RYA seeks new Chair to helm the national governing body

It is a truly exciting time for the RYA and the world of boating. In addition to Great Britain’s status as the most successful Olympic sailing nation in history, participation and the number of people enjoying being on the water has grown rapidly. As the National Governing Body for boating with over 107,000 members and nearly 1,500 affiliated organisations, such as clubs and recognised training centres, we play a challenging yet hugely rewarding role by advocating and providing a voice for them all.

We are currently emerging from an exciting developmental stage and will launch a new long-term strategic plan by the end of 2022, setting the future tone and ambition for the organisation.

As we embark on this next chapter and head towards our 150th anniversary in 2025, we are seeking to appoint our next Chair to manage and provide critical leadership to the Board. Collaborating closely with the CEO, Sara Sutcliffe MBE, the Chair will oversee the delivery of our next strategy, uphold high standards of business operations, and empower a skilled, diverse, and committed workforce. 

Role eligibility

The Chair of the RYA is a high-profile position within both the boating and the sporting world. The successful individual will be an ambitious, collaborative and strategic leader with a proven track record of working within a multi-faceted organisation and varied stakeholder environment. Demonstrating personal gravitas, they will be an engaging and compelling ambassador to lead a significant national organisation and to advocate on behalf of our members and affiliates. 

The appointed candidate will possess tact, diplomacy, and exceptional communication and persuasive abilities. A thorough understanding of good governance and sound judgement will be critical, as will excellent financial and business acumen. While a sailing background is beneficial, an interest in boating in all its forms as well as a willingness to be visible and integrate within the community will be essential.

The role is voluntary with reasonable expenses paid, and the Chair will serve a three-year term from November 2023-2026 and may then be extended for a further three-year term. Chris Preston, a passionate sailor with more than 50 years’ experience of racing and cruising, will remain in post as RYA Chair until November 2023 to enable a smooth transition.

Meetings take place predominantly in Southampton, London or virtually although some travel to other parts of the country is expected.

How to apply

We would be delighted to hear from those who share our vision, and who have the ambition, capacity and expertise to enable us to deliver a bright future to our members and other stakeholders.

For further details, including the job description, person specification, and next steps on how to apply, please visit https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies quoting reference number 6002.

The closing date for applications is 9am BST on Monday, 17 October. 

The Royal Yachting Association will be supported in this appointment by executive search firm Perrett Laver.

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