Learn to Sail at ESSC

Learn to sail with our Sailing Academy and join the club!

You’ll be using a great mix of dinghies, beginning with sailing with an instructor and leading up to navigating on your own around a full sailing course. As well as its highly practical ‘hands on’ sessions, the programme includes sailing theory and a controlled capsize recovery, and all sailing has a rescue boat in attendance. Training is held with our training partner Buzz Active, followed by access into sailing via our main club.

2024 Training Dates

We are now taking bookings for our 2024 Academy courses!

We have 2 courses in 2024:

April – 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
June/July – 23rd & 30th June, 7th & 14th July.

The training will be delivered with our training partner Buzz Active. You will also have a years membership at the club and once you have finished your training, you will have access to our club boats free of charge.

Click here to register your interest in our 2024 training course.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the course is £395. An £95 deposit is required to secure your space. The final balance is due 6 weeks prior to the start of your course. Your fee covers the following…

  • Training up to RYA Basic Skills (RYA Level 2) with our training partner
  • Course materials
  • Certification
  • 1 years individual membership of the club from the start of your course
  • Free use of the club boats for your 1st years membership

How to sign up

  1. Read the Fitness Requirements for Training and complete our Training Booking form
  2. Transfer you deposit or full amount and complete the Bank Transfer Notice
  3. We will then confirm your place on the course.
  4. Tell your friends of your exciting news.
  5. We will get you to complete our standard club membership form and training information form for the course.


Is there a level of fitness required?

In general, sailing is a fantastic sport which is accessible to all people regardless of their disabilities or levels of fitness across the UK.
However, Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club does not have any slipway access and uses adult single handed boats for training. As such a good level of fitness is required. This can be compared to walking up and down a shingle beach carrying bags unaided and climbing out of a swimming pool without the use of a ladder.
If you are concerned about your ability to complete this course please arrange a chat with one of our instructors before booking onto the course. Due to the limited availability of this course we are unable to offer refunds should you choose not to complete the course.

Will I get a certificate?

Yes, providing you reach the correct standard you will get a RYA certificate. 

What if I can’t make one of the dates?

We would like you to plan to attend all the course dates as you will learn something new every day. However, if you are ill one day we will do our best to catch you up with the rest of the group.
We may not be able to qualify you if you do not attend all the days

Can I do the course without becoming an academy member?

No, we believe the academy membership is not only a very cost effective way learn to sail, it gives you everything you need for your 1st year. 

What if I don’t get to the relevant standard by the end of the course?

Luckily this does not happen often as we will work with you throughout the course. However, in some cases some people do not meet the RYA standards. If this happens, we will discuss the options of continuing your training at a later date or what you need to do for your self development. 

What do I need to bring with me on the first day?

As a minimum you will need some clothing that will get wet, and a set of dry clothes to change in to. A wetsuit or similar sailing clothing is ideal. However, we appreciate that you may not wish to invest in new equipment straight away. The club does have a number of wetsuits you can borrow but our range is limited so it is a good idea to bring some tracksuit bottoms, cotton T-shirt and sweatshirt and if you have them, a wind proof jacket and trousers will keep you warm. Also remember your swimming costume and towel. You will also need some shoes that you don’t mind getting wet that are comfy and cover all of your foot. The sun is also more powerful on the water so I would recommend always applying a good waterproof sun cream of at least SPF 30.

What about safety?

Ensure you listen to the briefing at the start of the sessions and safety advice throughout the course. Should you wish to we can provide helmets to help protect your head. However, sometimes accidents do happen, however, one of your instructors will always be a qualified first aider. There will also always be a supporting motorboat on the water whenever you’re sailing. If you are not sure or have any questions on the day please ask. If you get cold during a session please let us know.

What time do we start and finish?

The lessons will start at 9.30am and finish around 4.30pm. However the instructor might want to discuss the morning or afternoon session with the group over lunch so please don’t disappear.

What if the weather is bad?

The weather may be different down the club than it is at home so always assume you will be sailing. There are some days where it will not be possible to sail, however, the course does involve some theory so there will still be lots to learn, though we might finish early if it is not possible to get on the water.

What about food and drink?

The clubs galley has a range of hot and cold food and drink available, however it may not always be open as it is purely volunteer run. We suggest bringing your own lunch and drink to ensure you have something to eat. 

What should I do if I have a medical condition or I am not a very good swimmer?

Contact the training officer  in the first instance and we will be able to advise you personally. The course does involve some swimming but you will be in a buoyancy aid at all times. It’s always a good idea to let you instructor know at the start of the day.