Etherow Country Park Sail away with National Award

Etherow Sailing Club, the newly crowned Green Club of the Year, received their award on the main stage at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show supported by Sunsail at Farnborough International on Saturday, 24 February 2024.


The Green Club of the Year category celebrates those clubs that have developed their environmental credentials

For Etherow Sailing Club, their ambition to go green started in 2022, after losing their electricity feed at the end of 2021 and water supply  three months later due to thieves.

Etherow Country Park Sailing Club: Michael Hollingworth, Commodore

“To win feels fantastic, and the club will be so proud of what we have achieved and then  get this recognition. Being such a small club the award is wonderful, exceptional.”

“We have been able to develop the club in such a way to make the most of its credentials being located in a country park, doing things like recycling the old dinghies  that can then be sold to members to make sailing affordable and accessible.”“Because we didn’t have water, we couldn’t flush the toilets so we implemented water harvesting. and because we lost electricity, we changed all the lights so they could run off a Kilowatt generator. Then, once we got the electricity back, we reduced our consumption right down, and our electricity bill is so low now.”

“As a result of us  the water and the electricity, we were able to push the green policies forward. It was pushed on us, but once we had completed the work, we just embraced it and continued.”

“The (ePropulsion) engine will be magic for our members. We are currently running old outboards that are hit and miss. With the new ePropulsion, we will be able to carry on the green theme. With the country park being so full of wildlife, this will benefit the environment being significantly quieter.”

“To other clubs looking to go green: look at your facilities and how you can tweak them ever so slightly to be more efficient. Every club is different, but you can find ways to improve.”


Etherow Sailing Club receive the Green Club of the Year Award


For Etherow Sailing Club, the process started with a rainwater harvesting system to manage their toilet water consumption. The club reduced demand for electricity by replacing an inefficient 240L hot water tank with two 10L under-counter heaters. This simple act significantly reduced the electricity used on-site for hot water without losing efficiency. 

Their attention then moved to lighting and electric heating, their most significant cost. With all lights replaced with energy-saving LEDs, their heating was also modernised with newer, lower rated systems that reduced cost without losing efficiency. 

It wasn’t just the heating and water that benefitted from the new, greener philosophy at Etherow. Thanks to a committed team, they recycle unwanted or abandoned boats, with club members repairing and upgrading the crafts. Once repaired and back to their best condition, the boats are offered to new members who, in turn, donate to help pay for training boats’ maintenance costs, making the sport we love more affordable and inclusive.

For more information on all the RYA Club of the Year finalists and category winners

Get involved at Etherow Sailing Club









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