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Home / Activities Afloat / Dinghy Sailing / Dinghy Fleet & Sailing Programme

Dinghy Fleet & Sailing Programme


Dinghy Fleet

There is a designated dinghy park area in the yard where members can store their dinghies. Members currently sail a variety of dinghies including RS Feva, Topper Topaz, Topper, Mirror, Skow, Laser, Pico, Solo, Vortex, and a Laser Vago. The Axe One Design (AOD) is a traditional 12 foot clinker built Bermudan rigged dinghy which was designed specifically for members of the AYC in 1951 and there are currently 9 AODs in the fleet (see Axe One Design website).


Club Training Dinghies

The Club owns a number of training dinghies, predominantly in the Topper Topaz range because these are particularly suited to beach launch & retrieval. These training dinghies are suitable for adults & older teenagers as well as cadets. They can be used during organised sailing sessions and allow those who are new to dinghy sailing to gain some basic skills, before buying their own boat. 

The Club owns six Taz dinghies and six Optimists (2 purchased thanks to a grant from Devon County Council) - these are suitable for entry level dinghy sailing (age 7-12years). In 2018, the old Toppers were replaced by three Topper Topaz dinghies, which are suitable for adults and cadets sailing either single handed or two up. In addition, the Club owns three RS Fevas (thanks to a legacy), two Vibes & an Argo (funded by Sport England) which are suitable for adults and older teenagers.


Club Dinghy Sailing Programme

Dinghy sailing is programmed for Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings from April to October, weather permitting. These sessions are open to all Club members of any age, sailing their own boats or a Club training dinghy (subject to availability). More experienced dinghy sailors offer the less experienced support & advice. Racing is an excellent way to improve your skills and all dinghy sailors (adults & cadets) are encouraged to take part. Whether you are racing or just pottering, developing your skills, everyone is expected to get stuck in and help with rigging boats, manning the support boats, and providing support with launch and retrieval.

The River Race series has 14 races programmed for 2024. These are open to all classes of dinghy, with racing for both General Handicap and individual Class trophies (AODs, Skows, Mirrors & cadets) (see River Races).

Club Dinghy Sailing Duty Rota

All dinghy participants 16y+ are expected to take their turn on the rota. We have two support boats out most Saturdays providing assistance as well as reassurance to the less experienced. There is usually one support boat out on Sunday morning. You can volunteer online for duties that suit you and any vacant slots will be allocated at the start of the season. Swaps can be arranged online. There is no special training needed to act as support boat crew. Those acting as race officers or co-ordinating activities from the beach (officer of the day) will be given guidance on what is required. Support boat drivers are expected to have RYA PB2 +/- Safety Boat certificates or appropriate experience. DUTY ROTA (you need to be logged in for this link to work).

Click HERE for the 2024 Dinghy Sailing programme

Updates are communicated by email or WhatsApp. To join the AYC Dinghy Sailors WhatsApp group please email your mobile number to (AYC members only).

To give us an idea of how many people to expect, please register online preferably at least 48 hours in advance (all sailing will be weather dependent & may take place on the river if the tide allows):

  • Login to the members area
  • Click on the calendar tab
  • Select the Saturday Sailing session you plan to take part in
  • Select 'Sail own boat' or select the Club boat you would like to sail (subject to availability)
  • Click 'Book Now'

AYC cannot take responsibility for unaccompanied children under 18 years so cadets must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who stays to help either on or off the water. Buoyancy aids in a range of sizes are available to borrow for the session. Use of a Club dinghy is subject to availability. The Officer of the Day will allocate Club dinghies depending on the skill mix of participants and the weather conditions.

RYA Training

AYC has been a recognised training centre (RTC) for a number of RYA shore based courses since 1974. In 2015 the Club also gained recognition from the RYA to run powerboat courses. As a result, we now have more members trained as support boat drivers who can support the dinghy sailing activities. 

In 2017 Dinghy Instruction was added to our list of RYA recognised courses. Although AYC aims to help cadets and adults develop their skills in a way that is complementary to the way that the RYA teaches, due to the unpredictable nature of beach launching and the tidal nature of the river, we cannot offer formal RYA dinghy training courses in the same way that a commercial RYA sea school can. RYA coaching/certification weekends are organised at intervals. Over these weekends, an RYA Senior Instructor (SI) formally assesses the skills which members have gained during the season. These are NOT formal RYA courses but being a recognised training centre allows the SI to award RYA certificates if appropriate skills are demonstrated. If members wish to access formal RYA National & Youth Dinghy Sailing courses, these are available at nearby centres.

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