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Coach Resources

Powerpoint Presentations from past Dinghy Sailing Shows

RYA Safer Coaching Guidelines

Fitness for Sailing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Safety Boat to Dinghy ratio should I plan for?
A: This is a common question and quite a difficult answer. Most of the details are in the Race Training and Event Management document.

The basic answer is that there is not a set ratio. It would be impossible and impractical to set down 1 to 6 as at an inland lake with a force 2 you might be completely safe to run the coaching by walking around the lake ( e.g. West Kirby).

Conversely sailing a force 6 in the Solent with lots of chop might need 1 on 1. The club/coach is required to provide rescue cover that would 'reasonably' protect sailors from the dangers of sailing. Like all risk assessments it depends on: conditions, sailor's age, ability, type of boat, type of rescue boat, qualifications of rib drivers, etc.

The important thing is that you have evaluated your club, conditions and your racers and provided cover for them and written down those thoughts somewhere. e.g. Risk assessment.

Youth and beginners required more cover because the likely hood is that they will capsize and this is detailed in the Race Training and Event Management document.

Q: What Insurance do I need?
However careful a Coach may be and whatever is contained in any contractual documents, there will always remain the risk of injury to a participant and of a claim being made against them. Even where a participant’s claim has a slim chance of success, the increasing availability of legal expenses insurance and the rules allowing solicitors to take cases on a no-win, no-fee basis will tend to make such actions more likely in the future. Just the costs of successfully defending an action may be cripplingly high in some circumstances.  

It is therefore recommended that Coaches ensure that they are covered by an appropriate insurance policy. If the Coach is delivering coaching on behalf of their own club or organisation then the simplest (and often the cheapest) option might be for the club’s or organisation’s own insurance policy to cover any liability arising from the coaching activity, although a Coach should not assume that they are covered and they should obtain express confirmation from the club or organisation. If the Coach is working at another club or organisation or as a freelancer then they may need to obtain their own personal insurance policy.  

The two key elements of insurance cover for Coaches are likely to be:

  1. Personal public liability insurance, which covers their legal liability for personal injury and/or property damage caused to others by their negligence
  2. Personal professional indemnity insurance, which covers any claims made against them arising from a negligent error or mistake in the coaching advice they provide.  

For Coaches working at RYA Recognised Training Centres, Arthur J Gallagher offers a secondary (or “back up”) policy to cover a Coach should the Centre’s own policy fail for some reason. Freelance Coaches seeking their own free-standing policy might wish to contact an insurer such as Insure4Sport.”  

(Updated 14/11/13)

If you have a general coaching question that you would like answered, or if you would simply like to send us your comments about coaching, please e-mail us: 

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