Robbies Blog for February 2024

Hi everyone,

Last month at a glance

This month has been very busy, with planning meetings at RYA HQ and attendance at the RYA Training Conference in Oxford, not to mention finalising the details of the Regional Training Day so bookings could go live, and the delivery of our first face-to-face Connected Forum in Heybridge Basin on the 31st January.

RYA East Connected Forums

It was really good to get back down to Blackwater Sailing Club, (2023 RYA Club of the Year Finalist) and see how they have developed their facilities and activity offer to encourage more participation. We were lucky to be able to use their club room for our Connected Forum, which saw about 18 people from 8 clubs come together to discuss how they can cater for member and participant needs. We were focusing on ensuring that we make the most of the communities we are surrounded by, and spent time in groups discussing some of the challenges around volunteering and how we can engage people to carry out tasks in our organisations – whether these be the big jobs or smaller roles. In addition, we looked at how diversifying activity can engage existing and new members in some really interesting ways. By the time you read this we will have also attended forums at Royal Harwich Yacht Club and Grafham Water Centre where, between those two venues, we will have engaged with a further 50 people representing nearly 30 clubs and Sailability groups. The final forums run on the 13th and 15th February at Stanborough Park Activity Centre and Norfolk Broads Yacht Club respectively – to find out more and book, please use this link: RYA East Connected Forums – Jan/Feb ’24 (

Regional Training Day

I mentioned the Regional Training Day, formerly our Instructor Training Day – this is an event aimed at those delivering on-water activity across dinghy, power, windsurf and winging disciplines. This year sees the event move to Grafham Water Centre in Cambridgeshire on Sunday 03 March. Most attendees tend to be RYA Dinghy, Windsurf or Powerboat Instructors; however if you help out on the water at your club or Sailability group, we’d love to have you along. There is a broad variety of shore-based sessions in the morning including workshops and a coaching carousel to choose from, and in the afternoon there is a 3 hour window for on-water activity. You can choose from a range of sessions from: an introduction to Wing Surfing or Wing Foiling through to Windsurf Instructor Development, Safety boat techniques, navigation and pilotage afloat, and sessions aimed at developing your knowledge and skills to help you deliver fun, engaging and developmental sessions. This event is just £30 for RYA Members and £35 for non-members, and includes all refreshments, lunch and activities. Please do come along to kick-start your season. Book here.

RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show

On the 24 and 25 February I will be attending the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show in Farnborough. This year the event promises to be even better than last year, with plenty of interactive elements and even more exhibitors. Don’t forget that as an RYA Member you are entitled to a FREE ticket, so why not get together with some friends from your club and have a great day out. I’ll be around the RYA Stand and I’d love to have a chat with you, so please do get in touch, or just come and say hello. More info here RYA Dinghy Show – RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show Tickets | Sat 24 Feb 10am-6pm & Sun 25 Feb 10am-5pm (

Good luck to Colne Yacht Club

I’d also like to say congratulations and good luck to Colne Yacht Club, who are a finalist in the Active Category of Club of the Year. Colne Yacht Club have been extremely proactive in recent years, particularly in engaging with the local community and through their Sonata project, which has enabled beginners to get on the water before progressing their sailing.

RYA Affiliation Online Portal 

Finally, if you’re involved in the running of an RYA Affiliated organisation, you should now be aware that there is a new online portal for RYA Affiliated organisations to use. This will support the re-affiliation process and make it easier for us to communicate with one another. Please do make sure your club has logged in and completed the short survey by the 29th February. The survey relates to affiliation requirements that will be changing in April 2025 and will help us understand what support we need to provide over the next 14 months to ensure re-affiliation in 2025 is straightforward, please do get in touch should you have any questions about this.

Hope to see you soon!



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