Draycote Academy

Academy Zone

Current Academy members can access the Academy Zone area by clicking their fleet link below:


Draycote Academy launched in 2019 to develop young sailors to race sailing dinghies to a national level, by training locally and travelling for events.

Draycote Water’s central location offers local sailing to many, with superb facilities including large non tidal water giving unrivalled access to train.

Full time shore staff and head coach Steve Irish deliver tailor made programs for winter training including a tidal weekend camp and full event support.

Each squad is aimed to be fun, informative and rewarding, with sailors making friends to share sailing journeys.


Steve Irish

Steve Irish is a world-class professional sailing coach.  He has worked with the British Sailing Team, Turkish Sail Federation and Thailand’s 49er team.  This has included coaching a variety of youth and junior squads, enabling 470 sailors to progress from development to Olympic-level funding – including Hannah Mills and Luke Patience – and leading 29er and 420 sailors to international success at championships such as ISAF Youth Worlds.  He coaches Optimist sailors regularly both in the UK and around the world and wrote Optimist Racing –  the text book for budding Optimist sailors.

Steve’s own sailing has encompassed a whole range of classes from junior and youth sailing to Olympic double-handers and high-performance skiffs.  As a top Optimist sailor, Steve represented GBR internationally.  He went on to become 420 world champion and the crewed 470s, finishing 5th at the Europeans.  He also sailed 49ers and Tornados internationally and subsequently completed in the twin-trapeze RS800 class, winning the title three years running, while also claiming a podium finish at a 100+ boat RS200 nationals.

Mike Wood

Mike Wood is a dinghy racing coach with experience working with Toppers, 29ers and 420s. 

Mike has coached sailors new to racing, through RYA Zone Squads, National Squads and overseas regattas. 

In his own sailing, Mike has won the Topper World Championships, top 5 in the 420 Worlds, medalist at 470 Junior Europeans and won the RS Aero 5 National Champions.

Outside of sailing Mike is a helicopter pilot in the RAF.

Jess Lavery



Laser 4.7

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