RYA Recognised Training

The School is an RYA recognised training establishment based at Alton Water reservoir, located a few minutes from the main campus, with a fleet of RS Tera, Topper, Laser, Firefly, RS Feva, RS200, 29er racing dinghies and more.

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.






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.

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 Youth Sailing Scheme Stage 1. 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.





learn more about our academy

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.

Read More about BSDRA Championships
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


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.”

Competition Success

The Royal Hospital School sailing squad are current holders of the BSDRA Hoad Shield and both team trophies from the annual Itchenor Schools Championship. Along with winning the RYA Junior Team Racing Championship and being NSSA Match Racing Champions. As well as team success, many of our elite sailors are seen on the leader boards of both national and international fleet competitions and are represented throughout the RYA Performance Pathway framework.

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

Sailing Office
01473 326120