Marconi Keelboat Academy – Launched


2020 sees the launch of Marconi’s Keelboat Academy for Sailors Aged 14 – 24 years.

About the Marconi Keelboat Academy

The Marconi Keelboat Academy (MKA) is designed to support young people aged between 14 and 24 in developing the skills needed to sail and race keelboats, whether for pleasure or racing at club or national level.

Sailing keelboats requires teamwork, leadership skills, project management, physical fitness and the ability to communicate clearly under pressure. The MKA programme seeks to develop these areas equipping trainees with the essential skills that will benefit them both in their sailing and in the wider world.

The MKA mirrors the model of the British Keelboat Academy which MKA members might select to progress to on reaching 18 years of age.

The MKA will offer in the region of 25+ individuals a one year programme in 2020 covering all aspects of racing, training, boat and personal preparation.

image: Sally Hitt

Participating in a range of events during the season, the MKA sailors will receive coaching on board the clubs fleet of SB20’s from a variety of experienced sailing coaches and keelboat racers. In addition to this, sailors will receive training ashore spanning subjects including, racing rules, rig tuning and sail trim.

All members of the MKA will be invited to participate in the end of season MKA regatta whilst a team of four will be selected to represent the club at the Youth event of the British Keelboat League in Cowes during June.

Marconi Keelboat Academy Skills Development

All sailors from the MKA will be encouraged to develop their skills in all positions on a boat.

  • Foredeck includes: Pole, Mast and Pit.
  • Trimmer includes: Pit, Spinnaker Trim, Jib Trim and Main Trim.
  • Afterguard includes: Main Trim, Helm and Navigation/Tactics.

Each Sailor will be given training in the following areas:

  • Boat Preparations for event and conditions – Sails, controls, rig settings, safety, weather forecast interpretation
  • Boat Launching & Recovery – procedures, equipment handling, safety
  • Sail and rig controls – Halyards, down-haul, out-haul, gnav, traveller, cars, pole, backstay
  • Sail trimming – Jib Trim and Main Trim.
  • Balance – helm, sail trim, crew position
  • Boat handling – speed control, mooring pick up, MOB under sail
  • Asymmetric spinnaker handling – working as a team, boat handling
  • Short Course Racing – crew work, boat handling
  • Long Course Racing – basic navigation, boat speed

Marconi Keelboat Academy Events

 Date Venue – Marconi Sailing Club Boats
Saturday 4th April Induction day – Boat Prep & Familiarisation training SB20
Saturday 9th May Boat Handling – Focus: crew positions, speed control, mooring pick up, MOB SB20
Saturday 20th June Short course sailing – Focus: Sail trim and rig controls SB20
Saturday 4th July Short course sailing – Focus: Balance & Asymmetric spinnaker handling SB20
Saturday 8th Aug Long course sailing – Focus: Boat speed, navigation, tactics SB20
Saturday 5th Sept Regatta – SB20

Sailors intending to participate in the MKA are asked to indicate their availability for the above weekends by contacting one of our Keelboat development team, We’ll then confirm with you before the season begins, that you’ve been accepted as a member of the Marconi Keelboat Academy.


image: Sally Hitt

All communication with regards members and their participation in the MKA will be done directly with the members parent or guardian. If they are under the age of 18. Parents or guardians will be added to a WhatsApp group for all MKA communications.

Membership of the Marconi Keelboat Academy

Membership of the MKA will is open to all 14-24 year old, irrespective of whether you are currently a member of the Marconi Sailing club. Applications for membership are being accepted from February 2020 and successful applicants will be notified in mid March 2020.

To apply for a position in the Marconi Keelboat Academy, please contact or speak to any of our keelboat development team members.

Dan Bard, Charlotte Fernyhough, Peter Ward, Jack Collis, Bryan Spencer, Pat Shaw.


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Kicking pebbles on the beach wishing he was sailing!.

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