Tel: 01590 672677

Wednesday Junior Sailing

Wednesday Junior Sailing

Volunteer-led community sailing organised by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club

Our award-winning community programme, Wednesday Junior Sailing (WJS), enables 8-17 year olds to learn seamanship as well as sailing and rowing skills under the supervision of Club volunteers. WJS takes place on Wednesday afternoons in the summer months from April until September.
In 2019 we welcomed our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, to celebrate 35 years of the Wednesday Junior Sailing programme. Wednesday Junior Sailing was started in 1984 by Dr. Jonathan Rogers, assisted by Dr Tom McEwen, using 12 Scows which were made available by club members. As WJS has grown over the years so too has the need for volunteers. Over a hundred enthusiastic volunteers, led by Ali Husband, take turns to help in all weathers throughout the sailing season.

Sailing, rowing and seamanship skills for children

WJS provides dinghy, rowing and power boat training and limitless water-borne fun for children who live locally. They even get a doughnut and a cup of hot chocolate at the end of the session! Each session costs just £1. Each week, participating children work their way through a series of coloured cards, each of which shows a number of skills and knowledge. Starting with Yellow-Card, children progress at their own speed.

WJS has been the grass roots from which many sailing champions have emerged. We have had three Olympic medallists, many World, European and National Champions. Many older children come back to help at WJS, continuing their learning to gain their RYA Assistant Instructor qualification.

We often have spaces on our 14:00 - 16:00 session which is now open to all children!

Wednesday Junior Sailing is generously sponsored by Lymington Yacht Haven.

How to get involved

Wednesday Junior Sailing is available to all children aged 8–17 who live in the Lymington area. You do not have to be a member of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, and you do not even need to know how to sail!

Wednesday Junior Sailing normally takes place on Wednesday afternoons from April to September. There are two 2-hour sessions: 14:00-16:00 and 16:00-18:00. Children are expected to stay for the full 2-hour session.

Consent Form - including medical information

At the start of each season, you are required to complete a new parental consent form for your child with up-to-date contact details and medical information.

Booking Conditions

  • Sessions will have limited numbers
  • Nobody should attend WJS if they have any symptoms compatible with Covid within 10 days of a positive Covid Test or if they have been advised to self isolate
  • Social distancing must be adhered to at all times
  • Attendees shall comply with all signage
  • Attendees should arrive changed & ready to go afloat, however children & volunteers are able to use the Club toilets, showers and changing rooms, disenfecting the areas they use before and after use.

Key Dates for 2022

First WJS session: 27 April 2022

WJS Party: 22 June 2022

Youth Week: 25-29 July 2022
Once registered and participating in Wednesday Junior Sailing, children are also able to register to participate in the annual Youth Week.

Last WJS session: 28 September 2022

Please Note:

  • Children cannot participate in WJS until this form has been completed and submitted online or handed in.
  • Occasionally Wednesday Junior Sailing is cancelled due to stormy weather
  • Parents must not leave children at the club until their children have been accepted for the session.
  • If your child has a life-threatening condition (for instance a heart problem, epilepsy, acute allergy needing an epi-pen or diabetes), please alert the WJS office leader that he/she is sailing that day. It is important that Helpers are made fully aware as we do not all recognise every child.
  • Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section below!
Participants shall be guided by the RYA document Sailing & Racing in Mixed Households and by the control measures outlined in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club risk assessments for Dinghy Sailing and SUP, Pontoon and On The Water Activities and Clubhouse Operations.

Frequently asked questions

Wednesday Junior Sailing normally takes place on Wednesday afternoons from April to September. There are two 2-hour sessions: 14:00 to 16:00 and 16:00 to 18:00.

The first session is for schools. The 14:00-16:00 session is primarily for organised school parties as it takes place during the normal school day. During school holidays the first session is much quieter, and all children are welcome to come to the earlier session if they would like to.

The second session can get very busy and WJS office will not start to register second session children before 15:30. There is no priority for any school or group. The second sailing session does not officially start until 16:00 and children will not be able to go down onto the pontoon before this time. The first session children have every right to the instructors’ and helpers’ attention until the end of their session.

Occasionally Wednesday Junior Sailing is cancelled due to stormy weather.
On arrival at Royal Lymington Yacht Club, find your way through the gate at the side of the club to the rear. There you will find WJS volunteers and quite probably several noisy queues of children! If this is your first time at WJS, make yourself known to a volunteer, who will advise you which queue your child should join.

Please do not leave your children until you have made sure that the session is running and that your child has been able to register. This is most important as numbers of children on the water are limited according to how many helpers and instructors have signed in. If we have insufficient instructors, we may have to turn children away. We may also have to cancel the second session if the weather deteriorates. If you leave your child and they are not signed in, then we have no record of them and cannot be responsible for them.
Children queue according to which colour card they are on.

The first card is yellow: yellow-card children are sometimes restricted for the second session, according to the number of volunteers that we have. Children are asked to form a queue and register if there is space, according to the numbers we can allow to sail that day.

Please note that if your child is on a red, white or green card, they join a separate queue which allows them to go in quickly once the office opens for registration. 

There is also a queue for children of Instructors and Helpers who are helping on that day, whichever card they are on, which gives them priority at registration.

If there are too many children wanting to sail every week, we may have to use the ‘alternate week system’ for those on yellow cards and possibly even red cards, but we will tell you if we have to do this. 

Any child on their yellow card who is turned away one week will have priority the following week, so no child should miss two weeks running, as long as they make sure their names have been noted by the office when the session is full. You can help us prevent having to turn children away by becoming a helper, provided that you are able to do something practical to help.

Sailing clothing

Your child will need some special clothing for sailing. There is a real danger of children becoming very cold if they are not suitably dressed, so anyone we judge to be inadequately dressed for the weather will not be able to sail. 

We are going to be much stricter on this point this year, especially with those children who we know to get very cold. This is a list of the absolute minimum clothing requirements for your child to be able to sail:
  • Warm outer clothing
  • Waterproof top
  • A change of clothes in case of rain or capsize
  • Footwear with a sole that grips even when wet
Recommended additional clothing. A wetsuit is a super buy for a keen Junior Sailor, especially if they feel the cold. Brand new wetsuits are available from only £20 from or from Any wetsuit is useless on its own and it must be worn with a waterproof top to stop wind-chill. Once a wetsuit gets wet the child will get very cold unless they are wearing a windproof top over it. Wetsuits with short arms and legs are virtually useless except in the hottest of weather, and the British Summer is usually quite short lived. Waterproof trousers are a very good idea as they will keep the legs warm by keeping out the wind. Dry suits are expensive and easily damaged and for this reason they are really only necessary for serious racers.

Bouyancy Aids

We have a good supply of buoyancy aids that sailors can borrow, but there is often a queue for these, and we recommend that keen junior sailors get their own. However, do ensure that these comply with the 50 Newton standard. Do not be tempted to buy one that is too large on the basis that the child will ‘grow into it’. If the buoyancy aid is too large, the child may slip out of it into the water. If you are not sure that your buoyancy aid complies, please show it to the volunteers or staff in the Wednesday Sailing office. We will not let a child onto the water with a badly fitting buoyancy aid.

Hair elastics

Long hair must be tied back so it does not pose a threat to your child’s safety. This applies to both boys and girls and again your child will not be able to go afloat without their hair tied back.

Sun Block

Burns from the sun and the wind can be very painful and dangerous. Even when it is windy and does not feel very warm, the sun can be very harmful. Please make sure that your child is well covered on sunny days and send some sun cream with them in their sailing bag.

Cover wounds

Open wounds should be covered with a suitable dressing or plaster before sailing. In the event of a skin cut occurring during a session, a supply of plasters is kept in the Wednesday sailing office.

No mobile phones!

Mobile Phones are not allowed at Wednesday Junior Sailing. The only place for them is in the safekeeping of the WJS office. They are not permitted in the changing rooms, even in kit bags, and they are certainly not allowed on the water or the pontoons. If your child must have a phone please ensure your child hands it to the office staff when they sign in.
Please remember that the SI (Senior Instructor) has a great responsibility and their decision on the day is final. If you have a query or problem that cannot wait, please speak to the SI in charge on the day. If it is not urgent then please speak to club office and they will make sure the right person deals with your enquiry. Overall responsibility for Wednesday Junior Sailing belongs to Ali Husband but she cannot be there every week and will back any decisions made by the SI in charge of the session.

Our responsibility for the children ends as soon as they hand in their card and disc. However, there are always adults in the WJS office until at least 6.15pm and your children should wait near there if they are at all concerned about your whereabouts. If you are delayed and will be very late to collect your child, please phone the club office to let us know on 01590 672677.

Children must be able to behave and show respect

We actively encourage the children to have fun, but they are expected to behave sensibly both on the pontoons and ashore. They are using privately owned equipment and being taught by people who devote a great deal of time to Wednesday Junior Sailing so both should be treated with care and respect. If they are not able to do this consistently, we reserve the right to exclude them from WJS until we feel they will conform.


If your child has any problems with any form of bullying, either on or off the water, we need to know about it straight away. Please tell your children that if they have a problem of this sort, they can talk to one of the Green Disc Instructors, or to any adult at WJS they feel happy to talk to. Those people will report back to the Senior Instructor running the session who will take whatever action is necessary to resolve the problem under the club guidelines.

Have fun!

When you leave your child with us, we will do our best to encourage them to learn and have fun. Parents are welcome to stay and watch their children but please do not feel the need to push them along. We are not bothered how long they take to go through the card system – in fact, sometimes the longer they take, the better they will sail! Encouragement is, however, always welcome and most children are very proud to show their parents how well they can sail or row.
?Capsizing is a normal part of sailing and children will be encouraged to capsize and learn how to right their boat in a controlled environment as part of the card system. This will teach them how to deal with any accidental capsize they might experience.

Wednesday Junior Sailing Needs You!

Without the very special people who volunteer their time on a Wednesday, we could not offer this great service to the community. We get superb financial support for Junior Sailing from Lymington Yachthaven but we could not survive without volunteers. All the areas would like more help, which will mean we turn fewer children away and more children can have the fabulous fun on the water that we all enjoy.
You do not need to have any experience to be able to help. Anyone with any level of sailing ability is more than welcome, and there are a number of jobs ashore for non-sailing helpers. People who can row are especially welcome as we always have a shortage and rowing has become the new favourite amongst the children on the water!

Pre-season Training 

Each year we run Beginning of Season helpers refresher / training afternoons. All are welcome to attend – parents too if you would like to know what is involved.  There is also a Safety Briefing.
You do not need to qualify as an instructor to help on the water. Competent sailors are very much appreciated to sail Scows. We need RIB crews (you don’t necessarily have to drive) and both shoreside and pontoon help. If you enjoy it, the club can offer formal RYA Training to become an Instructor or a RIB Driver, which is great fun and a very useful skill.
We welcome children to join our Junior and Youth Fleets, which offer year-round sailing coaching, training, racing and adventures! Our Junior and Youth Fleets are:

Single Handers: Optimist, RS Tera, Laser, RS Aero
Double-Handers: RS Feva, 420, 29er
We welcome visiting sailors to our Open Training, however there are many benefits to becoming a member of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. They are two ways that children can become members: 

1. Full Family Membership

We offer discounted family membership rates and children aged under 18 join FREE when parents take up family membership! This type of membership brings the most benefits, including subsidised coaching, full use of the club’s facilities including the Mosimann’s restaurant and bar (with members' rates for food and drink), access to our dinghy storage parks, access to club boats and SUPs to hire, discounted rates for training courses and inclusion in our adventure sailing and social programmes. Full members also enjoy full use of our waterfront facilities including overnight mooring on our pontoons with electricity and water, launch service to river moorings or tenders to borrow, boatmen services including our on-site crane at discounted members' rate. 
Find out more and join us!

2. Junior Membership

Children can join in their own right as Junior Members. The annual subscription is the only as much as the cost of a buoyancy aid and this brings slightly subsidised coaching (although the discount is not as great as Family Members). 
Find out more and join us!