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Summer Holiday Learn to Sail

 Beginners Course

BYRA is holding a Learn to Sail course in the sheltered waters off the Clubhouse. Parents are welcome to attend .Children should be between 8 and 14 years old and able to swim 50 metres.

The course will run on Tuesday , Wednesday and Thursday January23,24,25 from 9.30 to 3.30 each day.

Students will be introduced to the sport of Sailing, regulations and safety,  with activities for the kids to learn in a safe environment.

Boats and life jackets are provided by the club.

 Clothing and footwear should be waterproof and a change of clothing is recommended. Bring lunch, supplies, a water bottle, sun cream, don't forget the hat!. Sunglasses are recommended but not necessary. Kids willing to attend the course must be able to swim 50 metres.

Register on the website




Our junior sailors race every Sunday afternoon during the sailing season.

For new juniors with their own boats looking to get involved in club racing please contact the club or come down one Sunday around 12.00 and discuss this with us. At the moment juniors on Pittwater are predominantly racing Optimists and Laser 4.7s.

For those new to sailing that would like explore this sport, and don’t have a boat, we have a number of Learn To Sail  (LTS) and Learn To Race (LTR) programmes available using club boats.


 The next 8 week course which starts Sunday February 4 2018 is  now full. There are still places available on the three day Summer holiday course January 23/24/25th.


All the Learn to Sail (LTS) and Learn to Race (LTR) courses run on Sunday mornings from 08.30 to 12.00 during our regular sailing season. The courses run in 8 week blocks and are for kids 8 to 14 years old.

Life jackets and boats are provided.

If the kids enjoy the first 8 week course and have a desire to look further toward the sport of sailing we then offer some more advanced sail and race training.

The courses are:

LTS1 Learn To Sail
Introduction to Sailing
LTS2 Learn To Sail
Refining Skills
LTR1 Learn To Race 1 Introduction to Racing
LTR2 Learn To Race 2 Club Racing (Green Fleet)

This season courses are starting on:

There are no more places available for the course starting Sunday 4th February 2018.

Please note that BYRA is very much a family oriented, amateur club. All the sailing programmes are run entirely by volunteers, we do require that parents set up and pack away the boats for the training session and we welcome the involvement of parents in the club activities.

We are also a sailing club; rather than just a “sailing school”. The focus during learn to sail programmes is very much directed toward the sport of sailing. The kids will sail on their own after the first day, though we can pair them up if they find this too big a step.

We use the International Optimists for the course and we find that kids over 14 initially struggle to fit comfortably into the boats. If you have kids older than 14 please contact us as we may be able to access some more suitable training boats for them.

The application form for junior enrolments is available from our web site. Places for all our courses are limited and due to the demand for the course and our need to prioritize members the final confirmations will only go out one or two weeks prior to the commencement of the courses. If you have your own boat or access to a boat we can generally place you in the next available course.


All LTS Cost $240 (non BYRA members); or $ 200 for members.

LTS1 - Introduction to Sailing

This is our starting junior course. The Learn To Sail course is aimed at complete novices and designed to provide a safe and enjoyable introduction to dinghy sailing.

The course will introduce students to the fundamentals of boat handling, tacking, gybing, setting sails, helming and capsize recovery.

At this early stage we don’t spend too much time correcting technique. For most kids it’s a very new experience, and can seem daunting, so the emphasis is very much on having fun and allowing them to have the best possible experience for the sailing conditions on the day.

Students completing this will have the basic boat handling skills that will allow them the freedom and confidence to start sailing small boats in a controlled and supervised environment.

If the kids enjoy this experience, and would like to take it further, then it’s time to start working on their technique.


LTS2 - Refining Skills

Once students have a degree of confidence is their basic boat handling skills, we need to work on their technique. The primary focus here is on body position; helming, tacking more efficiently; upwind sailing, using telltales and downwind technique.

The course is aimed at providing the kids with the skill set required to sail both upwind and downwind, more independently in light to moderate conditions.

After this, we’ll shift our focus to how dinghy racing works; try some fun racing and work on the boat handling skills that racing requires.


LTR1   $260 (non BYRA members); or $230 for members.

LTR2   $ 150 and requires Junior Membership

LTR1 - Introductory Module

The aim is to further develop boat handling skills so the student is confident to go out and enjoy just sailing or starting to race.

Now we’re moving into the world of dinghy racing. This course is designed for students that have successfully completed our LTS2 programme or have the equivalent skill set.  

We’ll be looking at how races work, practicing starts; refining our techniques and learn basic rights of way. We will go out one afternoon and look at an inter-club race as well as doing some of our own fun mock races.

The next step is to try some Green Fleet racing.

LTR2 -Refining Skills

The combined club fleet racing on Pittwater has a Green Fleet division specifically for novices.

Coaching is allowed and there are no penalties, the emphasis is on the experience and having fun.

Club membership is a prerequisite for the course as club membership is required for all interclub racing.

After the first week this course will run all day; 11.30 to 17.00.




Beyond our Learn to Sail and Learn to Race programmes, junior sailors would be looking at getting their own boats to continue club racing.

To assist with this transition we may have some Optimists (with racing sails) available for lease in the afternoons. The lease is available for one season only and unfortunately suitable boats are very limited so availability is not guaranteed.

If the graduates are not interested in our normal Sunday Combined Pittwater Clubs racing they can participate in organized 'Sailing in Company' where boats follow a designated circuit around different parts of Pittwater.






As stated we do require parents boat lifting muscles to set up and pack away kids boats.

Parents are an integral part of our Learn to Sail Activities.

We also welcome parent’s assistance in the running of the programme. Helping to lay marks for ; driving one of our response boats (if you have a boat licence), launching safety boats, setting marks, etc. This allows the club’s volunteers to focus on teaching and adds another layer of safety.

Duties are not particularly onerous, we are also well aware that there are often other demands on parents on weekends; and that you may not be able to attend a particular Sunday. You may also not feel entirely confident in a role. We’ve all been there; it’s just about having enough resources to ensure the best possible experience for the children.

There is a list of volunteer position attached to the enrolment form. A more detailed description of volunteer positions can be found on the website.