Junior Watersports Programme

The Junior Watersports Programme at Nelson Yacht Club has been going from strength to strength over the past few seasons and we are looking forward to another exciting summer ahead!

The new JWP Leaflet is available to download here: Junior Programme 2018-19

To book for this year, please complete a booking form here:


Please remember to put which course and which group you would like to book πŸ™‚

Learn to Sail!

The younger kids (from 8 to ~11) learn in Optimists, and the older kids (~12 – 15) learn in the bigger Topaz Unos. We also run groups for different ability levels – Improvers, Intermediates and Advanced sailors.

For more details and guidance on which group your child should join, see below or contact Tim on info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz or 02102503767

Holiday Programmes

Most of our holiday courses are the full 5 days (Monday-Friday), but occasionally we run 2 or 3 day courses as necessary with Public Holidays.

We generally try to fit in an adventure of some sort, such as picnic lunches on Haulashore Island, climbing the Lighthouse, scavenger hunts on the Boulder Bank or sailing to Tahuna beach. The end of the week shared lunch is always a mean feed!

Please get in touch to book your son/daughter in. A completed booking form and payment will secure a booking. NB. If you have already completed a booking form this season, then you don’t need to complete another! Just email Jill at info@nelsonyachtclub.org.nz to notify her of your payment.

You can now complete a booking form online: http://www.nelsonyachtclub.org.nz/learn-to-sail/booking-form/

Any questions call me on 02102503767 or email info@nelsonwatersports.co.nz/

Holiday Programme Course Details:

  • 9am – 4pm each day.
  • A full week course costs $340 ($290 for NYC members)
  • A four day course costs $275 ($235 for NYC members)
  • A two day course costs $140 ($120 for NYC members)
  • Drop in Days – $80/day ($68/day for NYC members)

Easter School Holidays:

  • Week 1 (4 days) – Mon 15th – Thurs 18th April
  • Week 2 (2 days) – Tues 23rd & Weds 24th April
  • Groups yet to be decided


Term Time Training:

During the school terms we run programmes of after-school and weekend sailing sessions. These are great for doing some regular sailing and practising your skills!

We have been agonising about how to schedule the Term Time Training for Term 1 this year, with a huge variety in back-to-school dates, the Nelson anniversary and Waitangi day holidays, and the Flying Dutchman Nationals and World Championships coming up in early February. To be fair, it hasn’t got any easier by leaving the decision until now πŸ˜‰

We will be starting our Term Time training groups from Saturday the 23rd February. This means we will be able to squeeze in 7 weeks before the end of term 1. The cost will be $150 and everyone has to be an NYC club member. NB. The membership rate drops from Feb 1st for the rest of the season. The main exception is someone doing their first course with us. In this case, they may pay $180 as a non-member.

Drop in sessions are $30 per session, subject to availability after the start of the courses.

The proposed groups are as follows:

Saturdays (starting 23rd Feb) 10:30 – 12:30
Beginner Optimists
Beginner Optimists
Improver Optimists

Saturday afternoons (starting 23rd Feb) 13:30 – 15:30
Green Fleet – Optimists & Topaz

Mondays (starting 25th Feb) 15:45 – 17:45
Improver Optimists
Intermediate Optimists
Advanced Topaz (two-handed)
Advanced Windsurfing

Tuesdays (starting 26th Feb) 15:45 – 17:45
Intermediate Optimists
Improver Topaz
Intermediate Topaz
Improver Windsurfing

Wednesdays (starting 27th Feb) 15:45 – 17:45
Improver Optimists
Beginner Topaz
Improver Topaz
Intermediate Windsurfing

Thursdays (starting 28th Feb) 16:00 – 18:30
Starling Coaching

Fridays (starting 1st Mar) 15:45 – 17:45
Beginner Optimists
Intermediate Windsurfing
Open Bic Coaching
Advanced Topaz – NB. This group has become two-handed as well due to demand

As I say, these are proposed groups at this stage and we reserve the right to change them at any time, so if you would like to see something else on the schedule, get in touch asap and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

Green Fleet Optimists & Topaz (when available) on Saturday afternoons

We have scheduled a ‘Green Fleet’ group on Saturday afternoons this term in order to encourage more people into Saturday afternoon club sailing. It will still be an instructor led session, but we would like to encourage all parents to come along and get involved when you can. This will be club Optimists, own boat Optimists, and the Topazes when available (sometimes they’ll be used for Adult Learn to Sail courses). So it is really aimed at those who can still fit in an Opti!

You’ll be expected to come down in good time and get a boat rigged ready for a 1.30 start to the session. We’ll aim to hit the water after a briefing and once the rest of the club sailors have headed out.

Which Group!?

  • 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 Training: Sailors with their own boats, training and honing their racing skills.


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 as part of the Term Time Training programme. A great way to practise and meet other windsurfers. We have groups on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays.

  • On Nelson Watersports gear: $30 per session or $180 for the 7 week term
  • On your own gear: $20 per session or $120 for the 7 week term
  • Half and Half (Eg. your board & our rigs): $25 per session or $150 for the 7 weeks
  • You need to complete a Nelson Watersports Booking Form instead of a NYC one.

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.

Safety Notice:

While safety is paramount at Nelson Yacht Club all participants attend at their own risk. Participants are supplied with buoyancy aids (if they do not have their own) 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 30 days prior to the commencement of the course. Course bookings are valid for 1 year from the booking date.

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 independently, with a mate or two, or with a parent keeping an eye on them.

Green Fleet in the start sequence