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 2022 ILCA 6
 Nicole Stovell 1st,  Seb Kempe 1st,   
Thommie Grit 2nd, Will Pank 3rd  

Youth Sailing World Championships 2022 ILCA 6
Seb Kempe 2nd, Nicole Stovell 23rd, Thommie Grit 28th, Boris Hirsch 32nd  
(Seb Kempe 1st - 2021)

USA ILCA 6 National Championships 2022
 Audrey Foley 1st 

UK National Champion 2022
Merryn Attridge (Topper 5.3) 

Asian ILCA 6 Championships 2022
Christopher Marsh 2nd

UK Schools Single Handed Team Racing Champions 2022 (Topper) 

UK National Schools Championship 2022 - Junior (RS Fevas), Senior (Fireflies) & Ladies (Fireflies) Team Winners

U19 UK Open Team Racing Championship 2022 – Team Silver & 1st School (Fireflies) 

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

15 pupils in RYA or Class Association Training Squads 2022/23


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. 

Read More about Merryn Topper Champ!
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.

Read More about Youth Sailing World Champion


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.”

Sailing Office
01473 326120