Squads and summer teams

The foundation of the British Sailing Team’s Olympic success for 30 years

The teenage years are important to your sailing development if you want to become an expert racer. To be the best you need the correct environment on and off the water and the help of expert coaching. This is exactly what the RYA Performance Squads aim to provide for each of the RYA Recognised Youth Classes.

Entry to our squads and summer teams is by selection and they operate with a very low sailor to coach ratio to make sure every sailor gets the focus and attention they need. Each class will have a lead coach and the RYA also contracts performance specialists to provide further expertise. Ultimately every youth squad sailor’s ambition should be

  • To qualify to represent GBR at the Youth World Sailing Championships
  • To perform at World or European Championships
  • To successfully transition into the British Sailing Team (Olympic)
  • To develop a lifelong passion for the sport


RYA Performance Squads (October - April)

Applications for Winter Youth Performance Squads are now open - please click here to apply

This training will develop the skills and behaviours that sailors need to compete successfully both domestically and over the summer championship season. The application process for youth squads normally opens in August so that the late summer and autumn class events can be used for selection. Selection is reviewed in January to consider any other sailors’ development.

RYA Summer Teams (April – September)

The RYA selects summer teams in youth classes to identify the best young sailors and to help them prepare and optimise their learning at their summer championships. The summer team training and event support aims to help sailors deliver their top performance against the best youth sailors in the world. Summer team selection is normally based on the RYA Youth National Championship results in April. In 2021 things have been slightly different because of Covid 19 but the latest information and relevant selection policies are in the policy section of this website and updated as required

Age limitations

The youth sailing age is typically under 19 on Dec 31st of the relevant competition year, although there are exceptions for some classes and squads - please read the RYA BYS Notice of Selection carefully.

Selection Policies



RYA BYS Notice of Selection 2021/22

Available HERE

and Appendix HERE

World Sailing Youth Worlds Available HERE 



The following classes are included in the BYS programme:

  • ILCA 6 (Radial) - Male and Female 
  • 420 - Male, Female and Mixed Crews 
  • 29er - Male, Female and Mixed Crews 
  • iQFOiL - Male and Female
  • Kite Boarding - Male and Female
  • Nacra 15 - Mixed

The Training Programme

The performance squad training typically consists of around 20 days from October to April whilst the summer teams training sessions are in the summer prior to the main events. We do our best to avoid training during the busy exam periods in May / June, but occasionally this is unavoidable. If training does fall in a difficult time for you then we really encourage sailors to discuss with us so we can help where we can. Fitness training and conditioning forms an integral part of all our programmes but maintaining balance with education is the key to success in both sailing and schooling. Fitness testing or profiling may take place. Training will be held at a variety of inland and coastal locations to ensure that a wide cross section of sailing conditions can be experienced.

More information:

For further information please contact the youth racing team on youthracing@rya.org.uk.