Sailing Academy

Sailing teaches leadership, teamwork, environmental awareness and respect for Mother Nature, among many other important life lessons.


The Shelburne Sailing Academy at SHYC was founded in 2005 with a mission to make sailing’s unique benefits available to children, teens and adults and offer the opportunity to sail to anyone who would like to take advantage of it. Our programs, made possible by the members of SHYC, seek to minimize any barriers to entry to ensure that any and all who wish to learn to sail can do so in an inclusive and welcoming environment. In addition, a bursary is available for students who qualify.


The Academy owns and maintains a fleet of more than 20 boats overall. Our Optimist dinghies (Optis) are perfect for younger children entering the sport through our Wet Feet program, while our two-handed Albacores are a sturdy adult-style dinghy suitable for all ages in our Learn to Sail program. For student’s who qualify and wish to take their sailing to the next level, our Learn To Race program features Club 420’s and, new, the 29er, a Canada Games class boat.

Some of our Albacore fleet in action


Our coaches are CANSail Certified and our coaching mentor is a one time member of the British Olympic Sailing Team. Our program has created many national and internationally ranked sailors. The only 3x Winner of the Sea Cadet Nationals is a product of the Shelburne Sailing Academy.


Shelburne Sailing Academy goes toe to toe and more with programs that enjoy significantly greater funding and support. One of the ways we do so is with fundraising that is tied to the sport itself. Each year SHYC hosts the East Coast Albacore Championship, our very own South Shore regatta whose proceeds go to the operation and staffing of our Sailing Academy. Over the years, SHYC has also hosted other national and international regattas, including the 2019 Albacore International Championship, which featured some 50 teams from across Europe and North America and which was named Regatta of the Year by both Sail Nova Scotia and Sail Canada, the sport’s provincial and national governing bodies.


Of course, none of the above would be possible without the great water and reliable winds of Shelburne Harbour, one of the world’s finest natural harbours and a place you have to see (and sail) to believe.

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