The WSSYSA has been established for many years and is well known for its youth sailing events, including its perennial Topper Traveller Series and flagship WSSYSA Youth Regatta (which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018), all aimed to encourage young people to participate in sailing in West Sussex.

The WSSYSA was formed in the early 1960s by a group of people largely made up of county youth service staff, teachers and sailing instructors who were interested in developing the wide range of sailing opportunities available in West Sussex for the benefit of both young people and of the sport of sailing.

More than 50 years later, the Association continues to promote youth sailing and in particular youth racing, supported by its affiliate club members dotted around West Sussex and Chichester Harbour.