Middle Harbour Juniors

Sailing is a fantastic sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For families without any sailing background, it may seem hard to get into. On this page, we briefly outline the Junior Sailing program available at MH16’s and hopefully, it will demystify the sport and help those who are sail-curious. All are welcome.


MH16SC in brief

Founded in 1902 at the Spit, the skiff club is the longest established club in Mosman. As the name suggests, the pinnacle of the Club’s sailing fleet is the 16 footer, a fast and exciting racing skiff with a crew of 3. The path to 16’s starts with the Club’s commitment to the development of junior sailors.

MH16’s actively recruits juniors to enjoy regular sailing at the Club. Starting with kids from the age of 6, the Club’s Junior Sailing Program provides support to junior sailors from their very first “sit in a boat” all the way through to launching into the world of high-performance senior sailing.

Sailing Programs

All our junior sailing programs are delivered with the supervision and guidance of experienced adult sailors. We provide no obligation free trials and as an introduction to sailing. Once you join the club, there is a clear pathway for all our sailors to enjoy and we actively promote social and competitive sailing pathways.

Stage 1 – “Learn to sail Program”

Stage 2 – “Learn to race Program”

Stage 3- “Manly Junior Race Program”

Stage 4 – “Flying 11 Race Program”

All our programs are supported by

• Regular organised training, coaching and racing programs
• Fun social sails and events
• A detailed safety management plan
• A committed Junior Sailing Committee
• A Very supportive senior sailing club

Our Boats


Or “Poppies” as they are commonly known are our ‘Learn to Sail’ boats. They are stable, near-indestructible and owned by the club. Young kids and brand new sailors can stay in these training boats until they are ready to progress to our ‘Learn to Race’ program. They are the perfect beginner platform, and experience has shown that within a couple of sessions the kids will be able to navigate simple courses and understand the core skills of sailing.

Manly Juniors

Manly Juniors are sporty intermediate training boats and are the first boats sailors learn to race. Why do we race? To measure our performance, to improve our skills, and because it’s just plain fun.

MJ’s have a crew of two. Sailors can choose to sail with a friend or their teammate from the ‘Learn To Race’ Program.

Before we throw our learn to sail kids into races, we coach and train them on how to handle a larger 2 sail boat with confidence.

After teaching them how to sail a course, start a race and work together we finally introduce a third sail, the spinnaker to round out the “Learn to Race” program.

Most MJ’s sailing at the Club are privately owned boats and the club does own some MJ’s which it rents to members to get started in the class.

Our MJ Race Fleet Program includes 2 divisions, Novice and Open racing at the same time. This allows our boats to race against each other as well as working to progress to next stage.

Flying 11's

These are the high school of sailing, and they are sailed on bigger courses and in stronger wind. Flying 11’s can provide some really exciting sailing. The skill level in the Flying 11 fleet is usually quite spread, the younger kids coming to terms with the power of the bigger boat, and the older bigger kids just “sending it”.

Again, crews of younger and older kids sailing together, or friends going round together are both options. Some Manly Junior skippers also crewed in Flying 11’s in the same season for double the action on a Sunday which can be highly beneficial to quickly advancing their sailing skills.

Beyond Junior Sailing

Youth and Senior sailing at Middle Harbour 16’s is in 13 and 16 foot skiffs which are high performance craft and very exciting boats to sail and watch. Each boat is a step up in difficulty from the Poppies all the way through to the 16’s, which ensures a continual challenge and enjoyment at every stage of the sailor’s development.

The opportunity to sail on different boats and with a variety of sailors adds to the fun and is a great way to learn. Juniors often end up in the bow of a 16footer at some point, and the Club has many ways to support them into their sailing future

Parents / Commitment


Junior sailing at Middle Harbour 16’ Skiff Club is run by the Junior Sailing Committee comprised of parents of the sailors who are volunteers. We do not run a “drop and go” sports program, we are family friendly with the opportunity for everyone to get involved. Parents are, at a minimum, required to help their young sailors set up and pack up their boats.

We also endeavour cater for parents who want to go out onto support boats and watch their kids sail. It’s a fantastic way to spend a few hours on a Sunday. Parents’ upskilling including earning boat licences is also encouraged and assisted.


The classes after the Optimists are 2 handed boats, and prior to each season sailors will form a crew with a friend and they will normally sail together for the season, a bit like the commitment of being in a football or netball team. And like ball sports it may take a couple of seasons to build the skills to starting hitting the scoreboard regularly.

The best results are achieved by crews that sail every event in the calendar, and it is vital that both sailors of a boat and their families have the same intent regarding the events that they will be competing in for the season. When the expectations are sorted, the fun can begin!

Contact Us

If you are interested in our junior program, or you would like further information, get in touch with us.

Inquiries to:

Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club – JUNIOR’s
e: [email protected]
t: (02) 9932 4600

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