RYANI Blog February 2023

RDO Blog February 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. 

Hi everyone,


As ever lots and lots going on for club officers and members to get involved in with RYANI! Check out the long calendar below, but the list includes weather talks, safeguarding, rules and more.

Top of the list has to be the re-launch of our Annual Awards. The Awards evening will be held 21st April and will celebrate the brilliant people in our clubs and centres. Over the next few weeks you will see reminders of past winners (just like James from CYC) and prompts to nominate. Closing date is 28th February!

I’m biased of course, but next would be the OnBoard Development day targeting all our new OnBoard clubs & centres in fabulous South Lake Leisure Centre – Craigavon people! We can testify that the lunch is pretty good there.

Also, since the last email we held our bi-annual Cruising conference where attendees chatted about Safety at sea with Paul Magee, PGM Training, Artic Exploring with Margie Crawford, EDYC and tested Carol Paddison’s immense knowledge of Brexit/maritime regulation, RYA Cruising Officer among other talks, catching up with old friends and a lovely lunch in Royal North of Ireland YC.

On the same day, we also ran an RYA Sail Measurer course at SLYC, where a number of candidates were trained. This course was run, in part to support the new RYA rating scheme for cruiser racing, YTC – read more about that here.

Keep in touch,

Mary Martin


Safeguarding Children and Young People awareness course – Online

Entries close on Tuesday 21st February at 12 noon. Tickets cost £17/£20.

This workshop is key for all adults involved in children’s sport, but is particularly recommended for club coaches, leaders, administrators and any volunteers involved in supporting club training/activity.

Safeguarding Children & Young People Awareness Course – ONLINE Tickets, Mon 27 Feb 2023 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Designated Officer Course

Online too! A must for your club/centre welfare officer. 21&22 March

Sailing Instructor Courses
Dinghy Instructor

10 – 14th April
Pre-entry assessment dates coming soon.

OnBoard Development Day

Onboard – RYA’s grassroots programme – is relatively new in Northern Ireland. Its aim is to provide safe, fun and equal access to sailing and windsurfing for anyone aged 8-18 through a structured and progressive programme.

There are currently four Centres in NI but 280 in total across the UK. RYA Northern Ireland is aiming to get more centres Onboard.

At the event, Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer will provide information and share her expertise on all things Onboard, from the Sessions Cards to delivering Onboard activity on the water support.

More info & booking.

Senior Instructor Course
The next RYANI SI course will be between Jan – March 2024.

Powerboat Instructor Courses
Red Bay Powerboating (Cushendall)
Course just completed Oct.
for info and booking contact redbaypowerboating@gmail.com

PGM Training (Antrim)
for info and booking contact Paul Magee training@pgmtraining.com

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: Mary.martin@rya.org.uk; 079 1992 3018

Windsurfing Instructor Course
South Lakes Watersports Centre (Craigavon) 27th – 31st March

Instructor Course dates 

To be amoung first to know when booking opens, please sign up to our newsletter and select the instructor newsletter!






Performance Manager has been working on organising the final squad training sessions, coaches and logistics getting to spring and summer events, as well as working with our academy sailors on, shore support and funding meetings!

NI Sailors will be travelling to the Eric Twiname Championships, Rutland Water in May & Topper Worlds, Cork in June.


Behind the scenes of Olympic Sailing Pathway for Youth

Andrew Baker, RYA Northern Ireland’s Performance Manager gives a behind the scenes look at the recent Training Camp in Valencia.

Open Training Dates – Provisional

Final details and booking will be available soon for our open training series:

18th March LEYC Topper 

4/5 April EDYC Feva

13th May CAYC Topper

19th August SLYC Topper 

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, mary.martin@rya.org.uk.




Regional Race Officer (RRO) two-day course

4th/5th March 2023

Ballyholme Yacht Club

Booking and info to follow

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 – Robin Gray, robin@robingray.co.uk – for Race Management, club race officer training and talks

Denis Todd, denistodd15@gmail.com – for rules talks, information about qualifying as a jury or to help with protest hearings

or mary.martin@rya.org.uk – for general enquiries!

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

https://www.rya.org.uk/racing/running-racing/upcoming-race-official-courses (top tip: SCROLL DOWN!)





The Staff & Board team have been working on the new RYANI strategy.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our consultation.

We are using the new strategy already to complete our application to SportNI funding for the next year and forming our plan for the next 5 years.

To that end, we will be hosting a strategy launch evening, 23rd March, where some stakeholders will be invited along with Commodores and Vice Commodores of all RYANI affiliated clubs.


Meet RYA Northern Irelands Vice Chair Gavin Watson

Gavin Watson has sailed and raced yachts from the age of ten. Since recently returning home to live in Northern Ireland, he has joined the RYA Northern Ireland Board as Vice-Chair. He tells us about his motivation to join the Board and his hopes for the year ahead… Read on.



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

East Down Yacht Club: Impala Sonata Open Event 2023

On the weekend of 27th/28th of May 2023 the shores of Strangford lough will witness a different event, An event with Impalas and Sonatas which will race one design classes over 2 days with a possible 5 races in total.









RYANI Weather Talk – Adults

Very popular talk last year is revisited again with Simon Exley.

22nd – Online!


Safeguarding Children and Young People awareness course – Online

Mon 27 Feb 2023 at 19:00 | Eventbrite


RYANI Annual Awards nomination Closing date

28th February 1200/midday.




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 

11th March 2023

South Lakes Watersports Centre (Craigavon)

Booking available now.


Designated Safeguarding Officer Course

21&22 March – Online

SportNI Certificated Course

A must for your club/centre welfare officer.


RYANI Strategy Launch


Invitation only.




RYANI Annual Awards

21st – Venue TBC




DEARA: Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme (up to £100K)



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





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.



Equality & Diversity in the sport.

RYANI Staff and Board members have met on the subject of equality in our sport following feedback from an RYA UK-wide equality monitoring survey. Many thanks to those of you who answered it. Looking at the diversity of our members and uncovering barriers to those not currently in our sport is a way for us to increase the numbers who partake. The data collected also help us to explain to need to potential funders. We are planning some more work in this area over the next couple of years.

RYA & RYANI have responded to the consultation by DEARA on proposed legislation around Fast Craft and personal watercraft.



RYA Census 2022

The biggest thanks to you all for completing the census. This year, 94% of our clubs completed the census, giving us confidence in the figures and a clear picture of membership in NI. The results of the census for your club and for the region will be coming your way over the next 2-3 months.



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