School Programs

Discover Sailing Programs for School Groups

Our Discover Sailing program is a great way to introduce your class to sailing in a fun and safe environment. The focus is on teaching the basic terminology and techniques of sailing and then getting the students on the water to experience sailing first hand.

Required Forms:

Course Overview

This course is meant to be an introduction to sailing it can be taught as either a 1 day or a 2 day program. These are basic guidelines only, courses times can be adapted to the schedule of your group.

Sample Curriculum

Day 1: 9am to 3pm

  • Basics of sailing, wind, rigging and safety briefing
  • On water lesson: steering
  • Lunch
  • On water lesson: boat control tacking

Day 2: 9am to 3pm

  • Rigging
  • On water lesson, gibing, docking
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon lesson, sail trim technique, team work

“Discover Sailing” for Grades 3 to 7 is taught with “Optimist” dinghies. The Optimist is used world wide for instruction and has an international racing class.

“Discover Sailing” for Grades 8 to Grade 12 is taught using “Pirate” dinghies. Pirates are very popular in British Columbia and are used by many sailing clubs and military cadets as an introductory boat. The Pirate design incorporates a “Flying Junior” hull and a “Tasar” deck and rigging. It’s approximately 4 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and easily accommodates two to three sailors.

The Facilities

Instruction takes place on the waters of Alta Lake. The WSA launch is at the former Youth hostel located just south of Rainbow Park. There is a large lawn and the low bank frontage allowing for easy access to the water.

Instructors & Volunteers

All our senior instructors are Canadian Yachting Association trained and certified. Assistance will also be provided by adult  Whistler Sailing volunteers, and instructors-in-training. The ratio of certified instructor to student is up to 10 students per instructor. All instructors and volunteers are subject to an RCMP Criminal Record Check.

Safety boats

The instructors will be in a motorized inflatable safety boats which can be used to get to any of the sailboats in case of an emergency. A minimum of 2 safety boats will be on the water during the courses. Each boat also has a full first aid kit on board.

Dates, Booking & Availability

The Discover Sailing program is offered in the spring and fall. Please book early to assure your class of the ideal dates, and not later than two weeks prior to the course start. If the winds and weather appear to put the safety of students at risk, another “on water” sailing date will be chosen.


Transport to and from the sailing site is the responsibility of the school.

Registration and Payment

Each student requires the following forms to be signed by a parent or guardian:


For further information about this program;
Call Francois Hebert, Head Coach, at 604.902.4836 or email  



Dear Francois and Patrick,

 Thank you both and thank you to your very able staff for a wonderful day of learning to sail. I particularly appreciated your patience, attention to detail, and utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our students.I have been and will be speaking most highly and recommending your program to other schools.

Please send me information regarding further lessons and joining the club/ Whistler Sailing Association (both for children and adults).

We will see you again next year!

 Gerri Galloway , Principal

Garibaldi Highlands Elementary School



Whistler Sailing Association
6468 Balsam Way
Whistler, BC, V0N 1B6

604 229-2291