About the Penny Whiting Sailing School

Penny's Philosophy on Learning to Sail 

Our motto is “If it’s hard to do, you're doing it the wrong way.”

Sailing shouldn’t be hard to do and it does not require a great deal of strength. It’s all about timing and knowing the correct way to do things. We believe anyone can learn to sail and everyone can be able to enjoy time out on the water with safety and confidence.

We undertake to heighten your knowledge and understanding about boating and clarify the mysteries of boating, with weather, winds and tides.

We’ve been teaching people to sail for 50 years and have seen more than 33,000 students go on to become confident and capable sailors, sailing in New Zealand and all around the world.

Our sailing courses operate from Westhaven Marina in Auckland, with our floating classroom being the magnificent 47 foot Whiting design yacht “Endless Summer”, a popular sight out on the Waitemata Harbour.

About Penny Whiting, MBE

Few New Zealanders have packed as much into their lives as Penny Whiting. Best known as a yachtswoman and the owner-operator of the Penny Whiting Sailing School, she has also been a swimming champion, international surfing competitor, rugby coach, writer, celebrity speaker, America's Cup and Whitbread commentator and Auckland City Councillor. She has two grown children who also sail and is now a proud grandmother to three grandchildren.

Born on the morning of the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta, Penny was destined for a life at sea. While still in her teens she went into business with her brother Paul who designed and built yachts. At the age of 19 Penny founded the sailing school (originally the Lady Penelope Sailing School) and in more than 40 years she has not missed one class.

In 1993 Penny was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for services to sailing.

Her down-to-earth and fun approach to teaching has made her a popular tutor for male and female students of all ages and abilities.


Wow, my wife and I enjoyed the classes and can now sail together and understand sailing.

Rob and Mary, San Diego