Sub-menu Navigation

RYA Club of the Year 

Applications for the 2018 Award will be invited from mid September.

Throughout the UK there is a remarkable array of people who work together to create vibrant clubs that introduce and retain large numbers of people from a range of backgrounds and thereby ensure our sport and our clubs continue to thrive. In 2007, in order to recognise and promote their outstanding achievements we launched this exclusive Award for clubs. 

Last year the RYA relaunched the Award seeking to reflect the latest insight and intelligence regarding what makes a vibrant and successful club. Five categories were introduced, with clubs being selected as finalists each category. 

For 2018 the RYA is keen to encourage clubs to look to the future and positively embrace the challenges ahead to ensure the network of sailing providers is in the very best position going forwards. RYA Club of the Year Award is just one way to recognise those clubs who are already engaging in innovative practice and celebrating their success in some of these areas. 

If your club has successfully implemented a project, or strategy that has led to increased membership or activity in one of the five categories below,  now is a great time to start thinking about making an application for the 2018 RYA Club of the Year Award. 

i.    Innovation – recognising a club initiative that makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or delivering boating activity. For example this could be delivery of activities at different times of the week, day or year, or organising different formats of training or racing to engage with new participants etc.;  

ii.    Inclusivity – aims to identify a club project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups. Emphasis should be on inclusivity not segregation. 

iii.    Facility Development – where a club has undertaken facility developments and has been creative and resourceful in the design, minimised environmental impact, and/or shown innovation in securing funding and provision of club facilities. 

 iv.    Increasing Participation – acknowledging a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are, attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership;  

v.    Communications  – a club that has embraced the use of modern communications, e.g. social media platforms or who have been proactive and forward thinking in their communications and marketing  using websites, local press, radio etc.

Applications will be invited from September, and clubs will need to tell us about; 

  • What the club has done, in relation to the category,
  • How this impacted on participation or club membership, 
  • What the club's plans are to capitalise on the project or strategy,
  • Why the club should be RYA Club of the Year 2018.

Applications can be supported by powerpoint slides with photos, diagrams and a short video - to really bring the application to life.

More details and the application form will be available from mid September.



RYA Club of the Year 2017

Beating off stiff competition, Ullswater Yacht Club  were selected as the overall winner by the RYA Awards Panel and were specifically recognised for their efforts in increasing participation. Having started 2016 deep in flood water, the club members rallied together making a huge effort to get up and running for the start of the season.

Successful marketing and publicity made sure the club was more visible than ever, attracting new members and novice sailors to a taster sessions, sailing courses and children’s summer clubs and activities. Ullswater YC also ran an ‘I am Team GB’ event which saw over 1000 people get out on the water.

David Clarke, Ullswater YC said: “It’s just fantastic. All the work that our volunteers have done from the club house being built, to the taster sessions and so many visitors at the ‘I am Team GB’ event-this is the icing on the cake!”


New for 2017, all five shortlisted clubs were recognised for their achievements across five brand new categories; Increasing Participation, Innovation, Communication, Inclusivity and Facility Development.

The Innovation Award was presented to the Heart of England Offshore Cruising Association which enables people in the Midlands who love sailing offshore, to stay connected to their passion despite living so far from the sea. The club organises charters and ‘shared cost cruising’ to make offshore sailing more accessible. It also offers a wide variety of yacht racing, training and social opportunities.

Finalists for a second year in a row, Rudyard Lake Sailing Club were recognised for their achievements in communications. The club has excelled in embracing digital and more traditional media to better connect and communicate with people, while introducing new activities to create a powerful support network for novices to improve their skills.

Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club, are this year’s winners of the Inclusivity Category, having worked effectively with their Local Authority to raise awareness of sailing and to provide accessible opportunities for all. This club have ensured that anyone, from any walk of life is able to experience the joys of sailing.

Whitefriars Sailing Club, in Gloucestershire, are the winners of the Facility Development Category for their project to build a brand new training barn. The inclusion of an accessible toilet, drying and storage facilities along with an indoor training space means the club is now in a better position to respond to and meet the needs and expectations of its members, both now and in the future.

Special thanks go to Arthur J. Gallagher who support the RYA Club of the Year Award and to Sailing Awards who donated the perpetual RYA Club of the Year trophy when the award was first introduced in 2008.

RYA Club of the Year applications will re-open in September for the 2018 award.

Find out more about the 2017 finalists and winners.

Find out more about past winners and finalists.

Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

eBooks in the cloud
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!
Please select...