WYC Learn To Sail

The fundamental purpose of the WYC is to introduce children to the joys of sailing and helping each participant to grow in character and personal confidence. Level 1 will be using the WYC Optimist yachts. Levels 2 and 3 will use the O’pen Bic Class yachts. Certificates of attainment will be presented to course attendees who develop the skills taught in these courses.

Courses will be run by accredited YNZ coaches and other experienced yachtsmen and women from the WYC.

wyc learn 2021/22 Learn To Sail – Dates and Class Offerings

Please notE Due to high demand many classes have waiting lists


After School Classes are filled - if you are on the waiting list and there is a space you will receive an email


Instructor Course: Oct ’22 – email for more info

12th + 13th November – Adult Level 1: 9am – 2pm 

Please email learn@wanakayachtclub.co.nz to book or go on our waitlist.


Easter holiday program 2022

Level 1 (has completed one term): 21st + 22nd April: 9am – 3pm (one space left as of 15.04)
Contingency date for this week will be Sat 23rd April
Level 2: 25th + 26th April: 9am – 3pm (one space left as of 15.04)
Beginner Level: 27th  28th April: 9am – 3pm
Contingency date for this week will be Fri 29th April

spring 2023 - aFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

Please email learn@wanakayachtclub.co.nz to go on the waitlist.


What is Learn To Sail

Learn to Sail is a teaching Syllabus that has been developed by Yachting New Zealand over many years to provide a fun and safe learning environment.
Participants learn how to sail a boat safely and competently in moderate conditions.  

Course Progression

Course Progression

Young sailors may join into any level but it is dependent on their experience. Feel free to contact us for a chat to

determine their most suited level.

Level 1: A beginner joining at Level 1 will complete the course and WYC will recommend the next step to take based on how well that student has progressed. Some youngsters may need a further course at Level 1 to gain enough confidence to step up to Level 2. Level 1 will be completed in Optimist dinghies.

Level 2: Those entering Level 2 will complete this course in the Optimist or O’pen Bic Class. Being a slightly bigger but less stable boat the Open Bic is fast and fun to sail. Youngsters that do not own an O’pen Bic will have use of a Foundation boat for this course.

Level 3: Following completion of Level 2 the coaching in Level 3 becomes a little more advanced with race training. If a young sailor is showing natural ability and talent at the conclusion of this course, parents will be offered a way forward to either purchase their own Bic or enter the scholarship program in order for the young sailor to continue his/her development. Youngsters who own their own O’pen Bic’s may return to Level 3 as many times as they wish.

What to Bring

What to bring when attending courses

Applicants will need to bring:

 Swim suit

 Life-jacket

 Bottled water and lunch/snacks

 Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, rash shirt

 Windbreaker

 Warm clothing

 Closed in soft beach shoes or neoprene booties

 Wetsuits (if you have)

 Sailing gloves (if you have)

Sailing clothing is dependent on seasonal conditions. For the first-time applicants the WYC can provide life-jackets but not wetsuits.

Ideal Skipper

Ideal Skipper
Students must be competent in the water and pass a 50m swim test before sailing. Most sailors start at around age 9 – 12. However we have classes suitable for teens who are interested in trying out sailing too.  To build confidence sailors capsize regularly at the start. There are up to 10 sailors in each course

Boat Options

The use of a club-owned Optimist, Open Bic, 420, or RS Quest is available for use in classes fro those who do not have their own boat. The cost for this is $70 for the duration of the course.
A buoyancy vest is included in the Learn to Sail fee. All you have to provide is appropriate clothing and encouraging support!

Personal Welcome

Wanaka Yacht Club has both a warm, friendly atmosphere and a great spirit.  We work hard to provide great learning experiences and boat-loads of fun being taught to sail by our awesome volunteer coaching team.

How Can I Help?

Wanaka Yacht club is primarily run by a tireless group of volunteers with a passion for providing opportunities for the kids in our community. We are always looking for parent helpers at our classes, support crews on boats and help with our events.

We also have scholarship and sponsorship programs. If interested in learning more please contact us.