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Key information about the transition programme - from Youth to Olympic classes

Are you aspiring to continue your dinghy and foiling pathway and aiming to reach the British Sailing Team to campaign to compete in the Olympics? Then this helpful guide is for you!

Who should consider this pathway?

Consider this pathway if you are at the end of your Youth journey and have been competing internationally at the front of the gold fleet, as well as winning races and finishing towards the top quarter overall. 

Please note you must also be eligible to compete for Team GB in accordance with the BOA (British Olympic Association) eligibility criteria.

What are my next steps?

We recognise that transitioning from Youth to Senior class sailing can be hard. In recognition of this we have created two key tiers of support to help with this:

  1. Transition Programme
  2. British Sailing Squad

Transition Programme

This is a 'Foundation Stage' to transition into Olympic Class Racing. Essentially this is an extended supported selection process for the British Sailing Squad. This stage will be appropriate to the class it is supporting and will be different class by class.

The programme is designed to be part-time, to fit alongside education commitments, and is ideally a 12-month programme. It is primarily made up of UK-based coaching days. Helping sailors gain experience and develop their skills within the boat and for those in a double-handed class, securing partnerships for the future. This is the foundation stage of your Olympic class journey. It is a supported selection process to enable sailors to be considered for invitation into the British Sailing Squad. All programmes are designed and prioritised on performance gaps and potential within the pathway. This, therefore, means that we do not take new sailors or run Transition programmes in all classes each year but is under constant review.

There are also other ways of transitioning to Olympic Classes, such as reaching out to the Class Association and the Andrew Simpson Performance Centre. They may offer opportunities to help start your journey in your chosen Olympic Class.   

We intend to run Transition Programmes in Autumn 2024 for the following classes:

470 Mixed



To express your interest in one of these classes, please complete the Expression of Interest Form by 27 May 2024 using the following link:


As part of the selection process, there will be ‘Trials’ being held the weekend of 16-18 August 2024 at WPNSA.

The Notice of Selection was due to be published by 24 May 2024, however this has been delayed due to sign-off.  We will publish this as soon as we can. 

The British Sailing Squad

This squad is seen as the next stage after the Transition programme 'An Olympic class apprenticeship.'  to allow sailors the opportunity to break into the top half in the World Class Programme. Sailors will be invited to this squad, dependent on their development, progression and demonstration of performances within the top 50% of an international senior fleet.

Podium performances at age group may also gain consideration. This programme is designed to help sailors progress and deliver sailing performances that could be considered for selection into the British Sailing Team. It is assumed that the sailors in the British Sailing Squad will be of a standard to train with the British Sailing Team if required.

Selection is made by the Athlete Performance Review Panel, and an annual review of all athletes will take place each year at the end of the summer competition season. Additional reviews may take place quarterly, but any changes to Athlete Performance Award (APA) Level resulting from quarterly reviews will be by exception. The panel will consider sailors’ performances, progression and potential aligned to the British Sailing Team performance model.

All programmes are designed and prioritised on performance gaps and class strategies. Each programme of support and days on the water will vary per class depending on the priority of the class.


Performance Pathway Officer - sarah.marjoram@rya.org.uk