Gap Year / Sabbatical Sailing

(3 Reviews)
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Why Book With Us?

  • A not for profit organisation
  • Personal customer care
  • Honest advice
  • Highest safety standards

Got a Question?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.

+44 7941414 703


Custom Length Experiences
Availability : 29th December 2024 - May 3rd 2025
Anywhere on route
Anywhere on route

Sail Racing Academy offers individualised Gap Year programs to suit every taste. From a month to a whole year; cruising and regattas; in Great Britain, the Mediterranean or the Caribbean; we offer everything. Our experienced skippers are happy to help you gain experience and knowledge for sailing licenses. We strive for the best balance between practical experience, theoretical knowledge and enjoyment.

You will be an active member of our team. During regattas, outside of sailing, there is a packed calendar of social events. During this time there will be plenty of opportunity to have fun and further develop the sailing network.

Between regattas there is always a lot to do to maintain, repair and keep the yacht clean. This is a good time to learn the mechanics behind sailing with enough time to get to know the surroundings while the yacht is at anchor. Our Gap Year participants will help with around 20% of the maintenance on board.

  • RegattaYou will be crewing in top level international regattas
  • Professional skipperYou will work alongside our excellent trained skippers who will share their valuable knowledge with you.
  • LocationYou will be sailing around Britain, the Mediterranean or the Caribbean

Apprenticeship Includes

  • Race Entry
  • Accommodation on board (shared cabins)
  • Meals at sea (self service)
  • Certified Professional Skipper
  • Basic Training
  • Consumables for the yacht (diesel, fuel and water)
  • Mooring Fees
  • Insurance for the yacht
  • Lifejacket
  • Personal locator beacon
  • Airfares
  • Transfers: Airport - Marina - Airport

Price Excludes

  • Meals offboard
  • Shore based accommodation
  • Wet gear
  • Personal insurance (we recommend Topsail)


  • T-Shirt with your national flag
  • Sail Racing Academy T-Shirt
What to expect

Each day will be different

Your time with us will be varied. You will be required to actively participate in all elements of yacht maintenance, as well as sailing and racing. Also loading, cleaning and getting the yacht ready for regattas. 


You need to be self-motivated, able to work alone and with a team.

There will be times where the pace will be relaxed and you can work at your own speed and as part of a team. And at other times you will be working alone and to tight deadlines, where initiative, self-motivation and communication are key.


By the end of your time with us, you should have achieved your goals. We hope that you will leave us as a confident sailor who is able to prepare and sail independently; lead teams; identify problems and know how to resolve them.

Official qualifications

Should you wish for your program to include work towards official qualifications, that is something we are happy to discuss.

Time off

You will be actively involved in the mile builders and regattas from welcoming additional clients onboard, helping provision, and of course partaking in the races. Outside of these times, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the local area, relax and recuperate.



Some of the 2025 Caribbean Regatta dates have not been confirmed yet. The dates below are based on previous years and the CSA Caribbean Sailing Calendar. Please check this page frequently for updates. 

29th Dec 2024 - 1st Jan 2025Explore St Lucia

If you’ve just arrived in St Lucia here’s your opportunity to explore the island before we depart.

2nd - 14th Jan 2025Explore the Grenadines

Join us as we explore the Grenadines, visiting Union Island & Bequia as well as Tobago Quays and many other stops in between. 

15th - 22nd Jan 2025Round Barbados Sailing Week

Spend some time exploring Barbados and then join us for Round Barbados Sailing Week; the first race of the season and a great opportunity to network and get to grips with round-the-cans racing. 

23rd - 24th Jan 2025Rum to Spice Race

This event was introduced in 2024 as a feeder race between Barbados and Grenada Sailing Weeks. From Barbados to Carriacou, Grenada, it should take under 24 hours to finish. We highly suggest anyone participating in Grenada Sailing Week to join this race and get some extra practice in. 

25th Jan - 31st Jan 2025Grenada Sailing Week

Grenada Sailing Week is a smaller regatta but one of our most experienced skippers describes it as their favourite. It involves some fun & fast round-the-cans and coastal racing. Starting from one of the most beautiful small islands in the Caribbean, Carriacou and finishes in Grenada, known as the Spice Isle!

1st - 17th Feb 2025Island Hop Grenada to Antigua

A hugely popular part of our Caribbean season and a great chance to relax and visit some of the islands only accessible by boat and often forgotten. A wealth of hidden treasures.

18th - 28th Feb 2025Caribbean 600 (additional cost) / Explore Antigua / Undertake RYA Qualifications

There are a huge variety of options to suit every taste and budget this week. Join us for the Caribbean 600 for 4-5 days of amazing offshore racing, explore the island of Antigua, or attend our partner’s training sessions to secure RYA training. You won’t get bored during this week. Please note that the race is an optional extra and not included by default.

1st - 3rd Mar 2025Sail Antigua to St Maarten

An opportunity to practice the sailing skills you’ve developed so far and take on more responsibility whilst our professional skipper acts as a safety net in case you require some additional support.

4th - 9th Mar 2025St Maarten Heineken Regatta (additional cost)

This is another inshore round-the-cans & coastal race sailing event. Hugely popular in the regatta calendar. It’s as lively off the water as it is on the water racing, with it’s dedicated race village & live music. Please note that this is an optional extra and not included by default.

10th - 22nd Mar 2025Cruise St Martin / St Barth

Ok, that’s far too much excitement, now is the perfect time to relax a little. This is a good week to explore St Martin, cruise around the island and recuperate in preparation for the next few regattas.

23rd Mar - 6th Apr 2025St Thomas International Regatta & BVI Spring Regatta

Back-to-back events that consistently deliver excellent racing set over the backdrop of the US and the British Virgin Islands.

7th - 9th Apr 2025Explore the BVI's

Hike, swim, practice your sailing skills and explore. Anchor in a different bay every day, snorkel and perfect your culinary skills.

11th - 20th Apr 2025Les Voiles De St Barth

After the postponement of the 2024 Les Voiles de St Barths, we are thrilled for it to be returning in 2025. There is a choice of 26 possible courses ranging from 17 to 60 miles, with the decision of which course to race being dependent on the weather. The plan is two races a day, without starting too early or finishing too late, reflecting the laid back atmosphere of the island.

20th - 22nd Apr 2025Cruise Back to Antigua

Hop on board for a trip back to Antigua for an easy connection home or join us for the last race of the Caribbean season.

23rd Apr - 3rd May 2025Antigua Sailing Week (additional cost)

Antigua Sailing Week has become one of the biggest events in the international sailing calendar, and the final event we participate in before heading back across the Atlantic. Please note that this is an optional extra and not included by default.

3 Reviews
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Solo Traveller

Amazing experience !
I joined l’Escapado crew in Antigua for a few weeks. As a novice I had so much things to learn and couldn’t have learn it from a better crew. I joined several boats since and on my way to get my STCW training. It all started with the Sail Racing Academy and I’m so grateful to them !!



Solo Traveller

Wow what an incredible experience, opening up so many opportunities, meeting so many people and most importantly learning so much! I joined in Hamble, Uk and am still here in Antigua.
The trip from the UK to The Canaries was certainly an adventure with every single bit of weather thrown at us. I found this the hardest but without a doubt my favourite time on Escapado. I learnt so much from different skippers and about life in a watch system. I’d say make sure you have wet weather gear that keeps you dry from rain and huge waves spraying over the boat, secondly it was a lot colder than I expected so bring lots of layers and finally a good attitude!
The Atlantic crossing was incredible, again learning so much about flying spinnakers, provisioning, and racing. I was blogging each day, something I have never done before, but a new skill I have continued to do throughout my time on board. I’d say be prepared to be doing a lot of work the week before leaving, this is a good opportunity to get to know the boat inside and out while also bonding with your new crew and eyeing up your competition!
All in all Sail Racing Acadamy has been a life changing opportunity for me. I have met friends for life, learnt so much and opened up so many opportunities for work, contacts and sailing in the future.
I was nervous that I wasn’t a competent enough before joining however I was more than wrong. There’s always lots to learn. Be ready to help maintain the boat, fix a few problems and adapt to life on a race cruiser.
Fair winds and happy sails.
Iona 🙂


Eddie Morrison

Solo Traveller

Brilliant organisation. Offers fantastic trips and in my case an amazing gap year opportunity. Will definitely recommend to others 👍

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