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Performance Pathway

Performance Pathways 

The Australian Sailing (AS) Performance Pathway is a guided progression from competitive Club sailing through to the Australian Sailing Team for Olympic and Olympic pathway classes. The work done in the pathway is aimed at supporting young sailors maximise their potential guided by a holistic Athlete Development Framework (ADF).  The programs that surround this framework are designed to provide the right level of support to athletes at various stage of pathway, the primary focus being entry into state programs through to transition to the Australian Sailing Squad or Team. 

Hear from Ken Lynch (National Performance Pathway Manager) about the future of the Australian Sailing High Performance program via the 2022 webinar recording below:

The Australian Sailing Performance Pathways Strategy update presentation slide pack and the 2022 selection criteria document are both now available for download.

The AS Performance Pathway extends from the AS Club Pathway, offering an additional 5 stages:

Australian Sailing Club Pathway

Australian Sailing Performance Pathway

Step 1: State Development Programs (Pre-Emerging)

On and off-water development opportunities for sailors pursuing an Olympic performance pathway and identified as displaying high potential as observed in the execution of skills, demonstration of behaviours that suggest future high-performance capability as assessed in line with the Athlete Development Framework (ADF). These observations are made at a combination of:

  • State/National competition 
  • State clinics 
  • In club training environments 
  • In state training environment, if/when invited 

State development programs are supplementary to club based daily training environment for identified athletes. The approach to identify sailors with high potential and provide them with opportunities to train with state squads is aligned to our ‘squad based’ approach and supports the development of sailors while enabling coaches to observe those athletes more closely in the state program environment. 

Step 2: State Performance Programs (State Scholars)

Squad based coaching with integrated performance support (see below) for identified athletes in Olympic and Olympic Pathway classes, who are demonstrating future high performance athlete potential, as evidenced by assessment against the Athlete Development Framework (ADF). In many states and identified classes, the State Performance Program will provide the daily training environment for identified athletes, however, athletes are encouraged to remain connected to their club, attending club training, racing and social activities where possible.

Athletes selected as part of state performance programs get access to the following areas of support, in addition to coaching, if identified as part of their individual development plan:

  • Individual development/campaign plans 
  • Strength and conditioning 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Psychology 
  • Athlete well-being and engagement
  • Nutrition 
  • Medical 

All athletes are screened on entry to the program to better understand their needs, opportunities for development and general health.

Step 3: Australian Sailing Futures (ASF)

Advanced, class specific, technical coaching for athletes identified as tracking towards progression to the Australian Sailing Squad within 2-3 years. ASF is a camp-based program offering advanced development experiences to ASF athletes in preparation for the transition to the Australian Sailing Squad or Team. The primary daily training environment for ASF athletes remains the state performance program, with athletes still encouraged to remain connected to their club. Limited performance support may be available to these athletes in their camp training environments. The primary source of their performance support is also through their state programs. 

The 2021 program was a designed as and delivered as a domestic based program. 2022 will see an extension of this support to include some overseas regatta support at events that the coaches and program best meet the needs of sailors at this level. We will also be introducing a new psychology framework with this group in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) focused on ‘Mental Performance in Competition’.

Step 4: Australian Sailing Squad (ASS)

The ASS provides a high-performance training environment, including advanced technical coaching and performance support, along with introductory campaign support for athletes meeting international benchmark performance standards and demonstrating the skills, behaviours and characteristics aligned to Olympic medal success.

Step 5: Australian Sailing Team

The AST represents the highest stage of the AS Performance Pathway, offering Olympic level athletes advanced technical coaching, integrated performance support, and coordinated campaign support to ensure they perform their best at the Olympic Games.

Coming Soon 

Further information on the following AS Performance Pathways subject areas will be posted in this section soon:

  • Pre- Emerging 
  • State Sailing Programs
  • AS Futures 
  • AS Athlete Development Framework 
  • AS Coach Development Framework 
  • Performance Pathways - Special Projects 

A webinar was recently held discussing the Performance Pathway. To view the PPT slides, click here. To view the Athlete Selection guidelines, click here. A recording of the webinar can also be found here.

For enquiries relating to the AS Performance Pathway, please contact AS National Pathway Manager, Ken Lynch at or Ash Brunning, National Performance Pathways Technical Manager at