Junior Watersports Programme

The Junior Watersports Programme at Nelson Yacht Club is becoming a must do for Nelson kids over the summer! We had a great summer last season with heaps of kids learning to sail and some of our more advanced kids having all sorts of adventures, such as a camping trip to Oyster Island, and a day sail to Mapua and back!

Here’s the updated info leaflet:Junior Programme 2016-17

To book for this year, please complete an NYC Booking Form-2016-17

Learn to Sail!

Our comprehensive programme of courses both during term time and during school holidays means you’ll have every opportunity to get hooked on watersports.

  • Week 1: 19th – 23rd December
  • 3-Day 1: 21st – 23rd December
  • 3-Day 2: 4th – 6th January
  • Week 2: 9th – 13th January
  • Week 3: 16th – 20th January – including Open Opti pre-SIAG training camp Mon-Thurs, and the Oyster Island Adventure for the more advanced sailors.
  • Week 4: 23rd – 27th January – incuding NBYTRA 420 Team Racing Camp

Most of our holiday courses are the full 5 days, but on selected weeks there is a 3 day option. The younger kids (up to ~11) learn in Optimists, and the older kids (~12 – 15) learn in the bigger Topaz Unos.

In each week there are groups for different ability levels:

  • Beginners: You’ll be introduced to the marine environment safely and learn how to stay safe on, in and around the water. You’ll have heaps of fun learning the essential skills for sailing a small single-handed sailing boat like the Optimist. I wouldn’t rule out capsizing, swimming, loads of games and races, or the occasional pirate attack!
  • Improvers: This group is for kids who have done some sailing, but who have not yet completed the YNZ Level 1 Certificate. Often the smaller/younger kids, and the group focuses on fun and building confidence as well as working towards the Level 1.
  • Intermediates: Designed for kids who have already done quite a bit of sailing and are looking to extend their skills and maybe try different boats etc… We’ll be working on skills that are part of the YNZ “Sailing….Fast” or Level 2 syllabus. It can take a bit longer to achieve the Level 2 certificate, so you might be in this group for a few sessions before reaching the level and moving on to Green Fleet training.
  • Green Fleet: Learning to race! Sailing in either a club Optimist or your own boat, these groups of sailors can handle themselves around a course and in moderate conditions, and are now looking at how to start and compete in races.
  • Fleet Sailors: Sailors with their own boats, training and honing their racing skills.

  • Windsurfing!

Nelson Watersports will again be offering windsurfing courses run in conjunction with Nelson Yacht Club’s Junior Watersports Programme. This exciting sport is equally good for kids who have sailed before and are looking for the next challenge, or kids who’ve never set foot in a boat! Most weeks there will be a dedicated group for windsurfers. Please call us to find out which weeks will be running. We recommend a minimum age of 10 for kids windsurfing – a size/strength thing…


Nelson watersports runs regular windsurfing supervised hire sessions on Monday & Tuesday evenings throughout the season. A great way to practise and meet other windsurfers.

  • On Nelson Watersports gear: $30 per session or $180 for the 8 week term
  • On your own gear: $20 per session or $120 for the 8 week term
  • Half and Half: $25 per session or $150 for the 8 week term
  • You need to complete a Nelson Watersports Booking Form instead of a NYC one.

The details

The holiday programme courses run from 9:00am to 4:00pm each day. Although we are here from 8.30-4.30, so if you need a drop-off / pick-up window then we’ll put them to work!

We aim to have two water sessions as well as some land based activity / theory each day, but the actual programme is very much weather dependant!

The minimum age is 8yrs (10yrs for windsurfing)


3-day: $195.00 ($165 for members) *specified courses only *

5-day: $320.00 ($272 for members)

Term-time sessions: $20 per session or $130 for 8 sessions. You must be an NYC member to enrol in these courses. The only exception is complete beginners doing their first course during term time – in this case it costs $150 as a non-member.

Youth membership is $90 for the full season or $45 after Feb 1st. The season runs July-June.

NYC Booking Form-2016-17

What to bring?:

  • Sun block
  • Sun hat
  • Clothing that dries quickly and provides sun protection. Cotton T-shirts or shorts are not recommended
  • Wetsuit. Full-length suits are essential for spring courses, and highly recommended at any time of year.  If you don’t have one there are a few old ones available to borrow, and Nelson Watersports Ltd has a small stock of GUL Response suits.
  • Waterproof / windproof jacket. This keeps the wind chill off, and is extremely important for watersports.
  • 2 towels
  • Footwear for wearing in the water - wetsuit booties are ideal
  • Thermals – lots of layers of poly-pro or merino
  • Pen
  • Lunch (if appropriate) and snacks
  • Drink bottle

Nelson Watersports Ltd stocks a small selection of sailing gear such as wetsuits, booties, spray-tops, gloves, buoyancy aids etc… from GUL and Rooster through a relationship with NZ Sailing Ltd. Get in touch with Tim on 02102503767 if you have any questions.

While safety is paramount at Nelson Yacht Club all participants attend at their own risk. All participants are supplied with buoyancy aids that are worn while on the water and in and around the water.

Everyone must follow the instructions given by the coach or instructors. A patrol boat will be on the water at all times when sailing is in progress.

Cancellation: If a participant is unable to attend, a refund will be given only if notice of cancellation is given at least 7 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Regular Sailing

Here at Nelson Yacht Club there are many more opportunities to get out on the water. Our Club Sailing Day is a Saturday each week, when members get a chance to race against each other. There is a “Green Fleet Fun” session on most Saturday afternoons. This is a relaxed and fun session run by parents and volunteers aimed at our green fleet sailors – those who have been sailing for a little while and are starting to learn how to race.

Sunday afternoons are another great time to come down and go for a sail.

Once sailing in their own boats, kids often come down and sail independantly, with a mate or two, or with a parent keeping an eye on them.

Green Fleet in the start sequence