Our regional finalist is commended for its dedication to providing a great service on-the-water and onshore.

Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award following a hugely successful year for its racing and training programme.

The club is one of 10 finalists for the 2020 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher, with the overall winner to be determined by a public vote.

Dedicated volunteers at the family-friendly club run a busy social, racing and training programme to make sailing and windsurfing accessible for all ages and abilities, with activities ranging from grassroots opportunities to get more people on the water to national championships attracting competitors from across the UK.

Located at Grimwith Reservoir, the club gained official accreditation in 2019 from the sport’s governing body, the Royal Yachting Association, to become an RYA Recognised Training Centre.

It was also awarded RYA OnBoard status for inspiring the next generation and developing future talent through its outstanding work with children and young people, and given a £10,000 Sport England grant for five new boats to support its training.

Richard Paynter, Commodore of Yorkshire Dales SC, said: "We have a fabulous expanse of water and a fantastic state-of-the-art club house but I think what makes our club really special is the huge amount of effort that all the volunteers put into running the racing and training so effectively as it is this positive attitude which makes our club so inclusive for all.

“We are part of the community of the Yorkshire Dales and try to provide a valuable resource for the local area where people can take part in watersports, walk around the reservoir or attend events hosted by the club. It would be great if people could vote for us!”

Members of the public can find out more about the award and vote for Yorkshire Dales SC here.

Instructor Nick Jansen taking out a junior sailor in one of the new Sport England funded training boats, credit Paul Hargreaves PhotographyThe annual RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award recognises the outstanding achievements of sailing clubs across the UK and shares examples of best practice, demonstrating the hard work and commitment that go into running a successful club.

Situated high up in the National Park, Yorkshire Dales SC recently celebrated 10 years since the opening of its new clubhouse. The club has not stood still since then. It has developed a highly successful progression pathway of training, from beginners through to race development.

This year, volunteers ran 465 sessions involving 130 participants and ran Instructor and Race Coach courses. The club has quickly established itself as an RYA Training Centre, 70 places on courses being taken up in the first season. This has successfully increased membership and reduced churn, with 52% of new members coming via training.

There is a very active windsurfing scene and high level of club sail racing which has honed an extremely successful youth fleet competing at national and International level. The innovative hire of hot tubs for large events is an indication of how the club keeps “customer service” at the heart of all that it provides.

RYA Programmes Manager Michelle Gent said: “The awards 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.” 

Voting runs until Monday 27th January 2020 at http://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/rya/ and the winner will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show in London, Saturday 29th  February 2020.

Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club members enjoying the sunshine on the patio at the state-of-the-art club house 

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