EDIT: I just read the VYC BC program you are asking about. The entry level for your child is two per boat, so their expectations are a little lower that what I describe below. Work in some swim lessons and it should be grand.
Our club runs one of the largest sailing programs in California (maybe in the west coast). Each class is 50+ Optimists, 10+ Lasers, and a couple of FJs. Instructors in chase boats.
Swim test (two laps of the club pool) and PFD are required. No exceptions.
Starts at age eight. On day two of the program, each kid must capsize and sink thier own Opti, and then refloat it. How is a non-swimmer going to get their boat back if it's five to 10 feet under?
We put our 4 year old in swim lessons during pre-school and summer camp. On his first visit to the club at age 5, he swam the length of the pool. Mom tried "just swim the short way to the little ladder in the middle." He said "NO -- I can go the long way." Jumped in. And did.
Try putting your child into three or four weeks of daily swim lessons. try asking Gma to take him so it gets done before his sailing session. It's a blast.
Sailing lessions for ours:
#1 son 5 years, (races with dad)
#2 son 4 years (likes Laser's, not the family boat)
#3 son 3 years (races with dad)
#4 son - chomping at the bit (races with mom & dad)
Last edited by paulmcquillan; 06-06-2006 at 08:41 PM.