Draycote Academy

2022/23 Applications now open --->

Academy Zone

Please complete the above application form. On the 1st June we will review all applications and be in contact.

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.

Launched in 2019, Draycote Academy develops young sailors to race sailing dinghies to a national level.

Full time shore staff, and head coach Steve Irish, deliver tailor made programs for fun and informative winter training with full event support.









For dates, information and availability


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

Jess is an experienced sailor and coach. She was a member of the British Sailing Team helming a 470 for 8 years winning medals at 470 Junior Worlds. Prior to this Jess sailed 420s herself, finishing 6th at the 420 Worlds and winning a silver medal at the 420 Junior Europeans. 
Alongside her own sailing she has coached Optimists, Lasers, Fevas and 420s, through the RYA Squad system, the 420 class training, privately and at International events. Since stopping Olympic sailing in December 2020 she took on the 420 Class Head Coach role. Her sailing now involves jumping in a 420 when she can and trying to not let the sailors she coaches beat her and sailing a Fireball around Draycote with her fiancée who she is teaching to crew! 

Training Dates 2022 - 23

ILCA 4 & 6

15th & 16th October

3rd & 4th December

7th & 8th January

18th & 19th February

25th & 26th March


8th & 9th October

26th & 27th November

28th & 29th December

14th & 15th January

25th & 26th February


8th & 9th October

5th & 6th November

26th & 27th November

7th & 8th January

25th & 26th February


1st & 2nd October

17th & 18th December

21st & 22nd January

4th & 5th February

4th & 5th March


17th & 18th September

5th & 6th November

19th & 20th November

18th & 19th February

18th & 19th March

Visitor Info

For information on parking, accommodation, catering, arriving at Draycote and lots more, please follow the link below.

Contact us

Please complete the form below and a member of staff will get back in touch with you.