Sunday 12 March 2017 saw almost 140 instructors take part in the RYA East Instructor Training Day, held at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk.
The morning sessions saw a training schemes update by Rachel Andrews, RYA Chief Instructor, Motor Cruising and Power, prior to a number of workshops on a wide range of subjects, including how rota-moulded boats are made, outboard maintenance, a first aid refresher, rig tuning, navigation and pilotage, a windsurfing simulator, and instructor induction. The breaks provided ample opportunities for discussions with manufacturers and information sharing with fellow instructors.
After a fantastic lunch provided by the Royal Hospital School, although logistically a challenge to get well over 100 people to two different sites, the afternoon saw the delegates go afloat in keelboats, dinghies, windsurfers and powerboats.
Initially hampered by extremely light winds, luckily the sea breeze kicked in and all the sessions went ahead. Based from Neptune Sailing, Intermediate and Advanced powerboat skills and keelboat sailing took place on the River Orwell, with the remainder of the activities at Alton Water Sports Centre, including windsurf coaching skills, demo sessions, team racing, safety boat skills development, laser skills clinic, single-handed boat handling and seamanship skills. Activities were run by volunteer coaches, with equipment provided by local Training Centres and organisations.
Coordinating the day was a huge task, which was ably organised by Regional Development Officer Robbie Bell, who commented “The 2017 annual instructor Training Day was a huge success, with nearly 140 instructors attending from all across the Eastern Region. Attendees were able to hear the latest RYA Training updates and participate in a wide variety of workshops and practical sessions designed to help instructor develop their personal and professional skills. I’d like to thank everyone that came along and especially thank all of those that supported the event.”
Richard Deller, a dinghy instructor who sails in Suffolk, appreciated the opportunities on offer: "It was an excellent day organised by the RYA. The morning workshop sessions gave Instructors a chance to brush up on old skills and learn new ones, whilst the afternoon practical sessions provided ways to improve boat speed and handling. All in all a brilliant day, a chance for Networking and meeting old friends, getting us ready and "fired up" for the new season”.
Ellie Edwards, a dinghy instructor from Norfolk, said ‘I really enjoyed it and I tried something new as I would not normally be doing classes on engines and safety boat! The afternoon session in the powerboat was really helpful and quite good fun, I learned how to rescue different types of craft which is beneficial to me as I work at a multi activity centre and volunteer at a sailing club too.”
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