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Open Days

Open days are be held to allow students to decide if sailing is right for them. On these days children are given the opportunity to have a short sail and along with parents, are given an overview of the boats, facilities, and training program details. Open days will be held on the following dates:

  • Sunday 17 September: 11 am to 1pm - Best to come to the earlier event to secure your booking

  • Sunday 8 October: 11 am to 1pm - This is the weekend before the course start.

Course times and dates

The course is run every Sunday of the 4th and 1st public school terms, starting 15 October and finishing 7 April, with a break over the holiday period. The program has two levels as follows:

  • Beginners and intermediate (10:30am to 1:30pm): This is for complete beginners and intermediate sailors, learning level 1 and 2 skills outlined below.

  • Advanced (1pm to 4:00pm): This is for levels 3 to 5, outlined below. Children are continually assessed by our qualified instructors and invited to progress from the intermediate level when instructors say they are ready.

Intermediate students may be promoted to the Advance group mid-season. Likewise Advanced students may be demoted from the Advanced Group at the head coach's discretion. 


During the 30 minute overlap between courses there is normally a parent-run sausage sizzle.​

Other Activities

Optional extra training sessions, without formal coaching, are arranged on an ad-hoc basis for keen students. These are usually on a Friday evening at 5pm and are weather dependent. These are organised on the course What's App group. Most suitable for advanced or keen intermediates. Parent much be present and supporting the full session.

All students (and one parent per child) are occasionally invited to participate in a twilight yacht race to give beginning students exposure to racing. Students are placed on a yacht and observe what happens in the race. The date for this season's Juniors Twilight Race Evening is: 

  • TBA


Advanced sailors are expected to participate in the NSW State Sabot Championships and Zone events. In 2023/24 the following dates are currently scheduled:

  • TBA 

For further information, see our Frequently Asked Questions and also the Expectations of students and parents.

Level 1: Fundamentals

Juniors completely new to sailing will normally start at Level 1 with an introduction to the fundamentals.

The level 1 course includes:

  • Proper preparation, use of safety equipment, understanding weather and tides

  • Understanding the different parts of a boat

  • Simple knots

  • Learning how to rig a boat

  • How to recover from a capsize

  • Single boat towing

  • How to launch a boat

  • Paddling the boat

  • Basic control of the boat, including tacking

  • Basic sailing theory - port and starboard

Level 2:
Develop Skills

After initial exposure to the fundamentals, we develop the skills so that juniors can begin to sail independently. 

The level 2 course includes:

  • Developing independent preparation skills including pre-sailing warm-ups

  • Learning to rig a boat unassisted

  • More advanced knots

  • Capsize practice

  • Man-overboard recovery

  • Multiple boat towing

  • Unassisted boat launching and recovery

  • Developing boat control, including gybes

  • Learn to sail around a triangle course

  • Developing sailing theory - windward/leeward, overtaking, points of sailing

  • Altering centre-board position to suit points of sailing

  • Reading the wind, reacting to gusts and lulls

Level 3:
Build Confidence

Having learned how to sail, we next focus on developing the confidence needed for independent sailing. 

The level 3 course includes:

  • Rigging the boat to suit conditions

  • Increasing capsize recovery speed and from a fully inverted position

  • Roll tacking and roll gybes

  • Sailing backwards

  • Sail shape adjustments to suit conditions

  • Slalom and trapezoidal courses

  • Coming alongside another boat

  • Maintaining a position

  • Applying basic rules of fleet sailing

  • Reading wind shifts

  • Working with tidal flows

Level 4:
Learn Racing 

Juniors that have fully developed their confidence are now ready to learn how to race. 

The level 4 course includes:

  • Learning starting procedures

  • Identifying line bias and favoured end

  • Controlling boat speed at starts

  • Optimised mark rounding

  • Using a tuning and sailing log

  • Sailing specific fitness and warm-up exercises

  • Optimising rigging for performance

  • Mast adjustment to suit conditions

  • Aerodynamics theory and optimising sail shape

  • Optimising boat trim for all points of sailing

Level 5:
Improve Racing

Having learned to race, juniors are ready to improve their competitiveness. 

The level 5 course includes:

  • Implementing a training program for  sailing fitness and injury management

  • Identifying goals - short, medium and long term

  • Time-management

  • Regatta planning

  • Optimising rigs for individuals

  • Rafting up with regatta support boats

  • Using wind shifts for tactical advantage

  • Building consistency on optimised boat trim

  • Identifying wind patterns and developing a race plan

  • Offensive boat positioning

  • Tactics at starts and mark roundings

  • Using Racing Rules for tactical advantage

  • Understanding the effects of geography on wind patterns and tidal effects

Post course

Graduates from the GFS Learn to Sail program are prepared for a lifetime of sailing.

Activities at the club for graduates include:

  • Becoming an volunteer assistant coach, helping with beginners.

  • Moving into Lasers for older students

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