April 2017


My name is Chris Beard, and I am excited to join the staff at SHYC as the new Program Director for the Sailing School. I grew up sailing in Maine, and it was those early experiences learning to sail which helped influence me to purse a career in education. Additionally, the many summers that I spent as a sailing instructor have helped shape my philosophies on teaching, and ensuring that instruction is designed to support many different levels of performance. 

I have been working along with Kelsey Shakin, David Leary and Drew Carlson with a particular focus on reinforcing the foundations of the program. Specifically, one of the goals Kelsey and I have been focused on is reviewing the curriculum of our different classes to make sure that we have a framework in place for instructors as they begin work week and start planning their individual class lessons. We would like to see the growth and development for both our racing program as well as the programming we offer to those sailors who are not interested in racing. All these preparations will help us have a great work week  in June and a really wonderful summer with the Sailing School!


SAILING SCHOOL PRESIDENT NOTES: Only 86 days until our Summer begins and the Sailing School is working hard to make a terrific 2017 Season. Here are some of the highlights of what we have been working on:

  • Expanded Adventure Sail @ SHYC -Kelsey and Chris have been working with other clubs to learn how best to use adventure sail techniques to engage our sailors at all levels of interest and ability. Maximizing both the fun and learning from time on the water will enhance the experiences of both our recreational and competitive sailors. For sailors aged 11-13 years old, there is even a new Adventure Sail Class!
  • Curricular Review of all Classes - Chris and Kelsey are working with Drew Carlson to review the curriculum for all classes – Hermits through Skippers – to ensure that the curriculum and associated instruction is at its best. The areas of focus are: hands on instruction in every class, friendship connections, varied approaches to engaging material, safety and fun.
  • Opti Program = New Names - Since the Opti program is not just about racing, we have re-named what used to be called Intro to Optis, Intermediate Opti and Advanced Opti Race Teams.  The classes now correspond to the general sailing level of the students: Optis for Seamen, Optis for Mates and Optis for Old Mates/Skippers.  This change will help connect the curriculum of the morning program with that of the specialized classes and will help foster friendships amongst children of same age range.
  • Expanded Shore School - Shore School for Seamen, Mates, and Old Mates will take place Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to noon;  no more hour long classes. With the addition of our new Sailing Center, we now have space to accommodate lessons for all three groups at the same time. This will give instructors time to work with students in small groups; make time for in-house clinics; and allow for STEM instruction.  It is also easier on parents and family schedules.
  • STEM Program - We are continuing with the STEM program again this summer and will have 4 staff trained by US Sailing in STEM teaching and focused on ensuring that it’s at its best.  The program will now be a part of Shore School.
  • Chris as new Program Director and Kelsey as Lead Instructor & Race Team Coordinator  We look forward to welcoming Chris Beard, whose enthusiasm and experience will help take SHSS to the next level.  You all know Kelsey and we are excited to introduce her in a new leadership role this summer.  In addition to serving as Chris’s #2, a significant focus of Kelsey’s job this summer will center on working with instructors and families to ensure that our instruction and coaching are as strong as possible.
  • More Flexible Registration Options and Cohesive Age Groupings: We have increased the scheduling options with the ability to add-on individual weeks to full session registrations and are encouraging students to move through the program in alignment with their age group. For information on additional options, such as partial session registration and placement for more or less experienced sailors, please reach out to us.
  • New Boats - We will have some new 420s, some club-owned Stand Up Paddle boards and some wind surfers and look forward to seeing Members of all ages out on the water as much as possible.

~David Leary


4/3 Early Registration Discount Ends
6/1 Sailing School Registration Ends
6/25 Opening Meeting
6/26 Session 1 Starts
7/6 SHYC Opti Regatta
7/14 Family Fun Friday
7/24 Session 2 Starts
7/24-7/226 Gill Regatta @SHYC
8/18 Family Fun Friday
8/19 Hovey Cup Preliminaries
8/20 Closing Meeting & Hovey Cup Finals
Click here for summer calendar


Coach Will Batchelder grew up through the sailing program. Visit the Pier Perspective webpage to read about what he has learned from being a student and instructor at Stage Harbor Sailing School. We look forward to sharing more Notes from the Sailing School Staff over the course of the Summer!