RYA South blog – January 2023

Welcome to the first blog of the year! 2023 is set to be a busy year with lots of RYA events and training opportunities taking place in the first three months alone.

I’m sure there will be challenges along the way, for example the rise in cost of living, but I hope clubs in our region will pull together to share experiences and learn from one other to help us weather this storm and maintain the truly wonderful variety of watersports activity that we offer here in the South.

South Regional Training Day
Taking place for the first time in person since 2019, the South Regional Training Day is on Saturday 11 March at Thorney Island.

The day has now been expanded and is relevant to anyone involved in the practical delivery of activities supported by the RYA small craft schemes. So, I’m really looking forward to bringing everyone together and seeing as many small boat instructors there as possible – dinghy, keelboat, multihull, windsurfing, powerboat, plus winging and race coaches –  are all welcome.

The theme for this year’s event is ‘Creating a great participant experience’ and it will shape the whole day. There will be a comprehensive programme of workshops as well as a full-group session along with small group sessions and activities tailored to needs of the South region.

I, of course, will be there along with Duncan West and Leon Ward from the South team, along with RYA Chief Instructor Rachel Andrews or Liz McMaster, and an RYA Coach Development Race Coach Tutor too. Bookings and the full agenda will be open soon but in the meantime here is some more info here.

South OnBoard Development Day
Polly Shafer, South Sailing Development Officer, is busy organising the upcoming South OnBoard Development Day on Saturday 28 January.

The day is being run for the benefit of clubs involved with the OnBoard programme, but if you are a non-OnBoard club and interested to know more then please do contact Polly as you are more than welcome to come along and find out about this excellent programme.

The photo at the top of this blog was taken when Polly and I visited Lymington Town SC recently and met Tom McMeekin-Donnelly, the club’s Chief Instructor. The visit is a part of  the support that is available to all OnBoard recognised clubs in our region. If your club would like to find out how to increase junior participation with OnBoard then Polly would love to hear from you and is available to come to your club and meet with you to discuss how to take this forward. 

Training and CPD

Three OnBoard Development Days will be taking place in March. The day is perfect for Dinghy Instructors who would like to learn new skills and improve their delivery of all levels of OnBoard sessions at your club. They cost £25 per person and you can book here.

• Royal Victoria YC on 4 March
• Lymington Town SC on 18 March
• Emberton Park SC on 25 March

We currently have three RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor Courses taking place around the region soon. If your club has any RYA Dinghy Instructors looking to advance to become a RYA Senior Instructor, then this is the course for them. Each 4 day course costs £275. More details and book here.

They are taking place at:
• Lymington Town SC over 18/19 February and 25/26 February
• Tackt-Isle Adventures & UKSA over 18/19 March and 25/26 March
• Watersport Academy & Caldecotte Xperience over 15/16 April and 22/23 April.

If your club would like to run a Race Course Level 2 course please do get in touch with Duncan West to organise this. Email Duncan or call him on 07747 111447. More information on race coaching can be found here.

RYA Club of the Year
Voting is open until Monday 23 January for the 2023 RYA Club of the Year Awards – and we need your help! Cast your vote for our South region finalists Lymington Town SC and JOG Yacht Racing here.

RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show
Not long now till our fantastic show at Farnborough! There will be more than 160 exhibitors, all the latest boats, boards and everything you need to get kitted out for the year ahead. Plus lots of talks to inspire us all, including the first ever father-daughter Olympic gold medal winners, Mike and Eilidh McIntyre. What’s not to like? Find out more and buy your tickets here

Discover Sailing resources
The first deadline to order resources from next year’s Discover Sailing is 7th February, then they are the 7th of each month with 7th June being the last order date. Find out more here.  

2023 Dates for your diary
• RYA South OnBoard Development Day – 28th January
RYA Training Conference 4th – 5th February – Double Tree by Hilton Oxford Belfry  
RYA Sailability Conference – 11th February, Wyboston Lakes
• RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 25-26th February. More info and free tickets for RYA members here – 10% Discount code for clubs RYAEX23200
RYA South Regional Training Day – 11th March at Thorney Island
• Regional Junior Championship Windsurfing 10th – 11th June  
• Regional Junior Championship Sailing 17th – 18th June at Oxford Sailing Club

And finally….

Sport England are reopening its Small Grants Programme, with awards of between £300 and £15,000 available to support projects delivering recognised sports and physical activity. Remember I am happy to help any venue looking to apply. Find out more here

Until next time,


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