 (Includes break for Marblehead Junior Race Week & NOOD Regatta)
The purpose of Pleon is to involve as many young people as possible in the sport of sailing in a fun, educational atmosphere. As a club with youth leadership and outstanding coaches, Pleon offers unique opportunities for personal growth in an environment that fosters confidence, independence, teamwork, sportsmanship and life-long friendships.
Pleon Summer Sailing runs from late June through mid-August and is open to children who have completed 3rd grade and higher. The club offers fun sailing and competitive racing options including multiple two-week Intro-To-Pleon session for 8-year-olds as a low-key way to try it out. No previous sailing experience or affiliation with other clubs is required.
In addition to on-the-water experience, Pleon also provides members with a variety of additional summertime activities. Social events include cookouts, movie nights, Great Day, the Commodore's Ball and Awards Night as well as extracurricular experiences. The club often hosts regattas including regional, national and international class championships, and the epic, annual Marblehead Junior Race Week.
Intro to Pleon: Age 8-9 (2nd-3rd grade)
Class Overview: Pleon maintains a strong emphasis on fun sailing and sailing-related games. The Intro to Pleon class is a two week class for sailors who have little or no prior single-handed boating experience. It is open to sailors 8 years or older who have completed 2nd grade and is intended to make them feel comfortable in Pleon's environment and build confidence on the water. The fun will be the main focus, topics will include boat rigging, water safety, and basic sailing. Children will sail in an Opti solo or paired up with another sailor.
Skills Taught: - Identify parts of the boat - Exposure to rigging with coaches - Learning how a tiller works - Getting comfortable in a boat on the water
Objectives: Have Fun! - Build confidence on the water - Engage young sailors with sailing fundamentals - Introduce the basics of rigging, boat handling, and safety
Boat Ownership: Boats are provided by Pleon. - Club boats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. - Once all club boats have been assigned, space in the class may be limited to those who have their own boat.
What to Wear & Bring: Coast Guard certified life jacket (required every day) - Clothing: quick-dry shorts and shirts, warm layer, light raincoat (spray top is optional) - Footwear: closed-toe water-friendly shoes - Gear / Accessories: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, sailing gloves, towel
Optimist 1: Ages 9-10
Class Overview: Pleon maintains a strong emphasis on fun sailing and sailing-related games throughout the Opti 1 class. This class is for sailors who have little or no prior single-handed boating experience, including those who have taken the Intro to Pleon class last season. The Opti 1 class is taught in the single-handed Opti, with occasional days sailing Sonars. Opti 1 offers sailors a fun learning environment while nurturing important life skills: responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Objectives: - Foster a love of sailing as a recreational sport - By the end of the program, sailors are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the parts of the boat, sail, and rig, sailing nomenclature, and the fundamentals of rigging, boat handling, points of sail, water safety and seamanship.
Boat Ownership: - Boats are provided by Pleon, but those sailors who own a boat are welcome to bring it to Pleon. - Club boats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. - Once all club boats have been assigned, space in the class may be limited to those who have their own boat.
What to Wear & Bring - Coast Guard certified life jacket (required every day) - Clothing: quick-dry shorts and shirts, warm layer, light raincoat (spray top is optional) - Footwear: closed-toe water-friendly shoes - Gear / Accessories: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, sailing gloves, towel
Optimist 2: Ages 9-11
Pleon maintains a strong emphasis on fun sailing and sailing-related games throughout the Opti 2 class. This class is for sailors who have successfully completed the Opti 1 class or equivalent. The curriculum is an extension of the Opti 1 class with an emphasis on independence in rigging, boat handling, and boat care. This is primarily a non-racing class. However, for those sailors recommended taking part in Marblehead Junior Race Week, the basics of racing will be covered. Classes will be taught in Optis, with occasional sailing in Sonars. Sailors who choose to only sail in Session 1 will likely be recommended to repeat the Opti 2 class the following summer. Opti 2 offers sailors a fun learning environment while nurturing important life skills: responsibility, independence, confidence, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
Opti 3 Typical Age Range 10 - 12 year olds (Grades 6th & 7th)
Pleon's Opti 3 class is for sailors who have successfully completed the Opti 2 class or equivalent. Opti 3 will be the first introduction to racing for most sailors. Sailors will continue to improve their sailing skills through more advanced boat handling techniques and simple tactical planning and decision making while they learn basic racing skills through drills and practice racing.
Skills Taught: Proper sail trim and body positioning to maintain control at all points of sail (upwind, downwind, reaching); Tack and gybe from/to any point of sail in control; Sailing in crowded situations; Sailing around a triangular course; Understanding basic race courses, starting sequence, and basic racing nomenclature.
Typical Regattas: There are several regattas throughout Mass Bay to expose sailors to low pressure 'Green Fleet' regattas that cater to first-year racers, such as: Manchester Green Fleet Regatta, Squam Day, and Marblehead Junior Race Week.
Opti Development - Typical Age Range 11-13 Year olds (Grades 6th,7th, & 8th)
Pleon's Opti Development class is for sailors who have completed Opti 3 and are motivated to continue sailing in a more race-focused environment. The sailors in this class are introduced to more advanced rigging and boat handling techniques. The class will have a heavier racing focus and sailors are encouraged to compete in local and regional regattas in their age-appropriate fleet (White, Blue and Red Fleets are age-based subsets of 'Championship' racing). Sailors in this class are encouraged to own their own boat.
Skills Taught: Introduction to racing in the Championship Fleet; Understand weight placement and sailing in different wind and wave conditions; Describe how to determine favored end of the start line; Understand concepts of clean air and wind shadow; Basic racing tactics.
Typical Regattas: Sailors in Opti Development compete in local and regional Championship Fleet regattas, such as: New Bedford Junior Regatta, Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, Marblehead Junior Race Week, Squam Day, Duxbury Junior Regatta, Scituate Junior Regatta.
Opti Race Team - Typical Age Rance 11-14 (Grades 7th, 8th, & 9th)
Pleon's Opti Race Team is focused on competing on a regional and national level. Sailors in this class typically compete in regattas throughout New England during the summer and focus much of their time at Pleon on fine tuning race specific techniques. The sailors are taught to work together in order to achieve their collective and individual goals.
Skills Taught: Understanding starting techniques and reading the race course; Controlling boat speed and fine-tuning boat handling; Regatta preparation; Understanding racing rules.
Typical Regattas: Sailors in Opti Race travel to several regattas throughout the summer season, such as: New Bedford Junior Regatta, Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, Marblehead Junior Race Week, Duxbury Junior Regatta, Scituate Junior Regatta, USODA New Englands.
420-1 Typical Age Range 13-15 year Olds (8th & 9th graders)
Pleon's 420-1 class is meant for sailors who are new to the 420 sailboat. The 420-1 class is typically comprised of sailors who have prior sailing experience, either in Optis or Keelboats, but who are looking for an introduction to a high-performance double-handed boat. The focus of this class is to familiarize sailors with the 420 and to understand the basics of a double-handed boat, including an introduction to trapezing, spinnakers and understanding sail trim and weight-placement. The 420-1 class continues to emphasize sailing in a fun, low-intensity environment with minimal focus on racing.
Skills Taught: Understanding rigging and parts of a 420; Understanding a high-performance boat; Understanding how to start and stop a 420; tacking and gybing.
420-2 Typical Age Range: 14 - 17 year olds (9th - 12th Grade)
Pleon's 420-2 class is meant for sailors who have a desire to spend time both racing and improving their overall sailing ability. It is geared toward sailors who have prior experience sailing in 420s. In this class sailors will be introduced to more advanced boat handling maneuvers, race-specific rigging concepts, strategy and tactics, as well as overall sailing skills. While racing will be an important component of the curriculum, there is not an expectation that sailors compete in national/regional events. Furthermore, sailors will spend some classes exploring non-racing aspects of sailing.
Skills Taught: Communication with sailing partner; Moderate and advanced 420 boat-handling and sail trim; Introduction to racing concepts and racing rules; Broader sailing skills.
Typical Regattas: Sailors in 420-2 may compete in local Mass Bay regattas, such as: Manchester Green (420), Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, Marblehead Junior Race Week, Squam Day
420 Development: Ages 14-17 (9th - 12th Grade)
420 Development Team (420-D) is meant for sailors who have raced - typically in Optis – at a high level for a number of years and are motivated to continue sailing in a very race-focused environment, but have limited experience sailing 420s. The class will have a heavy racing focus and sailors will be expected to compete in the appropriate local and regional regattas. The class will cover rigging and basic boat handling in an accelerated manner so that sailors can focus on more advanced concepts such as spinnaker and trapeze work, racing tactics, and 420 sail trim and tuning. Sailors in this class are encouraged to own their own boat.
Skills Taught: 420 Rigging & tuning; Skippering & crewing the 420; Basic and advanced boat handling and sail trim; Advanced racing concepts and racing rules.
Typical Regattas: Sailors in 420-D compete in local Mass Bay regattas, such as: Manchester Green (420), Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, Marblehead Junior Race Week, Squam Day, New Bedford Junior Regatta.
420 Race Typical Age Range 14-18 (9th - 12th Grade)
Pleon's 420 Race Team is meant for sailors who have a desire to race on the regional and national level. Sailors on the team typically travel to regattas throughout New England during the summer and push each other to compete on a high level. There is a strong emphasis on independence as sailors are expected to prepare for regattas largely on their own. The class schedule includes sailing Monday - Friday, 11:00-5:00. Off-site practice sessions may be scheduled to expose sailors to a broad range of sailing conditions (high wind, waves, current, etc). Sailors in this class are encouraged to own their own boat. This class is full-season only.
Skills Taught: Advanced starting techniques and racing tactics; Understanding starting and stopping a boat; Covering and wind-shadows; Advanced understanding of racing rules; Team racing
Typical Regattas: Sailors compete in several regional and national regattas throughout summer, such as: Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, New Bedford Junior Regatta, C420 Nationals, C420 North American's, Bemis Qualifier, CJ Buckley Team Race, Marblehead Junior Race Week, Buzzards Bay Regatta.
Laser 1 & 2
These classes are for sailors 12 or older who have successfully completed Opti 3, have a solid understanding of sailing and want to learn to race or improve their racing skills in the Laser 4.7, Radial or Full Rig. Smaller sailors (under approximately 115 pounds) should plan to start in the 4.7 rig. The Laser is a single-handed dinghy that is raced competitively worldwide. The Laser is a great boat for someone who has outgrown an Opti but still wants to pursue single-handed sailing.
Laser 1 - Typical Age Range: 12-14
Pleon's Laser 1 class is for sailors who are new to sailing a Laser and would like to understand the fundamentals of sailing a high-performance single-handed boat. The class is comprised of sailors who have prior sailing experience, either in Optimists or in Keelboats. The sailors in the class will work on rigging, weight-placement and boat-handling. In addition, the Laser 1 class will begin to understand a race course and the fundamentals of racing, including starting, mark roundings, sailing upwind/downwind and tacking and gybing techniques.
Skills Taught: Rigging a laser; Developing comfort in a single-handed high-performance boat; Understanding sail-trim and basic maneuvering in a laser.
Keelboat 1 - Typical Age Range 11-13 year olds (5th - 8th Grade)
Keelboat 1 is intended for sailors who wish to improve their fundamental sailing skills – boat handling, sail trim, skippering – while also getting some exposure to the basics of navigation and cruising. After completing Keelboat 1, sailors will either continue to Keelboat 2 or move into a dinghy program (420/Laser). Keelboat 1 sailors will spend most of their time in the Pleon owned Sonars practicing fundamental sailing skills that will make them successful on any boat – skippering, sail trim, spinnaker sets and take towns, and boat handling in all wind conditions. Sailing a keelboat is social and creates a strong sense of teamwork among the class. Activities include long distance sails around the local islands or to a destination for ice cream. Sailing a keelboat is social and creates a strong sense of teamwork among the class.
Keelboat 2 - Typical age Range: 13 - 15 year olds (8th, 9th, & 10th Grade)
Keelboat 2 is intended for experienced sailors who are interested in pushing their sailing beyond the boundaries of small one design boats and are excited to learn about the ocean environment and the marine industry. Sailors will spend time in the Sonars practicing fundamental sailing skills that will make them successful on any boat – skippering, sail trim, spinnaker sets and takedowns, and advanced boat handling in all wind conditions. Students will also learn the foundations of navigation and other key cruising skills. Guest instructors from institutions such as SEA (boat captains and scientists) and local boat builders and sail makers also join the class from time to time. Sailing a keelboat is social and creates a strong sense of teamwork among the class. Activities include long distance sails around the local islands or to a destination for ice cream.
Evening + Friday Keelboat Racing Typical Age Range 13 - 17 year olds
Evening Keelboat Racing is a new class offering designed to introduce Keelboat racing to youth sailors. This class will have the opportunity to compete in the Wednesday evening MRA services and will work on sailing skills associated with Keelboats. Sailors will spend time in the Sonars practicing fundamental sailing skills that will make them successful on any boat – skippering, sail trim, spinnaker sets and takedowns, and advanced boat handling in all wind conditions. This class is intended for sailors who want to do additional sailing in addition to their other Pleon classes as well as sailors who may be busy during the afternoon with other activities. We welcome sailors to take this class in addition to other Pleon classes.