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 estuaries, 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 the RS Tera to team racing Fireflies, Olympic pathway craft such as the ILCA and 29er and as the latest in one-design foiling - the Waszp.

A Centre of Excellence for Sailing

All pupils joining in Year 7 try sailing in our learn to sail week and more experienced sailors may choose sailing as their games option. Those joining the Sailing Academy can pursue the sport competitively in both fleet and team racing at school, national and international level. There is also the opportunity to work towards instructor qualifications and take part in weekend sailing expeditions using the school’s fleet of Cornish Shrimpers.



RYA Youth National Championships 2023 ILCA 6
 Chris Marsh 1st, Luiz Felipe Giagio Do Amaral 7th, Toby Smith 10th

USA Youth National Championships 2023 ILCA 6
Audrey Foley 1st female

Youth Sailing World Championships 2023 ILCA 6
Audrey Foley 16th, Ciara Murphy 25th
(Seb Kempe 1st - 2021, 2nd 2022)

French Olympic Week 2023
Seb Kempe 89th (ILCA 7)

Sailing World Championships 2023
Seb Kempe 69th (ILCA 7)

ILCA U21 World Championships 2023
Audrey Foley 10th (ILCA 6)

Asian Sailing Championships and Olympic Qualifier 2023
Chris Marsh 24th (ILCA 7)

ILCA 6 North American Championship 2023
Audrey Foley 8th

UK ILCA 4 National Championship 2023
Ciara Murphy 1st female

UK ILCA 6 National Championship 2023
Thommie Grit 2nd

UK ILCA 7 National Championship 2023
Seb Kempe 2nd

USA ILCA 6 National Championship 2023
Audrey Foley 1st female

U19 UK Open Team Racing Champions 2023 (Fireflies)
UK Schools U19 Team Racing Champions 2023 (Fireflies)
U19 UK Women’s Team Racing Champions 2023 (Fireflies)

UK National Schools Championship 2023 - Senior (Fireflies) Team Winners 
- Toby Smith & Harriet George 2nd

5 pupils in RYA Training Squads 2023/24 - including 2 in the Crew4Gold programme


Sailing Update

The term started with RHS hosting the Suffolk Shiver at Alton Water. Six teams from four schools joined three RHS teams for a cold day of racing. 47 races were sailed in near perfect conditions with an all RHS final to decide the winners. The Blue Team emerged victorious over Grey Team 2 – 1. 

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Audrey's going to Yale!

Congratulations to Audrey Foley, a talented academic and sailing scholar, who has been offered early acceptance by Yale University to join their esteemed sailing team, the Yale Bulldogs. Audrey, a full international boarder in Year 13, from the United States, will commence her studies in Economics and Mathematics in September, becoming our first pupil to go on to study at Yale University. 

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Mr Ed Sibson

Today we're sitting down with Mr Ed Sibson, Director of Sailing and Watersports, who leads the sailing provision at RHS. He has coached many school and university team racers and is actively involved in training and assessing dinghy instructors and race coaches.

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ILCA U21 World Championships!

Audrey F, Year 13, competed in the ILCA U21 World Championships in Morocco last month. Audrey has been waiting to compete at this event for several years as competitors must be between 17 and 20 years old. This was Audrey's first year of eligibility and she managed to secure 10th place - well done, Audrey!

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Sailing Captain

We're delighted to introduce our newly appointed Sailing Captain, Georgie S! With a passion for the open sea that started at the age of 9, Georgie has been sailing at our school since joining in Year 7.  

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 Sailing Update 2022/23

On Saturday 17 June, four teams travelled to Bough Beech Sailing Club in Kent to team race against seven other schools and sailing clubs in the Hoad Shield event. Light winds made the racing very difficult, and at times very random, and meant that we only completed four or five races each before the knockouts. The Navy team of myself, Nicole S, Luiz F, Carlos GR, Moritz P and Kate W were the highest placed RHS team, winning all 5 of our round robin races but losing the semi-final shootout to Sevenoaks School. We finished with a win against Oakham School to finish 3rd overall. The other RHS teams finished 5th, 6th and 9th out of the 13 teams. 

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Sailing Report

Over the Easter break, a number of sailors competed in the Youth National Championships. Christopher M had the standout performance, winning the ILCA 6 title and being crowned Youth National Champion. Luiz Felipe GDA and Toby S also finished in the top 10 in the same competition to conclude an impressive display from the RHS sailors. 

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Sailing Success

We are thrilled to congratulate Audrey Foley, Year 12, on her remarkable achievement as the 2023 US Youth Female ILCA 6 Champion at Mount Hope Bay. Competing against over 230 sailors from nine countries, Audrey's exceptional skills and determination propelled her to the top of the competition.

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U19 Youth ILCA Champ

Christopher Marsh, a Year 12 international boarder and sailing scholar at RHS, has become the new Under 19 Youth ILCA National Champion! The path to  claim the title was not an easy one for Christopher as he faced numerous challenges during the competition, held in Weymouth Bay.

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Dinghy Show

Meet us at the RYA Dinghy Show at Farnborough International Exhibition Centre this weekend! We will be on Stand B24 so make sure you pop by to say hello! 

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New Sailing Instructors

We are delighted to introduce our new sailing staff, Mr Line (Sailing Instructor) and Mr Hickman (Assistant Director of Sailing) who have joined us this academic year. They are both already making a positive impact in our sailing academy, and we are excited to see how they continue to help our pupils progress throughout the season. 

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Sailing Report

Thommie G, our Sailing Captain, gives us a full round-up of all the different championships that our pupils have participated in since the end of the Summer Term, including awards won by our pupils.

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Sailing Weeks

Our sailing weeks are an integral and exciting part of the first term for all our Year 7 pupils, where they learn to sail as a beginner or improve their skills over the course of a week-long programme at Alton Water, led by our experienced Director of Sailing, Mr Sibson, and his team. 

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Merryn Topper Champ!

Merryn Attridge, age 14, was crowned Topper 5.3 National  Champion this summer! Hosted by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, 110 sailors took part in the 5.3 Topper Championship over the course of five days and 10 races. 

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BSDRA Championships

Two RHS sail teams took the long journey to Southampton to compete in the BSDRA Southern Championship for the first time. It was a light wind event putting a premium on good boat handling, calmness under pressure and situational awareness.

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Youth Sailing World Champion

Sebastian Kempe has secured the Youth World Champion 2021 title (ILCA6 Male class), at the Youth Sailing World Championship in Oman this week.

Sebastian performed consistently well all week, competing in nine races and securing three race wins against 50 boats in his class. Holding second place until the final day, Sebastian held his nerve to claim the title from his closest rivals.

Sebastian, age 17 from Bermuda, is a full boarding pupil and sailing scholar at the Royal Hospital School, joining the Sixth Form in September 2020.

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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 RYA Advanced Instructors and Level 3 Racing Coaches
  • Classroom tuition including use of video analysis
  • Individual fitness training programme designed by an elite sports personal trainer
  • Specific dietary advice
  • Use of Sailing Academy equipment for competitions
  • Assistance with tuition and boarding fees at the Royal Hospital School

learn more about our academy


The school has regular team and fleet racing 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 called Cornish Shrimpers for coastal cruising which are popular in the summer months and for Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme expeditions.

RYA OnBoard

Run by sailing’s National Governing Body, the RYA, OnBoard is a hugely successful grass roots programme which seeks to make sailing and windsurfing easier to access for 8-18 year olds. Launched in 2005 the programme has helped introduce nearly 900,000 young people across the country to sailing and windsurfing.

Hannah Cockle, OnBoard Operations Officer, comments; “It’s great to have The Royal Hospital School in the OnBoard programme. Getting out on the water has a huge amount of benefits, no matter what your age, background or ability. We relish working with them and the local community to get as many people as possible enjoying our great sport.”


We are thrilled to announce that our incredible sailors have dominated the waters over the last 18 months and we are currently the holder of 12 trophies!    

From navigating challenging courses to mastering the art of teamwork, our pupils have shown exceptional skill, determination and sportsmanship.  Each trophy represents countless hours of hard work and dedication.   

Congratulations to our talented sailors, who have made us immensely proud!   

Sailing Office
01473 326120