Learn to sail at cyc

Our high quality Learn to Sail courses at CYC are a great way to introduce your children to the lifelong sport of sailing. Our youth coaches are enthusiastic about getting people hooked on sailing, and put many hours into planning great courses

Level One - Start Sailing

This course is aimed at 9 – 14 year olds and generally follows the Yachting New Zealand 'Start Sailing' curriculum that is delivered New Zealand wide. If you have done a Have-a-go day with your school and want to do more sailing, this is a great option as a next step.

The course will cover a range of subjects, including: water safety, names of boat parts, setting up boats, capsizing, launching and retrieving, tacking, gybing, points of sail, basic knots, rules and meanings. 

The course costs $250, this includes a Junior membership for the remainder of the season, as well as use of club boats, buoyancy aids and facilities.​ Our coaches are all qualified Learn to Sail Coaches, and run highly effective, well managed courses.


On successful completion of the course the sailor will have achieved Level One of the YNZ Learn to Sail framework, which is nationally recognised.


Dates for our October courses have been confirmed, and are outlined below. Registration will open shortly, check back here regularly, or follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on when registration open.

Additional courses may be run to reflect demand. 

If you miss out on registration, or need some help, please contact our registration coordinator:

Vaughan Bamford info@cyc.net.nz 022 170 6127


Course Information

Our next Learn to Sail courses are offered in October. This year, we are running two concurrent courses, one course on Saturdays, and the other on Sundays, as per the table below. When you register for a course, you will have to choose either the Saturday, or the Sunday course. There are 10 spaces in each course, with a minimum number of registrations of 3 per course. Each course covers the same content. During the first session, the coaches will take the participants sailing in larger boats, so they can get the hang of steering and how sailing works in a controlled environment, for the remainder of the sessions, they will be sailing in one-person Optimist dinghies. 

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We Provide

  • A qualified Yachting Instructor and assistants

  • A club optimist dinghy

  • Buoyancy Aids for the duration of the course

  • A YNZ workbook for each participant

  • Full use of the club house and facilities

  • Free tea and coffee for parents / guardians

Your Child Should

  • Be able to swim 50 metres

  • Be confident around water

  • Wear a wetsuit with poly props underneath, a woollen beanie, thin nylon windproof jacket

  • Wear beach shoes or sneakers

  • Wear gloves (recommended)

  • On warmer days wear a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses

  • Have snacks and a water drink bottle

  • You must let us know if your child has any health issues we should know about

A Sailing Day

  • Arrive at the club

  • Set up the boats, and get changed, ready to go sailing

  • Have a quick pre-sailing briefing about the activities for the day

  • Go sailing

  • Come ashore, wash down and pack away all the boats

  • Have an after sailing de-brief


What Happens After Learn to Sail?

Immediately following the end of the Learn to Sail courses, we have our annual sailing camp at Takamatua, on Akaroa Harbour. This camp provides an excellent opportunity to consolidate the skills learnt during the course, gain experience in the boat, and get to know all the other junior sailors and their families. To find out more about the camp, click the button below.

  • You can enrol in our level 2 coaching programme, which is run by the same coaches as the Learn to sail. At this level we teach more advanced boat handling, and sailing skills.

  • After completion of Level Two, your sailor will be able to compete in our weekly club racing, sailing in the junior fleet.

  • After level 2, we run both adventure/fun sailing courses and also a dedicated racing programme, coached by a range of racing sailors, including ex-Olympic sailor (Tokyo 1964) and coach (Los Angeles 1984) Bret de Their. Sailors at this level can travel to regattas at other yacht clubs, both around the region, and New Zealand.