16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700

Youth Development Program

Youth Development Program 2017:             

The Youth Development Program is a 6 month winter training program involving both on & off water sessions with selective regatta experience over both the summer & winter seasons. The program focuses on building core team work dynamics and advanced sail trim techniques in both fleet and match racing. Sailors will have the ability to represent the Club & Australia at National and International events. Participants will focus on refining their skills in the following areas: 

  • Understand and developing advanced keelboat 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 and learning the new changes to the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing
  • Implementing changes from dinghy fleet racing tactics to keelboat racing
  • Execution of better teamwork dynamics
  • Developing a deeper knowledge base of match racing rules and tactics
  • Representing the Club & Australia at National & International events
  • Gain regatta experience at the One-Design & Interclub events 
  • Introduction to larger keelboat sailing


The program entails training on Fridays, Saturday and listed Sundays:

Friday Nights: Fitness/team building is conducted on Friday nights between 1800-1900hrs in the RPAYC gym, by qualified fitness instructors.

Saturday:On water training sessions out of RPAYC. The day runs from 0730 to 1530hrs

Sunday: Listed Sundays are also used to hold regattas such as the one design and match racing events. Icebreaker race days are also scheduled as a way for participants to cross train, and develop their dinghy racing skills.

All training days are compulsory for participants unless a leave notice has been submitted and approved well in advance. 

Dates for 2017

05 May                                                    Welcome Evening

12 May – 06 October                           Friday gym & team building sessions

06 May –  30 September                    Saturday On water sessions

21 May , 18 Jun, 16 Jul, 20 Aug        Icebreaker Centreboard Regatta.

13 Oct                                                     End of season presentation evening


Sailors will have the ability to represent the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club & Australia at National and International events throughout the program. The RPAYC will support specific events which are related to the Youth Development program and which are seen as a valuable asset to the club. Selection trials will be held throughout the year for funded events during the program. Members are selected on a number of criteria including commitment, skill level, availability, position and weight. Each team member will be selected at least 60 days prior to each event. In addition, where participants wish to form a team for a specific event, they may do so & apply for funding through the Youth Competition Support Fund (YCSF).

Key Regatta Dates supported by YCSF:                    

13-14 May             One-Design Autumn Regatta (RPAYC)

4-8 July                  Darwin International Youth Match Racing Championships (DSC, Northern Territory)

8-9 July                  One-Design Winter Regatta (RPAYC)

17-22 July             50thGovernor’s Cup & ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championships (BYC, USA)

31 July -5 Aug      WS Youth MR World Championship, Newport Beach, CA (BYC, USA)

5 Aug                      RPAYC Grade 5 (RPAYC)

12-13 Aug             Noumea Youth MR Championships, New Caledonia 

12-13 Aug             Club Marine NSW Match Racing Championships (CYCA)

2-3 Sep                  NT State MR Championships, Darwin, NT (DSC)

9-10 Sep                Marineasses Regatta (CYCA)

14-17 Sep              Australian Match Racing Nationals (SYC)

16-17 Sep              David Lukins Match Race Regatta (RPAYC)

07 October             Gingernut Cup

27 Sep – 1st Oct    Australian Youth Match Racing Nationals (CYCA)

22-26 Nov             HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship (RPAYC)

27 Nov – 1st Dec   MUSTO International Youth Match Racing Championship (CYCA)

TBA                        Women’s Australian National Championships


TBA Feb/Jan          Warren Jones International Youth Match Race Champs (RPYC)

TBA February         Hardy Cup (RSYS)

TBA February        CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Race (RPNYC)

TBA February        Nespresso International Youth Match Race (RNZYS)


Participants must be between the ages of 16-25 years old and have some existing sailing experience in keelboats. Also desirable in the selections process, is sound dinghy and/or keelboat results at both club, stand and national levels. All applications will be assessed on merit for the available positions. Course will be limited to 26 applicants. Applications must be submitted by Friday, 31st March 2017 with successful applicants notified by Friday, 7th April 2017. Please complete the Expression of Interest form  and email back to yd@rpayc.com.au 


Tom Spithill

Tom started off at the RPAYC sailing MJ’s, doing his first regatta as crew at age 3. From then on he has progressed through the centreboard division, sailing numerous dinghies. During high school, Tom participated in team’s racing where he went onto race at both state and National Level. Around this time as well, Tom was selected into the RPAYC Youth Development Program. Being part of this program saw Tom represent the club in youth International Match Racing events around the world including New Zealand & the United States of America. Tom participated in the YD program for 5 years before moving into a coaching role several years later. He has also been a part of the Wild Oats XI Racing team, competing at the 2008 Super Maxi World Championships. On return from Europe, Tom joined the RPAYC as full time in 2008, firstly as a sailing administrator, and now as Head Coach of the sailing programs.


$1,100.00 – Members          

$1,300.00 – Non-Members.

This will include all usage fees for the Elliot 7s, coaching over the period, sail training material & RPAYC YD Racing kit.

Where to next:

 The YD program is designed to give you the tools to take your sailing to the next level. Former graduates of the Youth Development Program have gone onto the Americas Cup, Olympic Games, World Match Racing Tour, Volvo Ocean Race & Success at world championships.
Some graduates have forged their way in the marine industry through contacts met during their involvement in the program, and are enjoying success in their area of expertis.

Other Graduates are now racing regularly at the club in various fleets such as centerboard, One Design and Keelboats, and are enjoying their sailing competitively in their respective fleets.Contact:                

Tom Spithill – Head Coach                          

Phone: 9998 3764                                           

Email: yd@rpayc.com.au                  


The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - RPAYC is a yacht racing and sailing club based on Pittwater.

The yacht club offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses plus has a large marina accommodating up to 352 vessels.

There is also a modern boatyard with comprehensive marine services to help maintain your vessel.

Membership, including family membership is now available.

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