Darwin Sailing Club

Youth Development Program

Darwin Sailing Club Youth Development Program (YDP)

Program Background

In 2017 the Darwin Sailing Club partnered with the NT Government to invest in four Elliott 7 one design keel boats. As well as expanding the Club’s teaching fleet, one of the key objectives for the introduction of keel boats was to provide a youth retention and development pathway for DSC junior and youth sailors. 

The Elliotts were used extensively throughout 2017 and a Youth Development Program was successfully initiated. 

The early success of the program has, in 2018, been acknowledged by the Management Committee. On the back of this success, significant work has been undertaken in the off season to structure a more formalised development program. This expanded program was sanctioned by the Club's Management Committee in preparation for the 2019 Sailing Season and invitations are now open to eligible youth sailors.

Program Objectives

The objective of the DSC’s Youth Development (YD) Program is to

  • 1.Enhance retention of youth sailors
  • 2.Improve attraction of youth sailors to DSC
  • 3.Provide opportunities for development of life skills for DSC youth sailors
  • 4.Enhance the profile of DSC nationally and internationally
  • 5.Improve the profile of volunteers at DSC and assist in changing the volunteer ethos at the club.
  • 6.Qualify youth sailors to assist with conducting racing, coaching and instructing.
  • 7.Train big boat crew available for member’s boats.
  • 8. Provide a vehicle for DSC Sailors to compete at national and international events.

Program Elements

The YD Program is overseen by the Sailing Committee, and managed by the YD Coach who reports to the DSC Sailing Manager. A YD Program Coach will be appointed at the commencement of each sailing season. In consultation with the YD Sub-Committee, the YD Coach will develop the program with a primary focus on delivering the objectives of the program and a secondary focus on preparing the Youth Team for interstate or international regattas. When travelling to events the Coach will travel with the team.

The program will consist of a Youth Development Squad and a Youth Team.

All participants in the program will be members of the Youth Development Squad. Senior squad members will be eligible for application to the Youth Team who will travel to interstate and possibly international regattas.

The YD program will include:

  • Team building and mentoring elements
  • Participating in all club activities including race management and volunteer coaching
  • DSC and YD Program promotion activities and fund raising
  • Establishing crew work and direct communication skills
  • Developing keel boat handling skills including the dynamics of both asymmetrical and symmetrical spinnakers
  • Developing a deeper understanding and knowledge base of the Racing Rules of Sailing
  • Developing knowledge and undertaking of boat and sail maintenance requirements
  • Gaining an understanding of the differences between dinghy fleet racing tactics and keel boat match racing
  • Gaining regatta experience in one design events at the local, interstate and national level
  • Advanced tactical skills
  • Regatta preparation and program training
  • Monitoring and understanding the weather
  • Improving overall boat and regatta fitness
  • Committing to fitness and nutritional goals
  • Crewing on Club members’ keel boats

Training will be determined by the YD Program Coach but is likely to include at least two on water sessions per week including off water fitness (or cross training undertaken by participants) and additional theory sessions as required. All training is compulsory for participants unless the Coach has been notified in advance. Failure to attend training without prior notification will result in exclusion from team selection.

YD Squad Eligibility and Application

The YD Program requires a heavy training load and a high level of commitment. Eligibility criteria for the program include:

  • Being an existing junior or youth member of the DSC or joining the Club at the time of applying to join the YD program
  • Aged between 14-24 years of age, (12 to 13year olds will be considered as junior members at the discretion of the Coach).
  • Prior sailing experience in either dinghies or keel boats.
  • Commitment to multiple days of on and off water training sessions
  • Willingness to volunteer at the Club, undertake sailing/racing management activities and undertake boat and club maintenance activities
  • Commitment to a YD Program behaviour contract
  • Maintain a logbook of participation and skills accreditation

An application form will be completed by all participants wishing to join the YD Program and submitted to the Sailing Manger and/or the YD Coach in March each year. Once selected, squad members will be required to commit to the training, fundraising, volunteering and boat maintenance requirements of the program and a behaviour contract.

Throughout the program the Coach will identify a primary skipper and a secondary skipper for training and development purposes.


To be confirmed


Participation fee - $500 per year per participant. This will include all usage fees for the Elliott 7s, coaching over the period, sail training material & DSC YDP Racing kit.

Key Program Dates: 

Applications Close: Friday March 29th 2019

Program Commences: Thursday April 4th 2019

For more information please contact the Club Office: 8981 1700 or e:mail [email protected] 

Thanks to supporters of the Darwin Sailing Club