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Home / Training hub / Youth Dinghy Training (RYA Youth Sailing Scheme) / RYA YSS Stage 2

RYA YSS Stage 2

Aim of course:

The aim of Stage 2 is to give young people the perfect introduction to sailing giving a basic understanding of how a boat sails, with some experience of steering and handling the boat with maximised water time, there is a little associated theory tuition delivered in a fun and efficient style. The course gives young people the opportunity of learning in Singlehanded dinghies best suited to their age.


For younger sailors:

The Optibat or Oppie (the rotomoulded variant of the the Optimist) is a sprit rigged single handed dinghy and at just under 8 foot long suits sailors aged 6-14, 25-45kg. It is an excellent boat for the young beginner due to it's simplicity and durability but still retains all the performance and components needed to effecively teach the basics of sailing.

For older young sailors

The Topper is an 11 foot single handed sailing dinghy, constructed from polypropylene it is lightweight and robust making it ideal as a training boat for sailors aged 11+, 40-60kg. It has all the performance and components needed to effecively teach the all the elements of single-handed sailing. The Topper is raced at SSSC as a Youth class boat.

For older young sailors

The Mirror is an 11 foot sailing dinghy, that is either of fibreglass or wooden construction with either a gaff or bermudan rig. It is a small robust boat with all the performance and components to make it ideal for young sailors learning to helm or crew a double-handed boat. The Mirror is raced at SSSC as a Youth class boat.

Instructor ratio


Will operate on an instructor to student ratio of 1:6


Will operate on an instructor to student ratio of 1:9 with a maximum of 4 boats per instructor


The SI will have an overview of both the Singlehanded and Doublehanded courses, monitoring any safety issues ensuring the standard of course delivery and timely progress through the sessions by the DI's. The SI will brief and debrief DI's as required.

Course delivery

Classroom, Onshore and Onwater sessions will be by DI's in accordance with the relevant method.

Course structure Overview:

Day 1:

Equipment & parts of the boat

Wind awareness, Rigging

Controlling speed, getting out of irons


Coming alongside

Parts of the boat

Wind and man-made hazards

Day 2:


Rules of the road

Capsize theory and practical

Intro to racing

Detailed lesson plan


Fleet: Optibats, Toppers, Mirrors, GP14s

Safety boat: T40 RIB and Highfield RIB

Classroom: Training loft or Clubroom

Sailing areas:

Will use both left hand and right jetties (looking out from the club) and sailing areas 1 & 2 or 2 & 3, depending on the wind direction.

Detailed Lesson Plan

Day 1

9:30 - 10:15 Classroom:

    • Registration
    • Introduction to Day
    • Safety Procedures
    • Clothing

10:15 - 11:00 On Shore:

    • Wind direction
    • Rigging boats (head to wind)
    • Rigging safety (overhead cables etc)

11:00 - 11:15 On Shore:

    • Coffee Break

11:15 - 12:00 On the Water:

    • Follow my leader exercise
    • Controlling speed
    • Lying to
    • Getting out of irons

12:00 - 12:30 On Shore:

    • Knots (refresh of figure of eight and round turn and two half hitches + reef knot)

12:30 - 13:15 LUNCH

13:15 - 13:45 On Shore:

    • The Five Essentials

13:45 - 14:30 On the Water:

    • Triangular course practicing 5 essentials

14:30 - 15:15 On the Water:

    • Returning to a jetty

15:15 - 15:30 On Shore:

    • Tea break

15:30 - 16:00 On Shore

    • General theory quiz
    • Parts of a sail
    • Sail controls and foils

16:00 - 16:30 Classroom:

    • Onshore and offshore winds
    • Windward/leeward
    • Calling for assistance
    • Man-made hazards (power lines, weirs, dams)

Day 2

9:30 - 10:00 On Shore:

    • Crewing a boat
    • (Role of crew, balancing boat, trimming sail, keeping lookout, importance of good comms, including Ready About - Lee-ho etc)
    • Launch in GPs or Mirrors

10:00 - 11:00 On the Water:

    • Crewing practice
    • Port and Starboard rule
    • Figure of eight course practising port and starboard calls

11:00 - 11:15 Classroom:

    • Coffee Break

11:15 - 11:45 On Shore:

    • Rules of the Road

11:45 - 12:15 On Shore:

    • Capsize theory

12:15 - 13:00 LUNCH

13:00 - 14:00 On the Water:

    • Race

14:00 - 15:00 On the Water:

    • Capsize practical

15:00 - 15:15 Classroom:

    • Coffee Break

15:15 - 16:00 Classroom

    • E.O.D. procedures
    • & certificates

Last updated 22:48 on 3 January 2023

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