The RYA East Cruising Conference Returns for 2023

The RYA East Cruising Conference will return to the Region on Sunday 26 November. Being hosted once again at the Royal Hospital School, Ipswich, last year’s event attracted 125 delegates from across the region, to come together to network and hear expert workshops and speakers.

This year, the event is being organised by the RYA East Regional Volunteer Team. Aimed at cruising boaters from across the East region, the intention of the day is to provide an opportunity for the cruising community to come together, learn about the latest issues and opportunities that relate to your boating and hear from experts on a wide range of topics that are informative and enjoyable. 

The schedule for the day includes networking opportunities with other sailors, RYA staff, volunteers and a wide range of speakers on topics covering everything from sailing from Tenerife to Antarctica, the journey of Spirit Yachts and much more.

Amongst the speakers and organisations in attendance are:

Prithvi Singh – Senior Pilot, Harwich Haven Authority

Prithvi attended boarding schools at the prestigious Lawrence School Sanawar and The Doon School before joining the merchant navy as a fresh-faced cadet at 18 with the sole intent of escaping working in the family businesses. In a seagoing career spanning over 30 years, Prithvi has sailed as master on a variety of vessels, the last 18 years of which have included pilotage and various positions ashore including as interim Harbour Master at Harwich Haven Authority. Prithvi is currently a special category pilot and one of a handful qualified to pilot the largest vessels in the world. Prithvi also works with the world’s leading independent research and consultancy in port development, civil engineering, and environmental hydraulics at their ship simulators. His goals include establishing ports and harbours as centres for navigational safety and operational excellence.

At the conference, Prithvi will be talking on the topic of “‘A metre under the keel’ – Pilotage and Precision Ship-Handling; At the Crossroads of Science and Art”

There will also be a number of workshops, including from Andy Beharrell, who has sailed for nearly 60 years, though he was too young to know that he was sailing when he started! Over that time he has raced dinghies, cruised around Europe and raced offshore in many RORC and EAORA races including the Sydney-Hobart race. He bought his current boat – Charmary (a Sadler Starlight 39) – 12 years ago and has cruised her around Britain and, since 2015, she has been based in the Baltic. Andy will be speaking about his adventures to some of the wildest places on earth, sailing from Tenerife to Antarctica on a 1915 trawler!

There will also be sessions on a variety of other matters of interest to cruising sailors,from DIY problem solving for skippers and diesel glitches, delivered by Colin Stracey of Premier Sailing, to Sean McMillan of Spirit Yachts talking about the story of Spirit Yachts – from inauspicious beginnings 30 years ago, to where the company is today. William Thomson from Imray will speak about how you can gain a better understanding of tides and tidal streams to support your cruising, whilst Roland Mann from Suffolk Marine Safety will be on hand to help decipher and unscramble the Marine Safety alphabet soup! RYA Staff will be on hand to share advice and answer any queries, and the Cruising Association– a mutually-supportive club dedicated to those who enjoy cruising in sailing yachts and motor boats – will also be in attendance with information, events and much more.

The full agenda can be found here.

Tickets start at £25 for RYA members.

Find out more and register

For more information about how to get out on the water in the East Region, visit


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