NI RDO Blog January 2023

This news is for club committee members and club members – anyone who is interested in what work the RYA is doing in NI – please share. 

Dear Boating Community,

Tickets are now on sale for the hotly anticipated Cruising Conference on 28th January, but that’s not all, there are lots of new events in the diary for you to catch up on, not least our open meetings to discuss our strategy for the next few years.

RYA has introduced a new rating system and there will be some webinars online to discuss this in more detail, but it may require clubs to have their own sail measurers. To that end, we have organised a sail measurer course 28th January and a talk about growing keelboat racing the evening before by RYA technical manager.

There is so much coming up for you, your committees and your members coming up, so please read on and share the information with your community. Don’t be afraid to get in touch.

Keep in touch,

Mary Martin

Development Officer

RYA Northern Ireland

T: 02891 827154| M: 079 1992 3018 

RYANI GE8, Sketrick House, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH



Creating a Club Development Plan – first of our winter workshops of 2023!

Tuesday 17th January

Supporting your clubs development plan and prioritising

Club Dev Ticket

FREE COURSE from Sport NI for your club – share with safeguarding welfare officer.

Level 2: Reaching Out Through Sport Mental Health Course | Sport NI

The course focuses on building wellbeing into the club environment.

Please note if clubs are keen to arrange a workshop, they should contact directly with your name, club name, email address and contact number.

Workshops are free of charge and are delivered by a tutor face-to-face or online via Zoom. They are designed to be attended by 8-16 members of an individual club.


Sailing Instructor Courses

Dinghy Instructor
13th – 17th February (Feb Half term) – 1 space remaining

Pre-entry assessment dates are on our Eventbrite booking page, further dates will be added.
22nd January 2023 – KOEC

Senior Instructor Course
Weekends either side of Feb half term: 11/12th & 18/19th 


Powerboat Instructor Courses

Red Bay Powerboating (Cushendall)
Course just completed Oct.
for info and booking contact

PGM Training (Antrim)
for info and booking contact Paul Magee

RYANI do not coordinate powerboat instructor courses – the above centres can run the courses and have dates set -if the dates above don’t work for you – please contact them to find out if they have other dates in the calendar. 
If you would like to run a course at your Club/Centre (you must be a Recognised Training Centre (RTC)) please contact me:; 079 1992 3018


Windsurfing Instructor Course

TBC – South Lakes Watersports Centre (Craigavon) 27th – 31st March

Aspiring Sail Trainer Programme


We’re looking for the next coach assessor/Sail Trainer, come and join the programme!

The Aspiring Trainer Programme is aimed at those in particular who wish to become Sail Trainers (formerly known as Coach assessors). The Training & CPD programme will however be good CPD for any Senior Instructor. If you’re not sure, or would like to talk through any of this please give me a call.

February 4th

Booking here!


Safeguarding Training

The awareness course is recommended for all club officers, and anyone involved in the junior community of the club, where the designated officer course is aimed at the club welfare officer(s) or team.

Safeguarding Awareness Course

Monday 27th – Tickets here

This workshop is important for all adults involved in childrens sport, but is particularly recommended for coaches, leaders, administrators and officials. The workshop is delivered online in the virtual classroom and has mandatory pre-learning which must be undertaken before attending the virtual workshop. Attendees will gain a certificate at the end of the course

Designated Safeguarding Children’s Officer – Online/Virtual Workshop

21st & 22nd March 1830 – 2100

This workshop aims to support those undertaking the role of Designated Safeguarding Children’s Officer including creating an awareness of key legislation and good practice; how to respond in a range of situations of concern; and how to develop the standards of safeguarding within a club environment.

Booking & further information.




Increase Yacht Racing Workshop

Friday 27th – Tickets here (Sketrick House TBC)
Want to find out more about how to increase Yacht Racing within your sailing club? This workshop is free and will be run by Adam Parry from the RYA. And will also be an opportunity to talk about YTC.




Race Management Courses for your Club members

As we are about to enter a new year and there are lots of events and club racing to be organised, we can help you to improve the skills of your race team volunteers. There are lots of courses available, some of them even free, and some can be tailored exactly to your club’s requirements. If you have any particular requirements or need advice about anything to do with these courses – contact me for a chat.
I have listed below some of the courses available and those that I can organise for a particular club:

RYA National Race Officer Course – Birmingham 14th/15th January 
There are still places available on this two day course which is normally only run once a year. This is for those experienced Regional Race Officers who want to take their race management skills to the next level. Instructors are Robin Gray and David Kent. Cost is £85.00. Register here

RYA Regional Judge Course – online course in January via Zoom
This course takes place over three Monday evenings in January 2023. 16th, 23rd and 30th. We all need volunteers to sit on protest committees – this course will give you the basic knowledge to become your club’s rules guru. If you have an interest in learning more about the Rules and the Protest process sign up now.

New Handicap System YTC – Webinar 18th January 2023
With the phasing out of NHC handicap system and the introduction of YTC – this webinar will give you the information needed to understand how it works, how to get a certificate and answer any questions you have. Find out more and register 

RYA Sail Measurement Course 28th January 2023 Venue TBA
With the introduction of YTC the new handicap system for cruiser racers, there is a need to be able to measure both upwind and downwind sails. Course costs £35.00. Sign up on this link

RYA Regional Race Officer Course – 4th/5th March 2023
at Ballyholme Yacht Club
The first step on the ladder of becoming an official RYA race officer. This two day course covers all aspects of running an open meeting from writing the Notice of race through on the water race management to producing the results. Not just for ROs but also for Committee Vessel teams to help understand the process of running events. Course costs £85.00 including lunch. Register here:

Tailored Club Race Team Courses – on site in your Club
To give your own occasional race team members some confidence about how to run Club Racing on those one or two times a summer when their name appears on the rota, we can come out for an evening or Saturday morning and run through the basic the process of running Club Racing using your own Sailing Instructions. There is no cost for our time – just call to arrange.
There is also an online course about club racing – this is a free general course for anyone to use: 

Club Mark laying Course
Again tailored to your club needs – we can come on site and help upskill your marklaying teams with the secrets of setting square start lines and gates and accurate trapezoid or windward leeward courses. This is a one day course with theory and a bit of GPS practice in the morning and some on the water practical stuff in the afternoon.. Just call to arrange.

Club Rules Talks
Contact either Denis Todd, Racing Rules Advisor ( or myself and we can arrange talks at your club and at whatever level you require. Contact details below:

Are your Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions up to date?
As we are now back into full time racing again it will do no harm to confirm you clubs documents are up to date with the present rules. I am quite happy, given a little notice, to read and comment on your NoR and SIs whether for club racing or open meetings. just email them to me and I will send them back with any comments deemed necessary. You don’t have to act on my comments – they are still your docuents but sometimes another pair of eyes can help.

So that’s it from me for the meantime – Contact me with any questions or if you need advice on any race management topic.
Robin Gray, RYA Regional Race Management Co-ordinator. 07809 395294

Looking for courses or information on Race Management or Rules? Get some talks and workshops booked in with our regional volunteers now, their diaries book up fast!

Get in touch –

RYA Regional Race Management Coordinator

Robin Gray, – for Race Management, club race officer training and talks

RYA Regional Rules Advisor

Denis Todd, – for rules talks, information about qualifying as a jury or to help with protest hearings

or – for general enquiries!

New! RYA Regional Jury course is now online! Find out more and sign up here: 

(top tip: SCROLL DOWN!)





RYA Northern Ireland Launches Online Strategy Consultation

A set of Values, Guiding Principles and Strategic Priorities have now been created and can be found here. Alternatively, you can view the video explanation here. We want this strategy to be for the whole of boating across Northern Ireland, so getting your feedback is vital. This will allow us to make sure that you feel connected and aligned to what the future for boating could look like over the next five years.

We are also running strategy consultation webinars in January, you can sign up below:

Tuesday 10th January 2023 at 7.30pm – postponed

Friday 13th January 2023 at 10am

Complete Survey

The survey should take between 15-20 minutes, thank you in advance for your support. 

Closing date for completion of the consultation is 5pm on Tuesday 17th January 2023. 



Let us know if there is anything you want to shout about to other clubs… this newsletter doesn’t reach the general public!


Carrickfergus Sailing Club is a RYA Registered Training Centre and require an experienced SI who will build on our previous RYA junior and adult sailing courses. At the club we have first class facilities with access to an enclosed harbour for protected coaching and a marina with maintained ribs and club pontoon available. Our slip was recently refurbished and widened to allow safe and multiple launches.
Our facilities include modern segregated and DDA compliant changing rooms and a serviced classroom with access to a media platform. Most importantly for any SI, we provide a substantial volunteer support group with a good base of AI’s and DI’s who are all progressing well through their RYA instructor qualifications.  
We are keen to talk to all level of applicants and welcome any enquiries. Competitive rates offered.
All applications or expressions of interest should be made to:



Instructor Course dates are being agreed – to be first to know when booking opens, please sign up to our newsletter and select the instructor newsletter!




Strategy Consultation Webinars

Tuesday 10th January 2023 at 7.30pm – postponed

Friday 13th January 2023 at 10am

Complete Survey

The survey should take between 15-20 minutes, thank you in advance for your support. 

Closing date for completion of the consultation is 5pm on Tuesday 17th January 2023. 


Creating a Club Development Plan

Tuesday 17th January

Supporting your clubs development plan and prioritising

Club Dev Ticket

RYANI Cruising Conference 

28th January 

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

Booking available

RYA Sail Measurer Course

28th January

Tickets here 




Senior Instructor Course
Weekends either side of Feb half term: 11/12th & 18/19th 

Killyleagh OEC

Dinghy Instructor
13th – 17th February (Feb Half term)

Killyleagh OEC

RYANI Regional Training Day

18th February – South Lake Leisure Centre

(formerly known as Instructor Training Day).

Catch up day for instructors and club race coaches.

Safeguarding Awareness Course

Monday 27th – Tickets here




Regional Race Officer (RRO) two-day course

4th/5th March 2023

Ballyholme Yacht Club

Booking and info to follow


Ireland on the Water EXPO


Eikon Centre


OnBoard Development Day – provisional

11th March 2023

South Lakes Watersports Centre (Craigavon)

Designated Safeguarding Children’s Officer – Online/Virtual Workshop

21st & 22nd March 1830 – 2100

Booking & further information.




Project Re-Boot: Activate (up to £5K)

Project Re-Boot: Activate is the next phase of funding to help clubs and community groups Build Back Better. This investment programme has been set up to support the sports sector through the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Northern Ireland. You need a crowdfunding project to apply for funding.



Get yourself set up on the RYA funding portal. Its new and its free to RYA affiliated clubs.

Belfast Harbour Fund

Power NI Brighter Communities

Up to £1000



New members of the team.

I am thrilled to inform you that Lisa and Andrew have had the safe arrival of a beautiful baby girl. The best Christmas present for them and us. We cannot wait to meet her and we send our congratulations to them.

Lisa’s Maternity cover is BYC native Kate Pounder, she has hit the ground running, hopefully your club will have already heard from her and if not, or you would like to drop her a line you can do this

Would your club be interested in hosting an Open Training event? What classes would you want coached class must be one-design, but we are open to getting involved in a wider range of classes. Get in touch,


We are running a survey to help us with our planning. It’s not just for race coaching, so you can share with any RYA instructors too.

Topper sailor results from earlier in the season.

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