Royal Brighton Yacht Club (RBYC) has been running a training program for junior sailors for many years on Sunday mornings. The program was originally initiated to teach the children of senior members to sail. The program has been expanded in recent years to include children of members and non-members alike with the aim of introducing children to the sport of sailing.

The program has two basic tenets:

  • Sailing is Fun
  • Safety is First

The RBYC Junior program provides club boats initially and encourages parents to look at leasing or buying their own Optimists or  O’PenBics. All sailors are supported by rescue and coaching boats.

The object is to get the children onto the water and having fun as quickly as possible and then to teach them the necessary sailing and racing skills while they are there. Children should be able to play and work independently and be confident in the capability to learn basic sailing skills.water. The prerequisite is Tackers 1 & 2 and the minimum age is 8 years.

The Program


The Junior Program is divided into four levels:

  • Group 1

The initial entry point (Post Tackers 2 ), known as “Yellow Fleet” this is the introduction level into regular Club Sailing/Coaching (Sailing Club owned Ozi Opti’s)

  • Group 2

Intermediate Fleet  -“Green Fleet”, sailors are able to demonstrate basic handling skills in reasonable conditions and have the confidence to learn more advanced skills, sailing in challenging conditions (sailing International Opti’s and Open Bics)

  • Group 3

Good level of competence  – “Red Fleet”, able to sail in all conditions and navigate a race course (sailing International Opti’s and Open Bics)

  • Group 4

Blue Feet” these are our most advanced Sailors, and Sailors who have aged out of their Opti and Bics and are looking to make their next choice of boat (typically large more complex boats such as Pacers, 29ers, 420’s, Lasers, Cadets, Quests).

Blue Fleet Sailors who are focused on Racing will also have  advanced race training on Friday nights.

Click Here  for more details on the Junior Program.

When and Where


The program runs on Sunday mornings commencing at 0900 from the Junior Sailing Centre located in the South west corner of the Yacht club. The morning session finishes around 1200 noon followed by lunch ordered from the canteen by the children prior to commencing the morning’s activities.

The program is run in two sessions following the fourth and first term of the school year as follows:

Spring Session: Commencing around October each year, this is our largest intake time.

Summer Session: The Summer session commences around the same time a Term 1 in public schools each year.

NB there is no sailing over Christmas school holidays and weekends with public holidays. However sailors are also encouraged to take part in our school holiday programs.

If weather permits, the children spend most of the session on the water. Otherwise inside activities are used to teach theory and practical skills such as knots, seamanship and tactics. This program relies heavily on parent participation. Children need assistance in carrying, launching and rigging boats.

Fees and Joining

Enrol Here to join the RBYC Junior Program *

Fees – 2017/18 season

  • Every Sailor in each group will pay a Coaching Fee = $400
  • There is a Boat Usage fee for anyone and everyone in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 who is not Sailing their own boat in the program =  $200
  • The Discover Sailing fee for first time sailors = $43.50
  • The Discover Sailing fee for returning sailors = $14.50
  • Club membership for First time Sailors = $174

*Please keep in mind that the minimum age is 8 and that Tackers 2  or Start Sailing is a prerequisite for joining the RBYC junior program.

Should you need help or have a question regarding enrolment please contact our Enrollment Officer, Gary Cook at,



Children will be splashing in and out of dinghies which will occasionally tip over. Inevitably, they will get wet and their clothes should be selected with this in mind. They should wear clothing that will become wet but remain warm. A wetsuit or similar is suitable.

Enclosed footwear needs to be worn at all times. Examples include wetsuit boots, sandshoes or surf socks. Thongs, sandals, bare feet and the like are not acceptable. The requirement of enclosed footwear relates to safety of the children.

A hat and sunscreen is also required. The hat should be attached to the rest of the clothing by a lanyard (sailor talk for a bit of string) to avoid getting lost. Parents should supervise the application of sunscreen to their children. UV reflects off the water, increasing their exposure.

After sailing, children will require a change of clothes. A small bag with the change and a towel is useful. If the children are cold and wet, showers are available.


Do I require a lifejacket? Yes, a PFD1 lifejacket be purchased for the child and worn at all times on the water. We have organised discount vouchers with selected retailers. Enquire at the RBYC office when you register your child.



The program relies heavily on parent participation. The children need assistance to rig and unrig the boats at the beginning and end of each session. No experience is required! We will teach you the required skills along with your child.

Instructors need assistance to maximize safety on the beach and on water (e.g. checking children wear appropriate attire for sailing, ensuring Sabot equipment is put away etc). Parents who have a boat license and can assist with manning a safety boat are encouraged to participate.

A canteen is run from the Junior Sailing Centre. Volunteers will be rostered over the season to assist with staffing of the canteen.

Parents are required to sign the children in at the start of each session and to sign them out again at the end.

Boat Ownership

Boat Ownership

Boat Ownership – Sailing can be an adventure for life – and there is no better way to kick off that adventure than owning your own boat.

For Group 1 we will be using the Ozzi Optis (those boast with the bright sails) so there is no need to buy your own boat.

For Groups 2 and 3 you will be sailing International Optis or Open Bics and we strongly encourage you to buy your own boat. There is no substitute for owning your own boat (hence our Swap Meet on October 13th), it typically inspires the sailor and gives them a sense of personal ownership and responsibility. You can often buy a used Opti for anything from $1,000 or so, with really good boats around the $2,500 mark. You can also buy an Open Bic for around $3,500 and up (before you do though please check your child’s weight, age and sailing experience).

As always the Committee members are more than happy to help you understand what to look for when buying a boat.

Click Here  to buy or sell an Optimist dinghy

Click Here  to buy an Open Bic dinghy