YMCA Sailing Club has been providing sailing courses for children and adults since it was founded in 1963.

Originally our sailing experience was centred on Lake George before relocating to our current home at Yarralumla Bay when Lake Burley Griffin was filled in 1964. 

The Sailing Club provides members with learn to sail courses and club racing for beginners through to advanced sailors in an environment that is inclusive, fun and safe for all ages. Family and junior sailing activities are the ideal place for families to start sailing together and with access to boat hire and the help of our volunteers and staff, you need no prior experience or your own vessel to start.

Learn to Sail
Boatshed Storage
Fees & Memberships
History & Committees


We race many off-the-beach dinghy and catamaran classes with all levels of experience catered for, from beginner to national champions every Saturday during our racing season. Results are provided after racing and prizes awarded to the winners.


Racing starts at 2pm on Saturdays throughout the spring, summer and into the autumn.


Visit our events website to view current events and regattas.

Racing Classes and Associations

We currently provide racing in the following classes. Click on the links to visit the relevant association.

Racing Formats and Sailing Instructions


2 races completed on the same day. Fleet split into division’s i.e Fast dinghies, Cats, one design racing etc. Results and scoring are done on scratch timing and VYC Yardstick.


2 races per day. Same format as championship, however scoring and results are determined by an individual’s handicap and VYC Yardstick.

Alternate Course

Shorter fun races. At least 2 and up to 5 races per day (weather permitting). Run over different race formats and courses with a high emphasis on fun. Very user friendly format.


Start by yourself or fleet race, do as many laps as you want and your fastest lap will be recorded. Results then decided on corrected time (VYC). 


One long race around the lake, start as a fleet and scoring done on corrected times (VYC)

Learn to Sail

We offer a range of exciting activities, making it easy for people of all ages and abilities to get into sailing. The YMCA Sailing Club conducts introductory and advanced Discover Sailing courses for families, children and adults during the sailing season. No prior sailing experience is required for our introductory courses and the club assists graduates to continue to develop their sailing skills once they have completed their course.

Course Calendar and Registration

Our course calendar and registration is hosted on our Revolutionise website. Click here to see all upcoming sailing courses currently open for registration. Please note courses may be cancelled if the minimum number of students required is not reached. We will contact you the week before the event if we do not have the numbers needed to run the course.

Types of courses

Aquatic Adventure

This is designed to challenge and extend the skills of sailors and non-sailors through time on the water and exposure to sailing techniques and different types of craft including spinnakers, trapezes, mono and multi-hull dinghies, stand up paddle boards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes and windsurfers.

Discover Sailing (Level 1 and 2)

This provides an introduction to sailing and crewing for children aged 10 and up with parental involvement required during the course. Children 8 or 9 year old can come along however they may struggle to reach Level 2. No prior sailing experience is required.

School Holiday Programs (Level 1 and 2)

Holiday programs are five day courses run 9am-5pm during ACT school holidays and are the Discover Sailing Level 1 and 2 course as explained above. Please complete the enquiry form below to find out about Sea Scout and Group discounts for these programs.

Adult Sailing Courses (Level 1 and 2)

Our adult courses are offered on weekends. Saturday courses are accelerated courses and best suited to people who are fit and adept at learning new physical skills. The Sunday course is slower and has more time for on-water practice.

Family Sailing (Level 1 and 2)

These courses are designed to enable families with children aged 10 and above to learn to sail together and achieve Level 1 or Level 1 & 2 competency levels as per the Australia Sailing Dinghy Training Scheme. Open to adults and children with and without sailing experience.

Better Sailing (Level 3)

These level 3 courses allow sailors who have completed a Level 2 certificate and sailed consistently for at least half a season to improve their skills. The course introduces sailors to spinnakers and trapezes, navigation buoys, wind on the lake, sea breezes and other more advanced sailing techniques. The course is open to adults and juniors who are selected to participate and runs over two weekends.

Power Boat Handling/Safety Boat Operator

These courses assist the club to maintain a core of qualified drivers for the Club’s power boats which are required as safety boats during club races, regattas and training courses. Registrations from non-members are welcome however preference will go to club members if the course is full.

We recognise that some of our course participants are completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and may be using sailing and/or club membership to complete one or more sections of The Award. Visit the Sailing Resources website to find out how sailing courses can contribute to your Award.

Course Prerequisites

Participants enrolling in any of the courses must be able to swim at least 50 metres. Enrolments for Family Learn to Sail Courses must comprise at least 1 adult and 1 child. Better Sailing, Adventure Sailing and Safety Boat Operator courses have pre-requisite skill levels for enrolment. Please see the Course Calendar section for further details. Participants minimum age is 8 years old.

Our Instructors

YMCA Sailing Club instructors are qualified through Australian Sailing and our sailing courses follow the Australian Sailing Discover Sailing training hierarchy and syllabus – Basic Skills (Level 1), Basic Skills (Level 2), and Better Sailing. The Club also runs Adventure Sailing for juniors who have completed a Discover Sailing Level 2 course and who wish to do more sailing during school holidays.


Boatshed Storage

Boat, kayak and canoe storage is only available to current members of the Club. We have various storage options including undercover and outdoor space for kayaks, canoes and small to larger boats. Storage prices start from $250 per year. For more information download the Boatshed Storage Conditions under Resources tab on this page. 

To enquire if space is currently available please use the Contact form below. 

Fees & Memberships

Saturday Club Race Fees

  • Members are not required to pay entry fees.
  • Non-members $20 seniors, $10 juniors.

Reciprocal Race Fees

The Canberra Yacht Club and the YMCA of Canberra Sailing Club have entered into an agreement whereby members of each club can, by paying a reciprocal race fee of $100, race with the other club. This is not a membership and does not entitle membership privileges with the other club.

Boatshed Storage Fees

Available to Members only with prices starting from $250 per year. See Boatshed Storage Conditions under Resources tab for more information.

Membership Fees and How to Register

All membership registration is held on the Australian Sailing member database which is managed through the Revolutionise website. On the website please select Renew if you are joining our club after recently completing a sailing course or have had membership with another club in Australia in recent years, otherwise please select Register.

Membership Types and Benefits

We have various memberships to suit our members as listed below. To see the most current membership fees please visit the Revolutionise website and select Register or Renew and click on the Registration Type dropdown menu.

  • Junior: For under 19 years. Can rent space in the boatshed and access to members only pricing for club activities. 10% discount on Learn to Sail Programs and Club merchandise.
  • School: Same as Junior but cannot rent space in boatshed, hire club boats to travel to away regattas or participate in Youth Squads. Must pay Race Fees.
  • Student: Full time tertiary students aged 19-24 years. Senior membership benefits included. 
  • Senior: Can rent space in the boatshed and access to members only pricing for club activities. 10% discount on Learn to Sail Programs and Club merchandise. Entitled to 1 vote at the AGM. 
  • Kayak/Canoe: For non-sailors wishing to purchase kayak or canoe storage. Senior membership privileges included.
  • Family: Membership for families who have 3 or more Sailing or Associate Members within the family including at least 1 Junior Member. Respective Senior and Junior membership privileges included.
  • Associate: For those who wish to belong and contribute to the club but not sail. Covered by Club insurance when participating in Club activities but Associate members cannot race, rent space in the boat shed or hire club boats.
  • ANU Sailing Club Sailing: Restricted membership available to student and graduate members of the ANU Sailing Club who wish to participate in YMCA Sailing Club club races only. No other membership privileges included. 
  • ANU Sailing Club Australian Sailing Registration: Obtains Australian Sailing membership but no privileges with the YMCA Sailing Club.
  • Temporary Trial Membership – Sail Pass: The traditional route into dinghy sailing for a beginner is either to crew for a mate who owns a boat or to do a course. If you are not part of a sailing circle finding someone willing to take on an inexperienced crew is a challenge. Completing a course is a significant financial commitment. If you follow either of these paths you then have to become a member of a club before you can crew in races. Sail Pass is a way of easing into sailing without a large financial commitment via a temporary membership. A Sail Pass entitles you to participate in Club races, sample our culture and decide if sailing really is for you at a very reasonable price. Sail Pass is for up to 4 days.

History & Committees


YMCA Sailing Club has been providing sailing courses for children and adults since it was founded in 1963. Originally our sailing experience was centered on Lake George before relocating to our current home at Yarralumla Bay when Lake Burley Griffin was filled in 1964.

The initiative to form the Club came from two members of the YMCA of Canberra, Val Moran and Ralph Weston, who were keen sailors and worked together at the ANU. A key topic at the time was the building of the Lady Denman Dam and the possible recreation activities once Lake Burley Griffin was filled. They gathered together a band of like minded people and rest is history.


Our Executive Committee manages the affairs of the Club on behalf of the Board of YMCA Canberra. The Committee operates under a Charter and within the Constitution of the YMCA of Canberra and the our Sailing Club Rules. See Current Executive Committee here.

The Club has two major activities: Sailing and Training. Each activity is governed by a committee (effectively sub-committees of the Executive Committee).

Charters and members for all committees can be found under Resources tab which also includes our Sailing Club Rules and other useful downloads.

Contact Us


Spring, Summer and into Autumn.


Phone (02) 6285 3670


35 Alexandrina Drive
Yarralumla ACT 2600

YMCA Sailing Club

35 Alexandrina Drive
Yarralumla ACT 2600