The RYA Northern Ireland runs two squads as part of the Youth and Junior racing programmes


RYANI Squadshttp://www.ryani.org.uk/squadpages
Long Term sailor Developmenthttp://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=longtermsailordevelopment
RYANI Junior Squad Page – http://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=juniorsquad
Laser 4.7 Youth squadhttp://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=node/522
Laser Radial and Standard Youth Squad http://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=youthsquad
420 Youth Squadhttp://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=node/523
Performance Pathway – http://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=ryaniperformancepathway
High Performance Support – http://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=node/646
Level 2 Race Coachhttp://www.ryani.org.uk/?q=L2racecoach

What are the RYANI Youth and Junior Squad Programmes?

The RYA Northern Ireland runs two squads as part of the Youth and Junior racing programmes.  Youth is classified as under 19 and junior is under 16 in their year of competition.

As an individual sport, the philosophy of the squad programmes is to coach the sailor to become their own coach.  Sailors on the pathway are expected to train in their own time outside of squad sessions in order to develop skills and progress.


The RYANI support selected Pathway classes, dependant on numbers and the nature of sailing in the province, Ireland and the UK.  These classes are those deemed as ideal for sailors to learn key skills as they mature and could potentially lead them to the Olympic classes (of which there are 10).

RYANI Junior Squad

The Junior Squad is supported through the Topper dinghy, which has a weight range of up to 60kgs (approximately) and is ideal for young sailors looking to learn the basic boat handling and training/racing skills required in the sport.

We select 16-18 sailors based on their results on the Irish circuit and how they perform at the training and selection weekend, normally held in October.  The Squad receives 6 weekends training in winter/spring time and are supported by a coach at the Eric Twiname, British Inlands and 1 international (UK Nationals or World Champs) each year, as we see these as a crucial part of their development.

Open training occurs through our Open Pathway Training programme, where the focus is on club juniors needing an extra boost onto the regional and national circuit.

RYANI Youth Squad

The Youth Squad train and compete in the Laser Dinghy for which there are 3 rigs:  4.7 (up to 65kgs), Radial 63-74 kgs) and Full Rig (75-85 kgs).

RYANI select sailors in this squad with the aim that they will be selected for National Youth Squads (IRL or GBR) and potentially go on to sail at Olympic development level.

The full rig is the men’s single-handed Olympic class and the Radial is the ladies single-handed Olympic Class also.  The Squad is supported at the UK Nationals or other appropriate event(s) each year.

Both classes are supported as they have a strong circuit domestically and abroad.  NI sailors compete regularly on the Irish circuit and are members of the respective association as this is the easiest and most financially viable platform for them to practice on.  Some will try to compete on the UK circuit when possible.

Please refer to the relevant Squad Class Pages for aims and selection details.


Funding comes from the Sport Northern Ireland.  We have a domestic training budget and an overseas budget.  These are divided between the two squads each year to ensure they get the weekends training needed and the overseas event experience to compete competitively abroad.

The dual nationality of our sailors means that they are free to consider which country they wish to compete for internationally – we support all Northern Irish sailors as their Governing Body, whether they elect to sail fo GBR or IRL.


Selection for the squads niormally takes place in October each year with squad sessions over the winter period and key overseas events supported in the main competition period.  Criteria for the squads is posted annually prior to the RYANI Youth Championships and selection weekends.


Squad selection policies are updated annaully and can be found on the relevant Junior or Youth Squad Page.