Sailing Academy

A Centre of Excellence for Sailing

As a result of the Royal Hospital School's maritime heritage and watery location next to a 400 acre man-made reservoir and between the Stour and Orwell estuary, it has become a Centre of Excellence for Sailing with unrivalled provision and opportunity for sailing.

The Royal Hospital School Sailing Academy, based at neighbouring Alton Water Reservoir, is an established RYA Training Centre and has a fleet of more than 60 dinghies catering for every level of sailing; from beginner boats like RS Teras to team racing Fireflies and Olympic pathway craft such as the Laser 1 and 29ers.

Starting Out

On joining the School, all 11 year olds take part in a week-long sailing course when they are taken through the basics to RYA Stage 2. Pupils joining in other year groups have the opportunity to learn to sail in the afternoon activity sessions and those with more experience can sail up to four times a week in the summer.


The School has regular team and fleet fixtures against other schools and, through the Sailing Academy, the elite sailors compete at both National and International level. As a recognised RYA Training Centre, the highest levels of safety and tuition are maintained and pupils regularly gain dinghy sailing qualifications as well as qualifications in power boating, windsurfing and dinghy sailing instruction. There is also a fleet of keel boats for coastal cruising which are popular in the summer months and for Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme expeditions.

Elite Sailing Programme

Pupils joining the Sailing Academy under the Elite Sailing Programme can do so as Sailing Scholars and are provided with the following:

  • Competition training with an RYA Advanced Instructor
  • Classroom tuition including use of video analysis
  • Individual fitness training programme designed by an elite sports personal trainer
  • Specific dietary advice
  • Storage of boat and equipment on site
  • Assistance with tuition and boarding fees at the Royal Hospital School

Competition Success

The Royal Hospital School sailing squad are current holders of the BDSRA Kings Challenge Cup and the junior BDSRA Hoad Shield, winners of the Suffolk Schools Regatta and U16 and U18 title holders in the National Schools Sailing Association (NSSA) Single Handed Team Racing Regatta. As well a team success, many of our elite sailors are seen on the leader boards of both national and international fleet competitions.

Further Afield

Each year there are sailing trips to the Mediterranean and further afield as well as the opportunity to get involved in the Tall Ships Challenge and crewing on larger ocean going vessels.

Download our Sailing Academy guide or for more information please contact Admissions on 01473 326136.