Learn to Sail at Howick Sailing Club

All Learn to Sail (LTS) and Holiday Programme classes fill up fast!

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Holiday Programmes

Are you looking for something different to do this school holidays?  Whether you're a beginner or an improver, our Holiday Sailing Programmes are a fun way to spend your break.

Beginners will learn the basics of sailing, safety and build their confidence on the water whilst students with prior experience will improve upon skills learnt in previous levels and will learn advanced boat handling and seamanship skills.

Holiday LTS 1 Programme

Yachting NZ learn to sail courses.  4 Day block course from 9am-3pm.  

Holiday Learn to Race Programme

Yachting NZ learn to race course. 4 Day block course from 9am-3pm.

Please note: Running a course is subject to numbers.  We require a minimum of 6 sailors on a course.  We will close registrations for courses 1 week before course start date and notify you if for any reason we are unable to run a course.


Learn to Sail Programme (During School Term)

WEDNESDAYS/SUNDAY LTS 1&2

Wednesdays 4.30-7pm Term 1 and 4
Sundays at 9.30am - 12noon.  Term 1 and Term 4

Laern to Race and Rainbow Fleet Development Sailing  - Fridays 4.30-7pm & Sunday afternoons from 1pm.

Please note: Running a course is subject to numbers.  We require a minimum of 6 sailors on a course.  We will close registrations for courses 1 week before course start date and notify you if for any reason we are unable to run a course.

Further details on Learn to sail courses

The Club runs a Holiday Learn to Sail programme and a 6 week LTS block courses for keen young sailors. This is operated by Club members, parents on a voluntary basis with a Yachting New Zealand qualified coach. We are not a commercial operation or a Sailing School, and this course is designed to engage children interested in sailing after they have completed the school Waterwise course, taste of sailing course or have shown interest sailing.

The programme will take the children through the YNZ Level 1 curriculum. After completing the Learn to Sail course, children will be invited to enrol in our Learn to Race courses - Sailing Fast (L2) and Go Racing (L3).  You will be also invited to join the Club, if you are not already a member, and come sailing on Sundays our Club sailing day.  We will be running a development squad called the “Rainbow Fleet” that will be sailing from 1pm.  This will be a fun filled mix of training, short races, destination sails and fun sailing games on the water to build confidence and grow sailing skills.

We have available for use a fleet of plastic Optimist yachts which are ideal for learners.  These are limited and used for the Learn to Sail programmes.  We will hire these on a 6 week basis for Sunday Club sailing with priority to newly completed Learn to Sail L1 course sailors.  It is expected that after this period sailors will purchase their own boats.

Why Sail?

“There is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" said the Water Rat in Wind in the Willows.  Sailing is a fun, safe, accessible, and affordable sport that welcomes participation from people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.

What boat do we teach LTS in?

Young sailors at Howick Sailing Club learn to sail in plastic optimist dinghies. Qualified coaches are always right alongside in their boats

Ideal Skipper

Students must be competent in the water and be able to swim 50m with a buoyancy vest.  Most sailors start at around age 8 - 12. Weights range from 30 – 55 kg. To build confidence sailors capsize regularly at the start.

Boat Options

The use of a club-owned Optimist and a buoyancy vest is included in the Learn to Sail fee & LTS Holiday Programme fee. All you have to provide is appropriate clothing and encouraging support.

Learn To Sail

Most of our sailors start Learn to Sail (LTS) at around 8-10 years of age - some older. Talk to us if you're unsure if your child is ready.

Learn To Race

Learn To Race (LTR) is the Club’s extension group for sailors that have completed Learn To Sail and have a basic knowledge of sailing. Our LTR program is run in accordance with Yachting NZ Sailing, Sailing Fast (L2) and Go Racing (L3) courses. We teach our sailors:

  • Getting your boat balanced and fast
  • How wind, water and weight affects your boat
  • Learn how to start and finish like a pro
  • Tactics for racing, clean and dirty air
  • Learn good technique and positioning for clear mark roundings
  • Rules for racing and putting them in practice