AYC Racing School
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J/24 "After Midnight" racing on Lake Travis (image
courtesy of Bruce McDonald)
The AYC Racing School is organized by volunteer skippers at the Austin Yacht Club. We love to teach people how to sail and we are hoping you will catch the bug too :-) Racing a sailboat competitively requires teamwork and coordination between all crew members, and since every crew position is crucial during a race, you will learn by doing from day one!


The Racing School program consists of a series of courses, organized in such a way that students can progress at their own rate. At the start of each course, students will receive a checklist outlining the tasks required to complete the course. A typical day at Racing School will have students of different levels performing the tasks required to complete their respective courses. This allows students to progress at their own rate and enhances the learning experience by exposing beginning students to more advanced techniques.


The Racing School class schedule is organized around the racing calendar at the Austin Yacht Club. AYC holds sailboat races throughout the year on Lake Travis and Racing School classes start a couple of hours prior to the start of each AYC race. This schedule provides maximum flexibility for both students and instructors. Since the number of instructors and sailboats available on any particular day may vary, students are encouraged to reserve a spot by sending an email prior to the day they plan to attend. See Registration for more information.

What to expect

AYC clubhouse
On your first day of Racing School, you will meet your instructor at the AYC clubhouse for an Introduction to Sailing class and an introduction to the sport of competitive sailboat racing. During orientation you will sign a liability waiver and you will view a series of sailing videos. New students should plan to arrive at AYC one hour prior to the scheduled start time in order to go through orientation and in order to watch the videos. For example, if the schedule shows the Class Start at 10 am, new students should arrive at 9 am and returning students should arrive at 10 am. When you register for a class, your confirmation email will have the time you should arrive at the club.

After the completion of the videos, students will go to the dock and will get familiar with a sailboat by practicing some of the techniques discussed in the video. The first day you will receive a checklist which outlines all the skills you will need to complete in order to earn your first degree of Basic Sailor.

Each day you attend Racing School you will bring your checklist with you in order to help your instructor plan your day's activities. Once you complete all the required skills for one course you will earn your degree and you will qualify for the next course, eventually leading to your Black Belt degree :-)