About School Sailing


In 1989, Epiglass (a New Zealand based fibreglass manufacturer) offered the Australian Yachting Federation substantial sponsorship for a National and Interdominion School Team Racing Championship. The concept was for an Inter-dominion Teams Racing Regatta, alternating each year between Australia and New Zealand. All Australian States conduct regattas to select a State school team to sail in a National Teams Racing Championship with the Australian Champion school sailing against the best New Zealand school teams.

Each SA region selects up to four schools to represent their region and schools in the South Australian Championship. The top two schools in the SA Championship represent South Australia in the National Championship. 

South Australian Schools Team Sailing Committee

The committee’s purpose, on behalf of Yachting South Australia [YSA], is to foster the conduct and development of Schools Team Sailing [STS] in South Australia by,

  • Developing and maintaining an approved set of documents for the conduct of the State Championships.
  • Developing and maintaining a guideline to assist host regions, clubs and schools to successfully conduct the state championships.
  • Providing such assistance, as is possible, to regional clubs and schools to facilitate the growth of STS in South Australia and the development of sailing skills by school students.
  • Providing assistance and oversight to the activities of the regional bodies to ensure the good governance of the STS throughout South Australia.

SASTSC promote and facilitate the participation by School students in team sailing by coordinating training programs and competition at Club, Regional, State and National levels.  Contact one of the committee members for further information.

Metropolitan and Country School students are encouraged to participate in team sailing and represent their schools in the SA School Team Sailing competitions conducted through the  School Team Sailing Association. In the first school term School Team Sailing will be conducted throughout the State, with three Regional events and a State championship programmed. 

Australian Sailing supports the many volunteers and clubs providing boats and facilities to encourage the development of Schools Teams Sailing throughout the State. We look forward to your involvement in this exciting form of sailing.  In anticipation of the coming teams racing events, here are a few ideas to assist your School with team preparation and training.

Team Size

Minimum requirement to form a team is 6 students. A team may include an additional person as a reserve. Only six members may sail at one time but any team member may helm or crew the boat. All team members must be from the same school or combined teams from two schools can compete however these teams are not eligible to compete in the championship pool at the State Titles.

The distribution of team members’ weight of crew needs to be considered as a total minimum crew weight of 110 kilos or 95 kg applies when racing depending on the event.


Schools can recruit team members who are a minimum of 12 years of age and less than 19 years of age on 31st December in the year of the State Titles.


School Team Sailing currently operates out of three regions and a number of sailing clubs in metropolitan and country centres.  Contact the regional representatives on the South Australian Schools Team Sailing Committee for details of local clubs, sail training and team sailing programs.

State Championships & Regatta

This event is one of the state’s largest sailing events, with over 20 teams competing over three days. The state is divided into three geographic regions and each region fields its top teams in the State Championship. An open Regatta is conducted in tandem with the State Championships for all other teams who wish to participate. The event rotates between the three regions.


Racing is conducted in identical matched Pacer type dinghies.  The Pacer, a simple rigged, easily sailed and relatively cheap dinghy was chosen for school team sailing competition in Australia. All boats are provided by the organising authority for events and coaching.


Each school should have the support of a coach and a team manager. Training is usually conducted after school or on the weekends. For details of coaching opportunities contact the regional representatives on the South Australian Schools Team Sailing Committee.

Team Racing Skills

In general, sailors need to acquire good boat handling skills, but in particular should practice roll tacking, gybing, buoy rounding, starting and finishing.  The special team racing skills of covering and blocking will develop once the sailors actually begin team sailing.  Team racing in South Australia has now developed to a high level.  New teams should not be disappointed with their early performance as it takes a long period of time to hone a fully competitive team. Co-operation and training will however, bring rewards.  These skills will assist the students in their future development in other types of sailing.

Race Format

Races are usually only around 10minutes duration, so good starting is vital for team success.  A box course with two laps is the normal format.  The competition is structured in three or four divisions at State level to provide for teams of similar skills to compete against one another.


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