The British Keelboat Academy (BKA) is a partnership between the RYA and UKSA.

The BKA has been designed to produce a constant stream of credible and talented young keelboat sailors aged between 18 and 24.

The programme is run to RYA standards and delivered by UKSA, covering all aspects of racing, training, boat maintenance and personal preparation.

The selected squad will compete in a range of events during the season, with our sailors receiving top class coaching onboard from a variety of professionals. In addition, sailors will receive training ashore in subjects including winching, meteorology, navigation, racing rules, rig tuning and sail trim, with input from marine leaders and industry professionals.

As well as the technical skills, competing onboard a top level racing yacht requires teamwork, leadership skills, project management, physical fitness and the ability to communicate clearly under pressure. The BKA programme seeks to develop these areas, equipping trainees with the essential skills that will benefit them both in their future sailing careers and in the wider world.

New programme for 2014

A new world class training programme has been launched for 2014 – British Keelboat Academy (BKA14).

BKA14 is split in to three areas, depending on sailors’ ability and experience.

Core Training

We will take good dinghy sailors and put them through Core Training across four weekends. Participants will use a variety of keelboats, from the RYA’s fleet of Olympics 6m Elliot’s to the successful one design J109. The focus will be on different areas including inshore racing, match racing and offshore racing. On completion, sailors will qualify for the BKA Crewsearch programme.

Crewsearch Programme

During this section the sailors will sail with top British racing boats. The BKA Crewsearch database will be a free service, bringing owners and sailors together. The aim is to give the sailors as many opportunities as possible to build their experience and knowledge. Any sailor going through the BKA programmes will automatically qualify to go on the system. This will give BKA sailors unlimited access to some of the best sailing events and opportunities in the world.

If you are an owner and interested in getting involved with the BKA Crewsearch, please email

Elite Squad

After a couple of years, the sailors will be able to push their sailing to a professional level and progress to the Elite Squad, becoming very good amateurs or professional sailors.

They will compete in key events and have opportunities to join professional teams overseas.

To read more about the British Keelboating Acadamy on the RYA website click here