The 2018 North East RYA Cruising Conference takes place on Saturday 24 February at the Pavilions of Harrogate - offering a great opportunity for sailors to develop their expertise or find out more about cruising.

Among the speakers will be author Roger Barnes, president of the Dinghy Cruising Association, and professional sailor Simon Rowell, who was the British Sailing Team’s meteorologist in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Also giving talks will be Richard Falk, RYA Training Manager and Chief Examiner, and Matthew Palmer, UK sales manager for Navico marine electronics, whose brands include the B&G and Simrad ranges for navigation.

Specialist workshops meanwhile are set to range from marine engine care and maintenance to demonstration of instruments and top tips for route planning.

The popular conference takes place every two years and in the past has attracted around 100 delegates. This year’s venue is easy to find, just off the A1 two miles from Harrogate, and included in the ticket price is free parking, all refreshments and a buffet lunch.

Organiser David Rowlands, of the RYA North East Volunteer Team, said while the east coast might not be the most hospitable place for cruising, many people in the region had yachts on the west coast of Scotland or in the Lake District.

“There’s a lot of in shore cruising in company and on large lakes so even though we’re an area with a lot of cities inland we have a high number of cruising sailors,” said David.

“The conference is aimed at established cruising sailors but should also appeal to dinghy sailors who want to try something different to round-the-cans sailing at their home club.

“If you have a yacht already it will help you keep up to date and we have workshops covering specific interests, while if you’re a dinghy sailor it will be a chance to find out more about cruising and training and how to get involved. It’s an interesting day out and it encourages people to chat and share information.”

The day starts at 9.30am with coffee and registration and finishes around 5pm. Tickets cost £30 for RYA members and £35 for non-members, with booking now available via the RYA Shop.