Rob’s Round-up January 2024

I hope you had a very good Christmas and wish you a happy and healthy new year. We’re back in the swing of it and planning the next few months of activity, so this blog is full of dates for events we’re offering to help support you with everything that’s going on in your boating world. 

RYA Training Conference

Supported by Gallagher, the RYA Training Conference 2024 will take place on 27 – 28 January at DoubleTree by Hilton Oxford Belfry

It’s for RYA instructors, appointment holders and training centre principals, and will include the latest updates from the RYA and wider industry. Make your last-minute booking to join in-person or online, and be inspired!  

Connected Drop-in and Catch-up

Join me for an informal online catch-up and get on top of all the latest news and activity in the region as well as asking questions and sharing ideas as well as challenges with others in a similar role. Like all Connected events, these are for all affiliated groups, class associations and Sailability venues. We have organised different sessions to make sure you can find the one most relevant to you:

For clubs

(All sessions 1900 to 2000)

Clubs with under 200 members  – 5 February
Clubs with 200 to 700 members – 6 February
Clubs with over 700 members – 7 February
Sailability-specific session – 8 February

For Training Centres

Power and PWC – 1230 – 1330 5 February
Multi-discipline – 1230 – 1330 8 February
Clubs with Training Centres – 1900 – 2000 19 February
OnBoard-specific session – 1230 – 1330 6 February

Look out on Facebook and email for booking links soon! 

Connected Workshops

Our winter workshop schedule is now complete, and booking will be available soon. Watch out for more info and booking links on the SW Facebook page. Don’t miss this opportunity to prepare your club for the future, at a venue near you soon. 





St Mawes Sailing Club

23 Jan

1900 – 2030

Preparing your club for the future: An evening of understanding and growing your membership.

Plym Yacht Club

31 Jan

1900 -2030

Preparing your club for the future: An evening of understanding and growing your membership.

Royal Torbay Yacht Club

01 Feb

1900 – 2030

Preparing your club for the future: An evening of understanding and growing your membership.

Parkstone Yacht Club

28 Feb

1900 – 2030

Growing and developing your people. An evening of considering your volunteer strategy and training.

South Cerney Sailing Club

04 March

1900 – 2030

Preparing your club for the future: An evening of understanding and growing your membership.

Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

06 March

1900 – 2030

Preparing your club for the future: An evening of understanding and growing your membership.

Regional Training Day

The 2024 SW Regional Training Day will take place on 17 March at Whitefriars Sailing Club. If you’re an instructor, a coach or you’re involved in facilitating on-water activity, this event will help deepen your knowledge, confidence and experience in delivering the RYA small craft schemes and also offer you the opportunity to broaden your skillset. There’ll be workshops covering personal and teaching skills in power, sail and wing/wind). 

Save the date, and look out for a full agenda and booking details soon.

The RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show 2024

The must-see sailing and watersports event of the year returns to Farnborough International on 24-25 February 2024, and RYA members and children 15 and under go free, so book your tickets now! 

I’ll be there on both days and look forward to catching up with you – come and find me on the RYA stand.

SW Race Management Conference

 Are you engaged in running racing – as a race official, mark layer or someone involved in protest hearings? Then save the date for the first in-person SW Race Management Conference since before the pandemic – Saturday 17 February 2024 at Exe Sailing Club. 

Booking details will be available shortly – check Facebook and email for updates. 

RYA South West Senior Dinghy Instructor Course

This four-day SI course will be spread over two weekends – 09/10 March at Roadford Lake and 23/24 March at Stithians Lake.

It will take you from an RYA Dinghy Instructor to RYA Senior Instructor, covering the preparation and delivery of sessions, course and centre management, powerboat handling in a teaching environment and the RYA Sailing Schemes.   

More information and booking form 

Seagrass and seaweed – the power of representation

Two recent stories show how important representation from the RYA and local volunteers is crucial in getting the right decisions made.

The Studland Bay Marine Partnership was awarded £186,000 from the Marine Management Organisation’s Fisheries and Seafood Scheme last November. The funding will go towards the provision of eco-moorings to support the voluntary no anchor zone (VNAZ) already in place within in Studland Bay (see photo).  

Dorset’s most extensive seagrass meadow provides a unique habitat for lots of important species like the Spiny Seahorse and the endangered undulate ray, and the Partnership was formed in 2021 to make sure the area is protected for nature whilst meeting the needs of water and boat users. The yacht clubs in Poole have two representatives on it, co-ordinating the thoughts and comments from clubs and taking advice from the Environmental Department at the RYA, so ensuring that boating is well represented.  They have made great progress toward some solutions for a difficult issue.  

In Cornwall, plans for a bid to create a large seaweed farm in Gerrans Bay, have been withdrawn, thanks to a local campaign of water users. The project would have involved suspending lines 20m apart, held in place by surface floats and anchored to the seabed over 270 acres. Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “This was ultimately a successful campaign by local people, who came together as a community across a variety of platforms, to ensure their voices were heard and that the full impact of these proposals on the surrounding area was known.” 

Junior racing news from Regional Performance Manager, Duncan West

We’re now half-way through winter training now and it has been running really well, with some great events, so I’m really looking forward to the second half! 

I’ll be part of the regional team at the Dinghy Show next month, when bookings for the Regional Junior Championships will open, so please do come and say hello. 

Regional Manager Rob Howlett  

07876 330374