One hundred years of junior sailing

Published on March 7th, 2023

Founded in 1889 by dedicated sailors intent on being part of the thriving sailing community on Long Island Sound, Indian Harbor Yacht Club continues to thrive today from its facility in Greenwich, CT.

It was in 1923 when the forefathers launched a junior sailing program which has since given thousands of children, those of members and non-members alike, an appreciation for the “sport of yachting”.

To celebrate its one-hundred-year anniversary, alumni of the junior sailing program and former instructors are invited to return to the Club in 2023 on June 17 for an evening of reminiscing and good cheer. And if the weather cooperates, there will even be a regatta in Ideal 18s to see who has best retained their skills.

Junior or youth sailing is an integral part of the Indian Harbor’s yachting heritage along with its support of women’s sailing and blue water racing and cruising. Besides offering junior instruction starting in 1923, the Club and its leadership have been instrumental in advancing youth sailing in several ways:

• In 1929, then Commodore Robert Law inaugurated what become the Commodore Law Trophy. The Law Trophy regatta is among the oldest junior regattas in the United States and is traditionally the first junior regatta of the Long Island Sound junior sailing season. For several years it was important qualifier for children interested in contesting for the national Bemis and Smyth Trophies.
• In 1930, Commodore Clifford Mallory and his son, gave to the Interscholastic Yacht Racing Association, a trophy for high school competition. The Mallory Trophy is now high school sailing’s oldest trophy. Originally sailing in Atlantic class sloops, the regatta is currently held in two-person boats sailing in two divisions.
• Indian Harbor hosted the Mallory Championship in 2013 and the Cressy Trophy (high school’s single-handed championship) in 2007. And the Club looks forward to hosting the high school sailing’s 100th anniversary regatta in 2030.
• Indian Harbor has twice hosted US Sailing’s Youth Championships.
• In 2014, Indian Harbor became the permanent host for the International 420 Atlantic Coast Championship (the I420 is the premier youth development boat). The ACC is a world championship qualifier and an important event for young sailors with Olympic ambitions.
• Indian Harbor regularly hosts regional junior sailing and high school sailing regattas.
• The club recently introduced a middle school sailing program using its fleet of Ideal 18s.

The club looks forward to welcoming back many former junior yacht club members and instructors next June. For more information, see the Facebook page ore email the Club at

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