About Us

Sailing Australia Pty Ltd is recognized as one of Australia’s leading sail training and experience providers. Offering RYA & YA learn to sail courses as well as local and international racing events such as Rolex Sydney to Hobart, Hamilton Island Race Week, Rolex Middle Sea Race and Brisbane to Gladstone

We are located at The Mooloolaba Marina, Parkyn Parade on the edge of the Mooloolah River, meters from the sea and 100 paces from the best beach in Queensland.

Mooloolaba offers a unique shopping experience that is unrivalled by other holiday destinations. There is an exciting new shopping precinct with many upmarket retail stores and dinning, Mooloolaba has something to offer everyone. Mooloolaba’s great accommodation, fashionable cafes and shops make it a top vacation and leisure spot for locals, Brisbane, out-of state and overseas visitors.

Mooloolaba is also well known as an excellent venue for state, national and international sailing events, as well as other water sports and social activities.

Our location provides sheltered waters for dinghies in the Mooloola River, yachts in the small bay and open ocean sailing in minutes. The Sandy Straits and Fraser

Island are just to the north; Moreton Bay, its inland waterways and Gold Coast are just to the south; it’s perfect for overnight courses.

We teach sailing to people from 7 to 77 years old, in dinghies and yachts, inshore and offshore, beginner to yachtmaster. All completed courses include certificate and logbook endorsed by the RYA, recognised nationally and internationally.

Our satisfied customers include local schools, Maroochy council programs and sailing enthusiasts locally, nationally and internationally.

We also offer sailing adventures: skippered local yacht cruises for introductions to sailing, 3- 5 day getaways, 6 and 12-day offshore trips for the more experienced yachtsperson, and ocean sailing adventures to Lord Howe.

Read our company Mission Statement here

Our Client Service Principles

Sunshine Sailing Australia understands that providing you with excellent service is vital to our business success. We have developed a set of Client Service Principles to enable you to measure our performance. Every day, for every client, we strive to:

Be Responsive and Accessible

We ensure that we are accessible to our clients to answer any queries or concerns. We aim to return client phone calls and emails the same day and always communicate in a timely manner.

Deliver on Commitments

We continuously strive to exceed our clients’ expectations. We will ensure that any course syllabus we teach are met or exceeded.

Offer Safe and Simple Techniques

We aim to provide practical and effective techniques and keep information as simple, concise and easy to understand as possible.

Communicate Clearly

We actively listen to our clients and communicate openly, clearly and simply about achievable certification and realistic timelines.

Be Proactive and Enthusiastic

We demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for our clients and our work. We anticipate potential learning issues, identify solutions and always remain focused.

Develop and Improve Relationships

We continuously strive to develop and enhance excellent client relationships by delivering excellent service and maintaining absolute professionalism, integrity and respect.

If at any time you feel that we have not met our commitment, we invite you to contact us to help us ensure we do.

Meet Our Team

Sunshine Sailing Australia - John Bankart
John Bankart – At the helm

John is the managing director and principal of Sunshine Sailing Australia. Winner of the 2003 and 2007 Melbourne-Osaka double handed yacht races. John is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster Examiner to Ocean both power and sail. John is an accomplished yachtsman, highly respected by his peers throughout the world. John has sailed over 150’000 sea miles worldwide, competed in 6 Sydney to Hobart yacht races, the infamous Fastnet, and was skipper of the yacht ‘Maiden’ racing around the world. John continues to contest major ocean races, campaigning to enter the worlds Solo Ocean Yacht Races in 2014-16 and also working on his next Melbourne to Osaka.

Sunshine Sailing Australia - Colin Burgess
Colin Burgess- Sales/Marketing/Training Advice

Colin is a RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and has been sailing since he was a child. Working in the industry for over 15 years Colin is well received and liked by his peers in Australian sailing circles. Colin’s experience also includes sailing out of the United Kingdom for 5 years and also helping to establish and maintain a international sailing school in the UK and on Sydney Harbour. Colin has completed 3 Sydney to Hobart campaigns and multiply coastal races and passages along the East Coast of Australia. Colin leads the Business Development section of SSA as well as skippering various training and corporate adventure.

Sunshine Sailing Australia - Piers Dudin
Piers Dudin- SSSC/Ocean Instructor

Piers is an RYA Ocean Master Instructor and SSSC instructor  and  brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to SSA and their clients. Piers has sailed over 100,000nm, worldwide, indeed he sailed here from the UK in 2013. Piers was Skipper and Chief Instructor for The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Piers is an extremely experienced yachtsman with excellent personal skills including a great sense of humour. As our chief instructor he has the right mix to take you to the next level.

Meet Our Fleet

Cruising Yacht – Eressea

Our 2008 Hanse 400e is the flag ship vessel of our fleet. Purchased from new she has proven to be the perfect sail training vessel combining comfort with performance. Her unique strong yet light build means she performs well in all wether and sea conditions and betting to wind is easy and fast meaning you get where you want to go on time (if not before).Fitted with both self tacking and traditional head sails you get to experience all aspects of modern sailing and the addition of a foil and fuller means we are able to train both the cruiser and the racer. Her sail wardrobe also consists of two symmetric spinnaker (mast head and Hounds) and a Asymmetric is on the cards for the 2017 season. Below she is well appointed with 3 large double cabins with six separated bunks, a large saloon and galley providing comfort not usually seen on a sail training vessel. The clean and easy to use nav station has all the toys to help advance your training and the meticulous cleaning/maintenance schedule she has means she is in tip top condition for your adventure.

Keel Boats – J/24, Elliot 6

Our main vessel for Keelboat training is the J24 . Whether you are aged 16 to 80, no matter what your style: racing, daysailing or cruising. Her flared topsides make her dry on deck.
Her “weekender” cabin makes it possible to get warm on cold days and she can be sailed easily by two people. A combination of head sails and spinnaker means we can take you through all aspects of sailing with out getting wet.
While some of the world’s best sailors have the latest version J/24, our well-maintained 1988 model, built to the same shape and weight with rigid end-grained balsa core construction still performs well and is a great training platform
The International J/24 is built in the USA, Japan, Argentina and Italy and has more than 50,000 people sailing 5,300 boats in 150 fleets in 40 countries.
Get in on the fun and find out why J/24 is still one of the world’s most popular sailboats.

The Elliot’s are used for our more advanced keel boat training these modern, dynamic, high stability, International One Design 6 metre keelboats are ideal for use in , keelboat training providing a platform to fine tune those racing skills. Fitted with large mains, small jibs and Asymmetric spinnakers this training platform provides a fast paced exciting ride.

Dinghy Fleet: Vagabond 14, Hobie 16, Laser

The Vagabond Dinghy is the sailing dinghy of choice for learning at Sunshine Sailing Australia. With a combined sail area of 9.9 square metres (107 square feet) and 110kgs of hull weight ensuring a stable and upright boat in all conditions with the added protection of reefing the mainsail if necessary.
The boats even have comfortable sit in seats ensuring there is no risk of falling overboard and without the need for crawling around on your knees making the Vagabond a perfect option for all ages and families. The optimum crew for this boat class is three people, though the boats can easily handle three, four or even five kids.
The Hobie 16 revolutionized multihull sailing. The Hobie 16 was unleashed on the Southern California beach scene in 1970 and sailing was instantly transformed. The beach-launched Hobie 16 brings the sport of sailing to f speed-loving sailors. The catamaran’s lightweight, asymmetrical fibreglass hulls provide lift and its dual-trapeze rig lets you and your crew member harness its sheer power. Providing a very stable platform they are ideal for families as well as adults and the perfect next level from the vagabonds
Used for our more advanced keel boat training these modern, dynamic, high stability, International One Design 6 metre keelboats are ideal for use in , keelboat training providing a platform to fine tune those racing skills. Fitted with large mains, small jibs and Asymmetric spinnakers this training platform provides a fast paced exciting ride.
The Laser is likely the most popular adult racing-class sailboat in the world. Introduced in 1971 as a one-class racer, by 1974 world championships were being held, and in 1996 Lasers became an Olympic class. Although better known as a race boat it is also used by many recreational sailors because it is fast and fun for sailors who are reasonably athletic and skilled. Sailing is simpler than with a boat that also has a jib sail, but the size of the Laser sail requires the weight of a full-size adult to ballast and balance the boat to prevent capsize. A Laser is the perfect transition boat l for those that have master the art of sailoing and want to take their performance to the next level