An expert's guide to sailing in Sydney
Discover the different ways to experience sailing on Sydney Harbour with Olympian and sailing expert, Olivia Price.
Olivia Price OLY started sailing when she was 7 years old on Sydney Harbour. After travelling the world and competing for the Australian Olympic team, it’s still her favourite place to sail. She started competing on the World Tour at the age of 16 and became the youngest female sailor ever to win an Olympic Medal, claiming silver in the Women’s Match Racing Event at the London 2012 Olympics.
Where are your favourite places to sail in Sydney & in NSW?
I love sailing anywhere on Sydney Harbour, but there’s nothing more special than sailing out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and looking at the Sydney skyline, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
Outside of Sydney, I enjoy spending time sailing on Lake Macquarie. Belmont 16 foot skiff sailing club holds great regattas and the conditions make for some great tactical racing.
What’s a place that’s perfect for novice sailors?
There are so many great sailing schools for beginner sailors, likeat Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Mosman, the conditions are perfect to learn because the water is flat and sheltered.
Where in NSW do you recommend for experienced sailors?
Newcastle is a fantastic place to sail, providing great offshore events. As you leave Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and head out of the channel, there’s an open ocean to explore just minutes from the city.
Where should I get some training or lessons before I start?
I recommend getting involved with a local yacht club's learn to sail program. Having someone on board the yacht with you gives hands on experience and direct feedback to put into practice.in Rushcutters Bay is perfect for that, on board yachts. However, if you’re keen to do most of the sailing by yourself while a coach follows in a dinghy, Woollahra Sailing Club have some great learn to sail courses as well.
What if I want to be mostly a passenger & just do a bit of sailing – what are my options?
Sailing can be as hands on as you’d like to make it. If you’re wanting to have a cruiser experience, step on board a yacht rather than a dinghy, as many people make light work! There are some amazing harbour cruises like Sydney Day Sailing in Darling Harbour if sipping champagne is more your style.
Is sailing a family-friendly sport?
Sailing is a sport for life! Whether you’re young or old, sailing is the most family-friendly sport I can think of. Once you’ve got the basics down pat, you can take anyone out sailing with you.
Isn’t sailing something that only rich people can do?
Not at all, you don’t need to own anything special to get involved in sailing! Having a T shirt and shorts are the requirement to learn to sail, as life jackets are provided at any sailing school.
Of course, some people have their own boat, but you can always head down to your local sailing club and find someone looking for crew without buying any special gear or equipment.