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SYC Keelboat Sailing

Start Racing Keelboat Course


A Keelboat Start Racing course is an introduction to racing a small keelboat. The course is Australian Sailing Accredited and instructed by qualified Australian Sailing Instructors. You will now learn the basic racing rules, skills and tactics and gain an understanding of what is expected of a racing crew on a small boat.

Our Start Racing course is conducted on our club 7.5m (25ft) keelboats which are perfect for teaching and learning. We will provide you with a life jacket for your course and a wet weather jacket if you need one. You will not need any special clothing for your course, however we request that you wear non-marking (or light coloured) soled shoes and make sure to bring warm clothing that you are able to get wet. On rainy or windy days it is a great idea to bring a towel and a change of clothes.

Each participant will receive a theory book and a log book during the Start Crewing Course. Please remember to bring your books with you to all of your keelboat courses. If you do not have them and would like to purchase them they are available for $45 from the boating office. You will receive a certificate of participation which may be emailed to you after the course.

We will have a lunch break each day and you are welcome to bring your own lunch or purchase lunch from our Member’s Bar. For safety reasons we are unable to take anyone on board who has consumed alcohol before or during the course.

Our Keelboat Programs are priced at $400pp and we do offer a member discount. If you would like to be notified when course dates are confirmed please email [email protected]

Click here for session times and dates


  • 12 hour Two Day course  (2 x 6 hr days) 
  • 12 hour 4 Week course (4 x 3 hr sessions) – Summer only

A makeup date is also scheduled in the event of bad weather.

Start Racing Outcomes

Sailing Element Criteria
Preparation o Knows the appropriate clothing to be worn and safety equipment to be taken when racing inshore and offshore or overnight
o Understands the importance of minimising the weight of personal gear
o Understands the importance of physical fitness and preparation
o Understands the importance of contributing as a crew i.e. helping with boat preparation and packing up, attending briefings and debriefings
Boats and Equipment o Knows the correct techniques for the efficient and safe use of all deck hardware – e.g. winches, jamming cleats, traveller, jib track, spinnaker poles / bowsprits and their associated fittings
Skills and Techniques o Understands and is competent in each crew position during the following manoeuvres: pre-start, tacking (including roll tacking), gybing, windward and leeward mark roundings
o Can work as part of a team during all manoeuvres
o Can operate sail controls to achieve optimum sail shape in light, medium & heavy airs
o Can work as a team with other trimmers and the helm
o Can hike effectively when required
Racing Theory o Understands the theory of sail shape, including draft position and twist
o Understands the importance of correct crew weight placement in all conditions and points of sail
o Understands ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ procedures including flags and sound signals
o Understands different course types including windward / leeward, olympic triangle, laid / passage course
o Can plan for expected manoeuvres for a given course
o Knows the basic Rules of Racing
Communication o As crew, can communicate effectively within a team
o Knows what information to transmit to the afterguard – and how often and when to transmit it

Start Racing Pre-requisites

Water confident.

Over 16 years or 12 years with a guardian.

Completed Start Crewing and Start Helming including all outcomes (or equivalent skills)

Who should do this course?

Anyone wanting to learn the basic fundamentals of racing at a club level.

Next Steps

Following the Start Racing Course there are a number of options to continue your sailing:


Saturday Courses

Start Racing - Keelboat / Saturday Courses

  • Saturday, May 11, 2024
    09:00 AM to 04:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 25, 2024
    09:00 AM to 04:00 PM