Draycote Academy


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.


Now in it’s fourth year, both the Academy and our sailors are going from strength to strength. 

Many of our sailors have been away at both National and World champs over the last year and many have achieved successful results:

  • Joseph Rowe – Topper World Champion
  • Freddie Sunderland – 2nd at ILCA 4 Nationals
  • Freddie Sunderland & Stella Nygard – 2nd at Feva World Champs
  • Millie Irish & Bob Byne – 4th at Feva World Champs

Coach - 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.

Training Dates 2023 - 24

ILCA 4 & 6

7th & 8th October

25th & 26th November

16th & 17th December

17th & 18th February

23rd & 24th March


9th & 10th September

11th & 12th November

27th & 28th December

20th & 21st January

24th & 25th February


23rd & 24th September tbc

28th & 29th October

6th & 7th January

2nd & 3rd March

30th & 31st March tbc


30th Sept & 1st October

21st & 22nd October

18th & 19th November

3rd & 4th February

9th & 10th March

Visitor Info

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

Contact us

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