Over 100 people travelled from all seven counties in the region to attend the RYA SW Cruising Conference, which took place at The University Centre South Devon College on Saturday 16 January 2016.

The packed agenda included speakers and workshops as well as a very well-received on-board cooking demonstration delivered by David Wells from South Devon College. David showed how really inventive dishes can be prepared on just one or two gas burners as found on most yachts and motor boats. In just 20 minutes, he prepared and cooked king prawn couscous and kedgeree. Delegate Teresa Spear from Saltash Sailing Club commented: “It was really interesting and informative to see David cook a wholesome and tasty meal on just one gas ring. I will be trying the recipes he suggested.”

Guest speaker Robin Elsey described his offshore short-handed sailing, including the fantastic 1st Rookie position he achieved in the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro. He shared his ambitions, which include a 2016 Figaro campaign.

The afternoon workshops included Navigation (Vaughan Marsh and Dave Peart, assisted by Andy Brown), Essential Engine Maintenance (John Boyne and Pete Bone), Sailcloth Materials and Trimming (Sean Semmens from Dart Sails), Fishing from your Boat (Martyn Green from The Angling Trust) and Buying and Selling (Paul Singer, British Marine).

Thanks go to all the speakers and presenters, as well as to South Devon College for the excellent facilities, to Sailing Development Officer Pete Muskett for helping to organise the event, and to the college staff (Andy Wright, Dave Peart and Adrian Bevin) and students who ensured that everything ran smoothly.