Draycote Water Sailing Club in awards spotlight

View of Draycote Water SC clubhouse from the water with committee boats and RIBs.

Draycote Water Sailing Club is in the spotlight for inspiring the next generation of sailors after being shortlisted for a national Royal Yachting Association (RYA) award.

The family-friendly club in Warwickshire is a finalist in the 2024 RYA Club of the Year Awards supported by Gallagher. It is among 14 finalists nationwide and one of three recognised in the Young Person’s Club of the Year category.

Jeremy Atkins, President of Draycote Water Sailing Club, said: “We are so proud of becoming a finalist for the Club of the Year title and especially for the recognition of our outstanding provision for children and young people.

“The club is absolutely committed to encouraging the next generation to enjoy our fantastic sport, whether that’s getting on the water each weekend with friends, competing at the highest level, or giving their time to support other youngsters.

“Our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers work hard to provide the best possible experiences for our youth and junior sailors and it is rewarding for everyone involved that the club has been shortlisted for the 2024 awards.”

The overall award winners in each category and the Club of the Year title will be announced in a ceremony at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, Farnborough International, on Saturday 24 February 2024.

Draycote Water Sailing Club is an RYA Recognised Training Centre and has introduced hundreds of children and young people to the sport with Discover Sailing Days, beginners’ courses and taster sessions.

Group of junior sailors in buoyancy aids with dinghies moored around a RIB with an instructor on board.

Racing pathway

Those who get hooked are then able to enjoy a wide range of activities with the club’s youth and junior fleet to continue developing their skills, including a Saturday morning fun club and Friday evening racing with a weekly barbecue.

The club supports children to begin racing at local events and more experienced youth sailors and parents help those new to the sport through mentoring, a WhatsApp group and second hand kit sales.

Jeremy added: “Young members also give back by becoming volunteers, instructors and race coaches.

“And for those who are keen to develop their racing skills, the club provides a coach-led pathway with its hugely successful Draycote Academy, which provides regular training and has produced multiple national and world champions.”

Two youth sailors battling it out upwind in ILCAs at Draycote Water.

Four regattas hosted by the club in 2023 were run entirely by under-18s and six young people have gained RYA Level 2 coaching certificates to support activities at the club.

Young club members are also currently in the British Keelboat Academy, and the RYA’s Crew for Gold and Diploma for Sporting Excellence programmes.

The club runs RYA courses for adults as well as children, with year-round racing, professional safety cover every day of the week, and an inclusive community which includes sessions for improvers, women and retirees.

It offers a warm welcome for anyone who would like to find out more about its activities. Call in at the club’s waterside reception or visit: www.draycotewater.co.uk

Junior dinghies with colourful sails racing at the NSSA Youth Regatta, Draycote Water, 2023.

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