About LISOT

LISOT is a youth sailing team that provides world-class training and coaching for highly motivated youth sailors who want to develop and hone their racing skills in the Optimist, International 420, Club 420, Laser or Radial. LISOT is a completely open and inclusive team with sailors primarily from LI Sound and the NY Metro area.

LISOT operates year-round, offering sailors the opportunity for 100+ days per year on the water, including weekend practices, clinics, and a comprehensive regional, national and international regatta schedule.

Our low coach to sailor ratios offer both individualized attention and the opportunity to sharpen your skills by sailing with world-class coaches and top youth sailors in competitive training sessions on a regular basis.

Many LISOT sailors have national and international regatta experience, enabling our practices provide a strong learning and competitive environment for everyone. LISOT also has a mentoring program for sailors who are new to racing at the national and international level – whether in the Opti, 420 or Laser.

LISOT has an active team racing program primarily for Opti's - LISOT has qualified to be the USA representative at the two prestigious international Opti team race regattas in Berlin, Germany and Venice, Italy almost every year since 2006. In 2012 LISOT won the Venice regatta with an undefeated record - the first time ever, by any country, in that regatta.

Whether you're just learning how to team race, want to do it more often, or compete on the international level - team race practices are posted on the schedule.

LISOT sailors are regularly recruited by collegiate sailing teams, and many have been named All-American over the years.

How LISOT Works

LISOT holds all-day training sessions on most weekends from March thru June and September thru Thanksgiving, at yacht clubs in Western LI Sound. LISOT also provides coaching at most major US youth regattas, and select international events. With the busy summer regatta schedule, and limited availability of local host clubs to accommodate LISOT during the summer months, weekend training is generally not held in July and August. LISOT does not provide coaching at any JSA of LIS events.

Any aspiring sailor who has completed an advanced racing program and wants to improve his or her racing skills are welcome to sail with us in a positive and fun environment. Sailors do not need to be a member of a yacht club. There is no membership application or membership fee. LISOT training and clinics never require a resume or skill-based acceptance beyond a basic knowledge of racing (LISOT is not a learn-to-sail or learn-to-race program).

LISOT is a bring-your-own-boat program. Unless you're a 420 crew, you will need your own boat. If you would like to try out LISOT and don't own a boat, please contact one of our volunteer parent leaders or a coach to discuss how you can "try-before-you-buy." It is very common for 420 sailors to spend an initial day observing from a coach boat as an introduction to LISOT.

If you decide to buy a boat, the LISOT community is large and welcoming - and there's a good likelihood of finding you a used boat. If you'd rather buy new or charter, we know all the brands,, manufactures and retailers, and can recommend options.

What kinds of events does LISOT host or support?

There are three primary types of events:
  1. Regular LISOT weekend training
  2. Multi-day LISOT clinics
  3. Regattas - comprehensive on-the-water coaching and support

Weekend Training

Weekend training is held on Long Island Sound at yacht clubs mainly on the north side of The Sound - Southern Westchester County, NY and Southwestern Fairfield county, CT. Over the years LISOT has been fortunate to be guests of many clubs including Larchmont YC, American YC, Beach Point YC, Indian Harbor YC, Riverside YC, Stamford YC, Noroton YC, Norwalk YC and Ceder Point YC.

LISOT's Annual Clinics

Regattas

LISOT supports sailors at most major youth regattas in the US, a selection of which are noted below. including -- See the calendar for the most up-to-date listing and specific details. Regattas are usually posted for signup a few months in advance. If you don't see a regatta listed on the calendar, ask a LISOT coach or leader.

By listing a regatta for signup on the calendar, LISOT is thereby confirming that it will support that event, and sailors may make their travel arrangements (unless specifically noted in the description of the event, such as "minimum 6 boats needed").

Optimist International 420 Club 420 Laser/Radial
USODA Team Race Mid-winters (January) North Americans regatta (Jan) Midwinters (Feb) Midwinters East (Feb)
USODA Team Trials (April) Midwinters (winter) Nationals (summer) Nationals (summer)
USODA Nationals (July) Wickford regatta (May) North Americans (summer) Buzzards Bay Regatta (August)  
NJ State (summer) Kiel Week, Germany (June) Hyannis Regatta (July) CORK (August)
Connecticut State (fall) US Youth Champs (summer) Buzzards Bay Regatta (Aug)  
USODA Atlantic Coast (Oct) Buzzards Bay Regatta (Aug) Mid-Atlantics (Oct)
International Qualifier (fall) Atlantic Coasts (Oct) C420 Orange Bowl (Dec)
Orange Bowl (Dec) Open Orange Bowl (Dec)

Note: LISOT does not provide coaching at, nor attend as a team, any JSA or LIS events. LISOT encourages sailors to attend JSA of LIS events with their home club.

How Do I Start Sailing With LISOT?

Simply create an account and sign up for the event(s) you want to attend. Sail as much or as little as you like. If you're an Optimist or Laser sailor, or 420 skipper, you'll need your own boat.

If you're a 420 crew looking for a skipper (or a skipper in need of crew), LISOT has a good track record of helping match skippers and crews (but you MUST speak with Steve Keen, our 420 head coach, about finding a match). Sailors cannot signup, and show up, for a practice, clinic or regatta without a teammate.

We would encourage you to speak to any of our volunteer parent leaders or LISOT coach if you'd like to learn more about LISOT, or to answer your questions. We realize youth sailing is a complex undertaking that provided different paths and different experiences for different types of sailors.

Fees and Costs

LISOT charges a per-sailor, per event fee, payable at the end of each day or event (by cash or check). The fee is always collected at the venue, most often by a parent volunteer.

How much does it cost?

The cost of each event, per sailor, is shown on the signup page in the event description. Weekend training fees are the same every weekend. However, clinic and regatta fees vary based on LISOTs cost (airline tickets, meals and accommodation), and the number of sailors signed up.

Weekend training fees are always posted as a per-day fee. Travel events and clinics are always posted as a per-event fee and are often listed as "TBD" on calendar, and not finalized until a few weeks before the event, when we know the number of sailors attending and the corresponding budget. As a rule-of-thumb, assume that a clinic or regatta fee will not be less than the regular daily weekend equivalent fee.

How do I pay?

LISOT collects fees at the end of each practice day or regatta. Fees are paid in cash or check (payable to "LISOT"), and collected by a LISOT parent volunteer at the training or regatta venue. In order to minimize the administrative burden of our all-volunteer operations team (only our coaches are paid), LISOT does not maintain any individual accounts, take deposits or bulk payments, take payments by credit card, or send out bills, etc. Sailors are expected to pay promptly each day or at each event.

Whom do I pay?

A LISOT parent volunteer is designated as the "treasurer" for collecting fees at each practice or event. This individual will be identified in the pre-event logistics email that is sent out a few days prior to every event. If you are unsure of who to pay, just ask a coach.

Does the LISOT fee include regatta registration?

Unlike many yacht club junior programs, LISOT fees do not include fees or registration required by a regatta organizer. You MUST register for each regatta directly with the regatta host, including payment of all regatta fees.

Cancellation/Late Sign Up Policies

As you can imagine, coordinating the logistics of coaches, coach boats, travel and such is a significant undertaking. It is, therefore, critically important that LISOT know, as far in advance as possible, how many sailors are planning to attend any given event. To manage this planning process, each event has a cancellation/late sign up date noted as part of the event description (e.g., cancellation/late sign up deadline is XX days prior to this event). This deadline signifies the point after which you will incur a cost if you cancel, and may incur an add'l cost if you sign up inside the deadline.

Weekend practices have a 5-day deadline, clinics and regattas vary (between 15 and 60 days prior).

While it is extremely rare that LISOT "leaves a sailor at the dock," (e.g., is unable to accept everyone who wants to sail), and we work hard to get everyone sailing, when sailors sign up late (e.g., inside the cancellation period), it makes it very difficult for us to ensure proper coaching ratios and availability of necessary equipment and coach boats.

How does the sign up status work?

When you first sign up for an event (assuming it's before the cancellation deadline), your status will be displayed on the website as "requested" along with the date that you signed up. Your status will automatically change to "confirmed" when the event passes inside the cancellation/late signup date.

After an event confirms, should you cancel, you will incur a cancellation fee of 50% of the cost for that practice or event. Should you cancel the day before an event or be a 'no-show', you will incur the full cost of the event. If you cancel a within a week of a regatta or clinic (e.g., with a cancellation deadline of 15 days or more), you will incur the full cost of the event.

Likewise, if you signup inside this date, the cost of the event may be higher (if a 'late sign up' fee is noted in the event description). Generally, we do not charge late signup fees for practices (or events with deadlines of 5 days or less).

About Waitlisting: If your status is shown as "waitlisted" when you sign up (rather than "requested" or "confirmed"), you are NOT guaranteed a spot for that event. This occurs when the number of sailors exceeds the maximum number of sign ups listed for a particular event. When this happens, LISOT tries to secure additional coaching.

You will be notified if additional coaching can be arranged and you will be able to attend. While the Program Director and coach are automatically notified when an event reaches capacity, we also strongly recommend that if you are waitlisted, you send an email to the program director and/or coach to alert them of your desire to sail and your waitlist status. We also strongly recommend that you not book any non-refundable travel if you are waitlisted. Speak to the coach or Program Director to learn the likelihood of additional spots opening up.

Why cancellation/late sign up fees?

There have been occasions when last minute sign ups or cancellations have resulted in LISOT having too few, or too many coaches, for an event or practice. When last minute signups occur for travel events, there is often significant cost to secure necessary coach boats, purchase airline tickets and find coach housing, increasing the cost.

Likewise, in the case of last minute cancellations, especially for travel events, the fixed costs for purchased airfare and coach boats are generally non-refundable, and therefore need to paid for across a smaller number of sailors, which is not fair to those who signed up promptly and are attending.

Why am I being asked for a credit card when I first set up my LISOT account?

LISOT maintains a valid credit card on file in the event a sailor cancels and does not pay their fee. We have rarely ever charged a credit card for cancellation and strongly prefer payment by cash or check.

To keep coaching fees as low as possible, we do not accept credit cards for regular LISOT coaching fees.

LISOT Board of Directors

Tax-deductible donations

LISOT is 100% privately funded, including all funds for procuring and maintaining our fleet of coach boats and trailers. This is made possible by the generosity of the LISOT community. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the LISOT coach-boat capital fund, or LISOT in general, please contact LISOT Past-President Doug Wefer at doug@wefer.net to discuss.

To learn more about our world class and Olympic coaches, LISOT leadership, the mentorship program or how to get involved, please contact us.