The 420 gets its name from its length in centimeters, just shy of 14 feet. It is the boat that is used in virtually all sailing schools in the U.S. to introduce sailors to a larger, more intricate boat that mimics all the features of sailboats many times its size. The boat is sailed in High School and College venues throughout the country and its older sibling, the 470, is sailed in the Olympics.
The popularity of the boat derives from its flexibility as a learning tool. For the beginner it is relatively simple to learn the basics and from there one can explore more advanced aspects of the boat such as flying a spinnaker and hiking out on a trapeze. This progression is reflected in the three levels of classes we offer: Beginning, Intermediate and Racing 420.
In this course, students learn how to rig the 420 sailboat, land at a dock or buoy, and handle a boat in a variety of wind conditions. It is best for any student who has not sailed a 420 before such as those new to sailing and those who have taken our Opti classes but are now age 12 or older.
The Intermediate 420 class is for sailors who have taken the Beginning 420 class or have learned the basics of sailing and would like to improve their skills. Sailors will get more experience as skipper and crew in a smaller class setting.
Students refine the techniques learned as beginners and to explore the full capabilities of the boat. Goals include optimizing weight distribution, maximizing boat speed, improving of tacking and gybing techniques, and crew/skipper coordination.
The Racing 420 class is for sailors who have taken Intermediate 420 or equivalent and are interested in learning how to race or improving their racing skills. The class will focus on advanced boat handling techniques and racing tactics with individualized coaching.
Sailors are encouraged to participate in the popular Twin Cities Youth Sailing (TCYS) regatta series held most fridays throughout the summer.