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Following the selection of the development teams in Topper, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 29er, Optimist and Techno Windsurfing the entire group met at Inverclyde on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of November.

In total there are five Development Team Camps and an Orientation Camp taking place at Cumbrae and Inverclyde over the winter, to focus on helping our top Scottish sailors over all the classes reach their full potential.

The class specific coaching team at the Orientation Camp included head coaches Duncan Hepplewhite, Jamie Calder, Robbie Burns, Iain McLaughlin, Sami Poole, Gillies Munro and Gavin Dunlop. The teams got to meet each other, while the parents were given an overview of the Development Team  training and next season goals.

Topper Head Coach Duncan Hepplewhite said. “The Orientation Camp is the first opportunity to work with the new sailors after selection by the Performance Committee at the end of September. We work with the best sailors, based on performance over the season and through the Academy Pathway, training over the winter at sportscotland National Centre Cumbrae.”

The team highlights the values of British Youth Sailing: Respect and Integrity; Courage and Determination; Curiosity; Ownership and to be Passionately Ambitious.


Laser Radial Development Team Head Coach Iain McLaughlin said. “Whilst the Academy training is open to all, the selected group at Development Team can further focus on more specific elements. We worked as a group to establish the main values as part of a Development Sailor and had some great ideas. Things that came up included someone who is really curious about learning how to improve, has a real drive and is also somebody who is really focused and when the get down to their learning, they know what there hear to learn.”


Matt Toynbee of RYA Scotland noted. “It was great to get all our development teams together as we focus our efforts on making the big performance gains over the winter training block. All teams benefited from planning sessions with their coaches and some very insightful workshops delivered by sportscotland Institute of Sport Performance Lifestyle and Nutrition Specialists to both parents and athletes.”


“We were also very fortunate to have British Sailing Team athlete Lorenzo Chiavarini sharing his experiences of the journey through the RYA Scotland programme, starting sailing at his exploits sailing on the Crinan Canal to the West Coast to competing on the world stage.”

Lorenzo is indeed very inspirational as his sailing started in a remote location initially and as he says ‘the only competitors were the wildlife.’ Now competes in the Laser class around the world he can say that he has fun training with five times Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt on Lake Garda. Quite a contrast and his presentation to the young aspirational group left quite an impression.

We wish all the sailors the best for coming winter training and the development sailors will be attending the Class Academy training which also runs throughout the winter.

To find out more about the RYA Scotland Performance Programme visit:


Emsworth Sailing Club formally launched its centenary celebrations and commemorations with a reception in the clubhouse on Bath Road last weekend.

More than 150 people attended the drinks reception and cake cutting, along with eight former Commodores of the club.  A special commemorative cake was cut by the longest serving club member, and the junior captains.  

Emsworth SC is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) affiliated club and has produced its fair share of Olympic contenders and national champions, currently counting more than 30 national or world titles from amongst the male, female and junior members since 2000 alone.  Indeed among its most famous scions are Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten and the round the world yachtsman and record breaker, Sir Peter Blake.  

The reception marks the first of a series of activities both on and off the water, including a centenary regatta, a sailpast, a moonlight race, kayak and paddleboard fun events, an East Head family invasion, and for the landlubbers a beer and band festival, a centenary ball, vintage tea party, and a hard back history of the club.  In addition, a new range of centenary themed club clothing is being produced.  

The juniors, who make up more than 20% of the membership, also have a full programme of fun events with an Emsworth millpond carnival, a swimming gala, crabbing competitions and a sail to and BBQ on Fowley Island.   The club, which has been at its current address since its formation, was founded by six members at the end of World War I and has grown in popularity and strength to its current membership of around 1600.  It plays a major role in the life of this Hampshire fishing village and its iconic location holds fond memories for many generations of sailors.  

The oldest sailing club on Chichester Harbour, Emsworth SC is a family oriented club with a thriving sailing and social community, with members drawn not just from the surrounding locality but attracting families from further afield, such as Surrey and London.  

Marking the launch, club Commodore, Michael Geary said: “Emsworth Sailing Club has gone from strength to strength over many generations, and I am honoured to be leading the centenary celebrations on behalf of the members.  

“It’s one of the great sailing clubs on the South Coast, with an enviable location and a passion to keep strong Britain’s connections with the sea.  We have a thriving sailing and social calendar, a full membership and a flourishing youth section to encourage the next generation.   

“We have a great many activities planned, from serious racing to fun for all the family and we are aiming to appeal across the board to as many members as possible.”

Pictured:  Emsworth Sailing Club former club commodores: (left to right) Richard Kent, Tim Goodhead (in front), Geoff Walker (behind), Michael Geary (current commodore), Margaret Jay, Chris Clode, Marcus Lawson, Ian McIntyre, Roger Bleasby.”


Save the date

Now in its 11th year, the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta 2019 will be held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) from 05-07 July 2019.

Home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the WPNSA, who will be hosting the event in partnership with Chesil Sailability, offers both world-class on-shore facilities, as well as some of the best sailing waters on the planet. Clean winds, sheltered waters and weak tides make Weymouth Harbour the perfect location for this ‘sea change’.

First staged in 2007, the regatta is now the UK’s biggest disability sailing event of its kind and will see sailors of varying abilities take to the water for a memorable weekend of sailing and socialising.

Competitors range from those who have competed at an international level to beginners just getting started, as they come together in a celebration of everything that is possible on the water.

With a change of venue and date, the reformatted event will include the usual fleet racing and Ken Ellis Pursuit Race alongside new opportunities to try sailing and try racing.

RYA Sailability Manager, Joff McGill said: “We are delighted to announce the new format for the 2019 RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta. Rotating the venue will allow us to add in some new elements, offering something different year on year. This year’s move to the WPNSA will provide the opportunity to sail on the sea – a first for many of the sailors.

He continued: “We are so grateful to both Rutland Sailability and Rutland Sailing Club for their support over the years, without them the Multiclass wouldn’t be what it is today and I have no doubt we will be back in the future.”

For over 10 years, the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta has been inspirational for many sailors, encouraging them to move onwards in the sport and to achieve greater personal goals.

Save the date and look out for further information in the coming months at www.rya.org.uk/go/MulticlassRegatta19.

RYA Northern Ireland has received a prominent award from Disability Sport NI for its commitment to actively include people with disabilities.

The Inclusive Sport Award  was presented by Elaine Reid, Performance Sport Manager from Disability Sport NI to the Chair of RYA Northern Ireland, Jackie Patton, at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on 29 October 2018. RYA Northern Ireland has been proactive in taking steps to develop access to boating activity, through initiatives such as the RYA Sailability Scheme and Paralympic Pathway development.

RYA Northern Ireland Chair Jackie Patton commented: “I am very proud that sailing is only the fifth Governing Body of Sport in Northern Ireland to receive this award. There is so much good work being done by sailing clubs to actively include people with disabilities.

“Five sailing clubs are recognised with Sailability Foundation Status and there are three RYA Active Sailability groups across Northern Ireland. The schemes continue to grow from strength to strength and I am so pleased to see that the results have been that we have more people getting out on the water and having fun.”

The RYANI Sailability Co-Ordinator is funded through Sport Northern Ireland.

Pic: Richard Honeyford, COO RYANI; Bob Harper, Sailability Coordinator RYANI; Elaine Reid, Performance Sport Manager DSNI; Jackie Patton, Chair RYANI

RYA considers latest Brexit preparedness update

The RYA has today learnt that the European Commission has proposed to grant UK citizens visa-free travel to the EU after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union – if the UK also grants reciprocal visa-free travel to all EU citizens.

It would mean that UK citizens would not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. In the scenario where the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this would apply as of 30 March 2019.

Deal or no deal

If a deal is reached, however, it would apply as of the end of the transition period, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. This follows the Commission's continued commitment that citizens' rights must come first in the negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

This proposal is entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU Member States, in line with the principle of visa reciprocity. The UK government has declared its intention not to require a visa from citizens of the EU27 Member States for shorts stays for the purposes of tourism and business. EU rules on non-EU nationals travelling to the EU, such as those on border control, would of course apply to UK citizens once they are no longer EU citizens.

Today's proposal is one of the preparedness measures needed as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. It is separate to the ongoing negotiations on the UK's orderly withdrawal.

The proposal now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission has called on both institutions to make quick progress on this proposal so that it can be adopted in good time before 30 March 2019.


On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This means that, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h (CET). The United Kingdom will then become a 'third country'.

The EU has a common visa policy for short-stay visits to the Schengen area, which includes a common list of countries whose nationals must have a visa when crossing the external borders and a common list of countries whose nationals are exempt from that requirement. These lists are set out in Regulation No 539/2001 and its successive amendments.

For UK nationals, once EU law no longer applies to the United Kingdom, visa-free travel will be possible in the 22 EU countries which are members of the Schengen area and in the 4 Schengen-associated States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). It will also apply to Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus which are not yet full members of the Schengen area.

Today's proposal concerns UK nationals who are British citizens. Under UK law, there are six categories of British nationals, British citizens being one of them. The other five categories, namely British nationals (Overseas), British overseas territories citizens (BOTC), British overseas citizens (BOC), British protected persons (BPP) and British subjects (BS), are not EU citizens but already benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen area and will continue to do so. British nationals residing in Gibraltar will continue being able to enter the Schengen area without a visa.

Next steps

It is important to note that any decision to continue with freedom of movement after a no deal Brexit would likely encounter strong opposition from Conservative Eurosceptics, potentially jeopardising any reciprocal visa arrangement. 

The RYA is continuing to work hard to ensure that Government understands and takes account of the activities of our members as it negotiates the UK’s exit position.  You’ll find more detailed information on our Brexit positions at www.rya.org.uk/go/Brexit.

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