Youth Sailing Academy

A Hearty Welcome to the Cave Run Youth Sailing Academy, Ltd.! 

Cave Run Youth Sailing Academy (CRYSA) is a non-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization offering sailing instruction to the youth of the Lexington, Ky area. Not only is sailing the start of adventure, but it is an opportunity to learn life skills through teamwork and team building. Each young person will learn to harness the wind and water, via rigging and piloting a sailboat. Learning sailing challenges each to understand their selves and others through competence, discipline, and responsibility through self and team reliance.

The Youth Sailing Academy Summer Program runs each summer in the month of July. For a small fee, students ranging in age from 7-18 attend classes twice a week for 3 weeks and end with a pirate themed graduation.  Ages 7-12 learn in the Opti pram, while ages 13-18 learn on the Sunfish sailboats. Safety, seamanship, rigging and unrigging, launching, sail handling, maneuvers and teamwork are taught in a relaxed atmosphere and by members of the Cave Run Sailing Association (CRSA) and its volunteers.

Students can continue their sailing education by taking the US ASA Courses. Advanced students can also join in the fun of the summer races and regattas held by the CRSA. Adults who wish to learn can start here


The program is funded by the gracious generosity and support of local individuals, businesses and foundations. Donations in the form of sailing gear, boats (all in very good to excellent working order), and monetary tax deductible gifts are all appreciated. More information on the the types of donations and the process for those donations can be viewed here. All of these things will go towards the sailboat fleet storage, repair, upkeep, class supplies, etc.

The CRYSA Sunfish are also available for rent, and the proceeds from those rentals go towards the CRYSA.  A “skipper check-out”, rental agreement and waiver must be completed in order to rent a Sunfish. The skipper check-out demonstrates the student’s sailing ability, so if you do not know how to sail or if you are a beginner it may take you some time to get qualified.

Need more information? Would you like to volunteer or serve on the board?  Do you have a donation?

Contact Chuck Emrich at 859.270.2199 or email