A lifetime in sailing

Check out these options for continuing your enjoyment of our sport

The Olympic dream is only part of what the programme aims to achieve. There’s a whole world of sailing out there and the Performance Programme will have helped you build the best foundation for whatever you strive to be.


There’s more to life – and sailing – than medals alone. The social, academic and organisational skills you’ve learned will equip you for success, not only in your sailing but also your personal and professional future. Universities and employers seek out successful, enthusiastic sports people.


Sailors from the Performance Programme find their experience has a great impact on their life outside the sport and opens up doors that would have otherwise remained closed. Above all, you’re limited only by your own ambition. This is the time to consider what skills you’ve already developed and ask yourself what you want to achieve next.

British Keelboat Academy

The BKA supports young people (18-24) in developing their keelboat racing to a professional level. The Academy aims to run programmes that best represent the sport of keelboat racing and is focused on helping to continue your development into a world class sailor.


Click here to find out more.


Match racing

Match racing is a key skill to develop when making the transition from dinghy to keelboat sailor. It will help hone your skills and can be an essential building block for development into a top-level international sailor.


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Team racing

Team racing is a major part of the university, national and international racing scene, making it a fun, demanding and popular route followed by many ex-squad sailors. In the UK it takes place at all levels, and the RYA delivers the RYA Eric Twiname Junior and Youth Team Racing Championships to foster the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the sport as well as the learning experience it offers. Beyond that, activity is mainly focussed on events for sailors over the age of 18 within a thriving open circuit.


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Club and class association racing

There are endless opportunities within clubs and class race series in the UK and beyond. There’s a wealth of knowledge and expertise and you’ll find plenty of talented sailors to pit your skills against. If you think this may be the option for you, consider what you want from your sailing. Is it glamorous venues, the appeal of a major international title or simply good quality, fair racing within your area and the UK? You can read a review annually on each of the classes in the UK yachting press and many of their websites feature similar information. Have a chat with the class associations at the RYA Dinghy Show, check out their domestic and international calendars and seek out a class which offers you the right blend of what it is you want for them. 

Race officials

The RYA continually looks to train volunteers through tailored RYA courses to become qualified race officials, mark layers, judges and umpires with the purpose to support the vast amount of racing events which take place across the UK at all different levels.


These courses will award volunteers knowledge and skills they can then practice at racing events to enable them to achieve the relevant experience needed for an RYA qualification. Contributing to sailing through actively participating in these roles is highly valued by the RYA, the sport relies heavily on volunteers and we currently offer bursaries to those under 35 to assist with the cost of the courses.


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With the knowledge and experience you’ll have gained in the programme, you’ll be well equipped with the skills needed to become a coach. Many RYA club and higher-level coaches have raced at all stages of the pathway and find passing on their experience to other sailors’ fun and rewarding. Not only are you on the water but being able to coach alongside university or a full-time work is a fun and flexible opportunity.


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University sailing

Sailing while at university is available at over 50 clubs across the UK. During the university term there are four major national championships (Dinghy Fleet Racing, Match Racing, Team Racing and Yachting) at which you can represent your university. These events are run by British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA) and sanctioned by the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), who oversee all university sport in the UK. There are also a large number of university-run team racing events, with several taking place each weekend. Sailing while at university is a highly social experience, with many clubs and teams also competing at national and international events on behalf of their university or Great Britain.


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BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Performance Sailing)


The University of Chichester in association with the British Sailing Team and the Royal Yachting Association have established a joint undergraduate degree.This degree programme is an exciting development for sailors who are currently on the pathway programme, those who wish to continue performance sailing or those who seek a career in performance sailing.


Click here to find out more.