Welcome to NWISA website. The Northwest District of the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) is the organizing body for high school sailing in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. In addition, the NWISA has recently allowed schools from British Columbia and Canada to compete in the District as full members. Eligibility is open to both boys and girls in grades 9 thru 12.

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About High School Sailing:

The Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) governs secondary school sailing in the United States, in both independent and public high schools. Sailor eligibility starts at the ninth grade; there are no age limits. As in college sailing, there are seven district associations which schedule events, as well as a system of national championships. While ISSA had its origins in the preparatory schools of the Northeast in 1930, it is now a nationwide organization with active districts in Northeast (NESSA), Mid-Atlantic (MASSA), South Atlantic (SAISA), Southeast (SEISA), Midwest (MWISSA), Pacific Coast (PCISA), and Northwest (NWISA).


Schools schedule dual meets for team racing and compete in open and closed fleet racing events, mostly in doublehanded dinghies. There is some single-handed competition, and there is a National Singlehanded Championship (Cressy Trophy). School teams reach the Nationals by competing successfully in district championships. Other National Championships are the Baker Trophy for team racing and the Mallory for two-division fleet racing in doublehanded dinghies.


The Boats:

The boats sailed in high school sailing are typically 2 person (double handed) dinghys around 14 feet long. Flying Juniors and V15's are most frequently sailed. Occasionally singlehanded boats, typically Lasers, are sailed as well. These dinghys are designed to teach the basics of boat handling and sail trim. They are durable and a lot of fun. The best sailors in the world all learned to sail in dinghys!


The Racing:

Fleet racing and team racing are the most common formats used in high school sailing. The fleet racing format starts all boats together with multiple boats per school racing at once. Because the boats are identical, the first to finish the course wins. In team racing schools will go head to head against other schools. Three boats from each school will match up against three boats from another school. The idea is to finish with a winning combination, or less total points than your opponent, where your place determines your points. Team racing focuses largely on strategy and has become very popular in recent years.