Welcome Info

Once you have registered your child on a course you will receive further information by email. You can also get an overview of some of the practical course details below.
If you haven't yet registered, or would like to find out some more general information, read our course information page here.

Kit List

Please refer to the kit list for info on what to bring. Those hiring boats need not worry about boat related equipment though we do ask that you bring a large sponge and bailer (a large plastic bottle with handle and cap still attached, with bottom cut away, is perfectly good enough as a bailer). Please ensure that adequate clothing is provided. See the detailed kit list below.

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Kit List

Boat and Equipment

Boats need to be complete with spars, sail, buoyancy bags (if buoyancy not built-in), daggerboard, rudder, tiller with tiller extension, paddle, bailer and sponge. A measurement certificate is not required. It is very helpful to have all loose parts identified with the sail number or boat name. The painter should be firmly attached, free of knots, and if possible 4 metres long. A launching trolley is useful for the skipper to be more independent when it comes to launching and recovery.

Optimists only:  To avoid the risk of serious damage to the mast thwart, a fitting to prevent the mast accidentally coming out of the mast step is essential, either a cleat or a mast clamp. Inflatable buoyancy bags must be without leaks, and firmly secured.


Clothes suitable for sailing in the expected weather conditions.
Typically during Easter Courses: Warm clothes (including a hat, gloves and at least four layers of clothing on the upper trunk with a waterproof final layer), soft soled trainers or sailing boots, waterproof digital wrist watch (not essential for beginners).
Typically during Summer Courses: Ensure sun protection with high factor sun cream, hat and sunglasses (to reduce glare from water), soft soled trainers or sailing boots, waterproof digital wrist watch (not essential for beginners).
A wet-suit or dry-suit is not essential for beginners. Generally if a beginner capsizes they will come off the water, have a warm shower and debrief what happened with the group afterwards. Intermediate and advanced sailors are encouraged to continue sailing after capsizing, but for this to be done safely they will need to be wearing a wet-suit or dry-suit.

Needed Every Day

  • A complete change of sailing clothes (as described above) including footwear
  • Buoyancy aid (or one can be borrowed from ICS for the week)
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Waterproof lightweight over-trousers (recommended in cold or wet weather)
  • Gloves (sailing gloves are best, fingerless in the summer)
  • Hat (warm hat essential in cold weather / sun hat essential in hot weather)
  • Large strong plastic bag for wet clothes (a strong dustbin bag is ideal)
  • Large towel
  • RYA Junior Log Book (we provide on first day if necessary)
  • IOCA Log Book (Optimist sailors only - we provide on first day if necessary)
  • A large sponge and bailer (A large plastic bottle with handle and cap still attached, with bottom cut away, is perfectly adequate)

Labelling all items of clothing and equipment ensures that lost property has a chance of being identified.

What Not To Bring

Money, gaming devices, sweets (unless by prior arrangement – e.g. diabetic). Mobile phones should be left in the office and used during the designated phone hour each evening.

The Solent Crossing

Adventure Course: For the outward crossing the skippers will board the car ferry at Portsmouth Harbour as foot passengers with their dinghies in tow on their launching trolleys. On arrival at Fishbourne, Isle of Wight, the boats will be launched at the public slipway for a sailing session direct from the ferry port (it's almost directly opposite the venue). At the end of the week skippers will mark the peak of their adventures with a sail back across the Solent singlehanded (weather dependant) to be met by parents at Stokes Bay, Southampton. Where we will do a prize giving ceremony on the beach. If the weather does not permit a sail back across the solent then a return ferry crossing will be the back up plan, and the prize giving ceremony will be held at a local establishment in Portsmouth tbc.
Advanced Racing Course: (Weather dependant) Skippers will be met by us at Stokes Bay in Southampton where kit will be loaded into our safety boats along with launching trolleys. Skippers will sail across the Solent single handed to the venue in Wootton, Isle of Wight. At the end of the week they will all sail back again and the prize giving ceremony will be held on the beach at Stokes Bay. If the weather conditions do not permit either crossing, the Portsmouth to Fishbourne car ferry is the back up plan, and the prize giving ceremony will be held at a local establishment in Portsmouth tbc.

Last day

Parents, family, and friends are invited to attend on the last day of the course at 15:45 to watch the sailing games and races and attend the awards ceremony. Tea will be served after the ceremony and this is a great time to put a face to a name and chat to any instructors from the course.

Photos from the course

We aim to take between 3 - 6 pictures of each skipper (alone or in a group) and a course-group photo. All the pictures from the course are uploaded to a secure site called Dphoto. You will be emailed a code which will allow you to access photos from the week. You can share to social media straight from the Dphoto site or download them direct to your device. Most images are fairly high definition – Size 2mb or more.


Accidents on ICS courses are rare. We emphasise to the skippers and staff the importance of safe practices, and caring for boats and equipment. However, collisions do happen (especially in the beginner groups) and this sometimes results in damage. Insurance to cover the cost of repairs is therefore important so we recommend that every boat be insured by its owner with adequate third party indemnity. Although there is normally no further premium due*, owners of boats being lent / hired out should inform their insurance broker. If you are hiring a boat through us you don't need to do anything, all boats hired through ICS are insured. 'Personal accident’ insurance is not arranged by ICS. *No further premium is due if insured through the Royal Yachting Association recommended insurance broker: Bishop Skinner & Co., telephone number 0207-566-5800 email: insurance@bishopskinner.com, or through the International Optimist Class Association recommended insurance broker: Noble Marine Insurance Brokers Ltd, telephone number 01636 707606 email: dinghy@noblemarine.co.uk