The more exposure a student receives in learning how to sail, the better equipped they become to increase their skill level.  Challenging themselves builds their confidence level and keeps them interested in the sailing arena.
The kids sail from Roberts Bay, travel by the Jetty, and head out to the Gulf.  Each child is assigned to a boat, and with that comes the responsibility to care for and perform the proper maintenance on their assigned boat at the end of each session.

In April 2017, Tara Foster became the first female Program Director for the organization. She joined VYBA in 2016 as a Coach.  Tara is the perfect complement to VYBA, bringing a wealth of knowledge, innovative ideas, and her love-of-the-water experiences.

Tara has called Florida her home since middle school and graduated from Pine View High School.  A graduate of Denison University, she was an active member of the university’s sailing team as Captain, then Commodore, and finally Alumni Advisor following her graduation with a major in theatre and minor in physics. The VYBA is fortunate to have Tara on board to share her extraordinary talent, skills, sailing knowledge, and experiences.

She has a sincere passion for helping sailors of all skill levels to gain an in-depth knowledge about sailing.  Building the kids’ confidence level while keeping sailing fun and inviting is a primary goal. She is excited to continue to share her love of the sport and to inspire that passion in others through the VYBA.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have found such a fantastic Youth Sailing Program that cares so deeply about the young sailors from our area. The commitment and dedication of our sailors is a wonderful complement to the time and care put forth by our Board, the community, and all of the Program Parents that help us to participate and be involved in so many aspects of the sailing world. It’s truly a gift to be the Program Director and Coach for so many bright, capable kids and I look forward to seeing all that they can offer to the VYBA and the Venice community as they continue to grow through our Program.”

Blake Dominy, a young, energetic sailor clearly knows the importance of caring for his boat as he carried his assigned vessel to its proper place of storage.  When asked, what he likes best about VYBA, he eagerly responded, “Everything!”

VYBA’s School Year Race Program and School Year Adventure Program run from late August through late May. The Race Program requires that young sailors complete the Beginner and Advanced Course over the summer for the Fleet they intend to join. This year, VYBA added the Adventure Program which requires successfully completing a Beginner Course or two weeks of Pollywogs. The core focus of all the VYBA programs is to keep the area-youth engaged in sailing activities.

The Summer Program runs June 12 through August 11, and is open to all youth in the Greater Venice Area.  The summer program classes are half day, either 9am to noon or 1pm to 4pm, Monday through Friday.  All skill levels are welcome.  To be participate in sailing classes during the school year, the students must first successfully complete the Beginner and Advanced levels. The VYBA sailing program has become a family affair, and parents of the young sailors are encouraged to participate by observing and photographing the action from the dock.

The VYBA supports the Venice High School Sailing team, formed in 2016.  The team uses the VYBA’s C420 boats and coaches travel with the team to all of the regattas.  The team received high fives from the Venice Community after they placed 17th out of 40 in the SAISA Division in their first year.

The Adult Learn To Sail Program offers the opportunity for area adults to see what this youth sailing craze is all about. Geared towards adults who have none to some sailing experience, classes are taught on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 9pm. Each Adult Session includes 6 classes, and this summer 3 sessions are being offered. Registration and more information about all of the Programs can be found on the website at

The Boston Whalers used to travel with and monitor the student sailors are equipped with first aid kits, and the instructors carry VHF radios and cell phones.  In the event assistance is required at any time on the water, the instructors can easily have immediate contact with the Venice Yacht Club Dock Master or the Venice Marine Patrol.

VYBA is a 501©(3) non-profit organization that is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors chartered with exercising a serious fiduciary responsibility to insure vitality of the organization now and for the future. Tuition fees cover only a portion of the coaching costs.  Other expenditures must be covered by community donations and fund-raising activities.