Sub-menu Navigation

Regional Training Groups


The new British Youth Sailing Regional Training Groups (RTGs) are replacing the UKJS and Zone Squads. There will be RTGs in each of the six English Regions in four of the BYS Recognised Classes: Topper, Optimist, RS Feva XL and Bic Techno. The Laser 4.7 programme will be run by ILCA. The main reasons for this change are: The cost and time commitment of sailors and parents travelling to national training was becoming an excluding factor to some sailors becoming members of UKJS training. We are seeing a high drop out of sailors post 14 years. We believe they are losing the enjoyment of the sport, finding non selection to the next level of training stops their progression and/or they are not prepared for the time commitment asked of them to be part of a national squad. A decline in club racing and participation. An increasing regional disparity, which is then creating a barrier for these sailors to continue in the programme. An over-emphasis on results at junior age when research informs us that lack of successes at junior age is a very poor indicator of future achievement.  The overriding aims for the new Regional Training Groups are:

  • To provide inclusive and accessible training throughout the UK
  • To provide inclusive and accessible racing - regionally and nationally
  • To develop young sailors with the skills to transition into youth classes
  • Full alignment across regions and Home Countries 

The Training Programme

The RTGs will deliver a comprehensive range of coaching, training, off-water workshops and competition guidance to around 500 invited sailors, alongside the Class Open Training programme and each sailor's individual club programme. Regional Training will consist of 6 weekends of coaching within region by National and Regional RYA Coaches. There will also be an opportunity for some sailors to attend the Eric Twiname Championships and International regattas as part of additionally invited teams. The Regional Performance Managers will oversee the training, working closely with their team of Coaches.


The RYA requires sailors to contribute towards the cost of all coaching programmes in the pathway. The RTGs are very heavily subsidized by the RYA and Sport England, Sport Scotland, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland and offer exceptional value for money in terms of the quality of coaching and coach to sailor ratios. The fees cover the venue costs, RIB hire, coaching and administration across all the weekends.

The fees for the 2020-2021 programme for England are:

Optimist: £540 per sailor

Topper: £540 per sailor

Windsurfers: £655 per sailor (including Easter Camp)

RS Feva XL: £760 per boat/ £380 per sailor

For Home Country fees please check with your RPM – details below

How to qualify

To be considered for inclusion, sailors will need to demonstrate that they exhibit the correct Values and Behaviours and reach a minimum required standard of racing. This can be evidenced by their performance at the BYS Regional Junior Championships and other nominated regional class events/championships. Sailors that would like to be considered for a Regional Training Group should complete an online application form on the RYA website. You can find the guidance notes and more detailed information on the RYA website too. (to follow)  To be eligible for invitation, a sailor must normally meet the following age criteria. Sailors who are marginally outside the age criteria are invited to apply. In certain circumstances older sailors can be included in the group, for example, where they are late developers, new to the class, show future potential or would help to improve the overall standard of the group.

Optimists under 15 at December 31st 2020

RS Fevas under 15 at December 31st 2020

Toppers under 15 at December 31st 2020

Bic Techno under 16 at December 31st 2020 

These age limits are set to enable the sailor to progress at the optimum age subsequent Youth Squads in order to go on to achieve at international level.

Please check to see which Region you are in. 

Invitation Procedure

To be invited to a BYS RTG, sailors should complete the online application though this link here . The following indicators will also be taken into consideration:

Sailors to exhibit BYS Values and Behaviours – Required  

Attendance at the BYS Regional Junior Championships – Required

Area Class Championships/ A Class Association nominated regional open event – Desirable

Class Association open training events – Desirable (Sailing skills and attitude/aptitude to training)

Age and future potential  

Height and weight  

Factors affecting results  

Class ranking lists/regional results  

Goals and aspirations  

Attitude and behaviour at the events and during training  

Other factors the selectors consider appropriate

Further information can be obtained from the guidance and policy documents on the website and/or your RYA Regional Performance Manager. Invitations will be in the autumn following the final indicator event and invited sailors must be members of the RYA and their relevant Class Association.   Normally up to 18 boats/sailors will be invited to each of the class specific training groups per region, however this number may vary according to the numbers and ability of sailors expressing interest. Where numbers of sailors of appropriate ability allow, the RYA aspires to offer invites to an equal proportion of Male and Female sailors. Where we have a large number of able sailors expressing interest in joining a Regional Training Group, it may be necessary to split the group into two distinct training groups. This would ensure manageable training group numbers to assist the sailor’s development, create a better performance environment and give us a wider variety of venues to use. This training should only be considered as additional training and support to whatever a sailor is already receiving from their Club and Class Association.

More questions?

Any further queries regarding Regional Training Groups please contact your RPM:

Regional Performance Manager SSW – Duncan West

Regional Performance Manager ELSE – Paul Wren

Regional Performance Manager North – Chris Blackburn

Regional Performance Manager Midlands – Tim Hall

Performance Operations Co-ordinator – Sarah Knox-Johnston

Performance Manager Wales – Sarah McGovern – 

Performance Manager Scotland – Matt Toynbee -

Performance Manager Northern Ireland -


John Merricks Sailing Trust

We are excited to announce that John Merricks Sailing Trust will be supporting OnBoard over the next five years. As the Official Charity Partner, the JMST will donate 50 (10 boats/boards per year) single-handed junior pathway boats and boards (Topper, Optimist, Laser 4.7, Bic Techno 293OD) to promising OnBoard sailors, providing them with the opportunity to progress their skills and continue to participate in the sport. The boats will be gifted to promising youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. Each year, at least one young sailor will be selected from each of the nine BYS Regional Junior Championships giving them two years of exclusive use of their own boat donated by the Trust. After which the boats will be returned to the sailor’s original OnBoard club so other young OB sailors can continue to benefit in the future and progress into club and regional racing activities. The boat will be owned by the OnBoard club throughout the loan period. To be considered:

1.      OnBoard sailors must compete at one of the BYS Regional Junior Championships in September (and state that they are from OnBoard).  

2.      After the event complete an application form and return to RYA OnBoard

Application forms will be available at the BYS Regional Junior Championships and will also be available online shortly.



Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

eBooks in the cloud
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!
Please select...