SailCoach has designed this Irish Transition Year Programme for students at Irish schools, however other sailors from other countries are also welcome to join this group of 15 and 16 year olds sailing ILCA 4 and 6. The TY Programme runs twice a year in the months of March and November from our Malta SailBase.
The SailCoach Transition Year programme was explicitly designed for Irish TY students. We run the programme from the Mediterranean island of Malta, where we have our Malta SailBase for all kinds of ILCA and Optimist sailors. We understand that a number of TY students would like to use this flexible school year to develop their sailing skills and perhaps get to the required standard to be selected for the Irish Sailing Academy or just learn about life away from home.
The Transition Year programme exposes sailors to the culture of a professional ILCA sailor, allowing them to see firsthand how things are done by the full-time sailors on our team. Their lifestyle alone is an eye-opener for most club-level ILCA sailors. In this environment, the days are filled with ILCA coaching 5 or 6 days a week, with good training partners and quality time with our in-house strength and conditioning coach to work on fitness levels.
This TY Programme is intended for highly motivated sailors who want to improve and hone their racing skills to make a significant step forward towards improving their national standard. They don’t necessarily need to be regular ILCA Dinghy sailors, they can come from under national youth classes such as topper, 29er and 420. However, they should be capable of sailing in 20 kn of wind on the open sea.
We endeavour to inspire young people with an unforgettable adventure that makes a lifelong impact. As you may know, Sailing is more than just a leisure activity, it is a catalyst that can transform people’s lives. Not only will we give the TY students the very best race training, but we’ll also help them build confidence and self-esteem, both on and off the water.
We aim to have a lasting, lifelong impact on everyone we meet. At SailCoach, we measure our success by our student’s achievements. We remain committed to providing TY students with outstanding coaching while building essential life skills. The SailCoach coaches believe that all young people have the ability to succeed and realise their real potential – we aim to ensure that they have that opportunity during their transition year, developing a set of skills to help them achieve, amongst other things, good grades in the leaving cert.
The day will start at 08:30, with students making their breakfast and packing lunches for the day in their TY apartment, then meeting at 10:30 at the Royal Malta Yacht Club for a physical training activation session. These physical training sessions will be conducted by our in-house S&C coaches, with care being taken that the exercises are suitable for that age group, ensuring their safety.
A briefing will follow on what the coach plans for the day’s sailing sessions, and point out the areas where the coach intends to focus, taking into consideration the prevailing weather conditions. After a short lunch, students will go afloat for the race training session, which could last between two to three hours, again depending on the weather forecast.
After sailing, the S&C coach will take control of the group, running a recovery session that sometimes involves an ice bath or swims. There will be a debrief on the day’s activities either before or after dinner at a local restaurant. There will be some time set aside in the evening to relax before bed by 22:30… then it will start all over again.
Malta is the home of the SailCoach, whose innovative coaching has been at the forefront of dinghy sailing for over two and a half decades. During that time, SailCoach has won four Olympic Medals, and our coaching staff are considered amongst the best in the coaching business.
The climate is as welcoming as the people. Malta’s weather is typically the Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers. Winter days have an average of 6 hours of sunshine; this doubles in summer! On most winter days, the temperatures get to double figures and to make things even better, the average water temperature is 16°C; and 28°C in the summer. Sailing sessions are rarely lost in Malta because of too little or too much wind.
Malta is safe, with its crime rates being the lowest in Europe. The character of the Maltese population is typically Mediterranean, welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
The Maltese islands are served well by Ryanair, with several flights a week from Dublin, Cork and Belfast.