Members at The Royal Anglesey Yacht Club are celebrating becoming the only Welsh club among 10 finalists shortlisted for the UK boating club of the year.

The annual RYA and Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

The Beaumaris-based club has been key in supporting the sailing of classic yachts, developing youth sailing on the North Wales coast as well as starting a successful rowing section.

A dedicated group of volunteers have reinstated regular training and racing opportunities for juniors, a grant from sport Wales enabled the purchase of a fleet of RS Fevas for those young sailors to use.

They have become a key part of the local community with oversubscribed junior sailing lessons, a Magenta Project training day had women attending from all over Wales, while rowing takes place all year round.

The public vote for the Club of the year awards opens on the 13th December, when people can vote for a club that is part of the community and makes a difference to lives in North Wales. The voting page can be found on the RYA website: https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya/

Stevie Scanlan, Commodore of the RAYC, said, “We want everyone to enjoy being involved in water activities and work hard to welcome and encourage new members.

“We also look after our long-standing members by offering a member’s lunch every Wednesday throughout the year, and many land-based volunteering opportunities for those who can no longer get out on the water. 

“We are the host club for the historic Menai Strait Regatta every year and regularly take our boats to classic regattas in the UK and Europe.

“We have made great strides in recent years with a team of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers coaching the juniors and at the same time developing a very popular rowing section.

“The objective of bringing in younger elements has succeeded beyond our expectations.

“We're grateful for the external support we have received and have seen this investment reap large rewards within the sport, as a result the future of our club is bright. 

“We believe our most important success has been the one that came unexpectedly – the greater inclusiveness, diversity and local engagement with what was previously seen as a sport for the privileged.”

The RAYC was founded in 1885 and is a lively, welcoming club in Beaumaris on the shores of the Menai Strait. They Race Fife class keelboats and Menai Strait OD day boats and row celtic longboats as well as hosting a variety of events. 

The RAYC is an RYA Recognised Training Centre servicing members training needs and is also extremely family-friendly and offer sailing lessons to local children throughout the summer. 

Those who race are passionate about the classic one-design boats they sail and the environment they are sailed in and are keen to pass on this passion onto the next generation. 

“We’re delighted to be able to announce this year’s finalists.” said RYA Programmes Manager Michelle Gent. “The Panel were inspired to see how much activity goes on in clubs all year round and the number of volunteers who go that extra mile to make it all happen.

“It’s been exciting to see the varied initiatives clubs are using to increase activity and engage their membership”.

Rob Peake, Editor of Yachts & Yachting said: “We had a tough time whittling down the high standard of entries this year to the shortlist you see here, but the tougher task is now yours!

“Yachts & Yachting is delighted to be supporting this competition, which recognises the hard work of club volunteers and shares best practice between clubs."

The awards will be presented and the overall winner announced at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 on Saturday 29 February. From the 13 December cast your vote at https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya/ Voting closes on Monday 27 January 2020.

For more information about the RAYC see their web site http://royalangleseyyc.org.uk/ 

Further information on the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award and here https://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/rya-awards/club-of-the-year/Pages/rya-club-of-the-year.aspx

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