Held at Alexandra Palace over the weekend of 05-06 March 2016, the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show saw 8,500 visitors flock to see hundreds of exhibitors, as well as a wide range of coaching sessions, workshops and talks from some of the sport’s biggest names.
Suzuki Main Stage talks attracted big crowds with standing room only for a Rio 2016 talk from British Sailing Team sailors including Giles Scott and Helena Lucas.
Other speakers included Land Rover BAR sailor Leigh McMillan, and meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh.
The hands-on coaching sessions remained popular with visitors experiencing everything from rig tuning and racing rules to kit tips and advice to get started. 49er sailors Alain Sign and Dylan Fletcher shared their insights into start line tactics, with the help of RYA author Mark Rushall.
Throughout the weekend many prizes and awards were presented. Redesmere Sailing Club fought off strong competition from four other finalists to be crowned RYA Club of the Year 2016.
Kevin Armstrong, from Wembley Sailing Club, was selected as winner of the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show Suzuki Marine Safety Boat competition, whilst the International 14 ‘Scrumpet’ was named winner of the 2016 Concours d'Elegance for boat of the show.
During the show, 13 of the UK’s most promising young sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters were recognised with the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards.
For the first time, visitors could test their skills on the Honda Youth RIB simulator, with an ICOM IC-M25 going to the fastest time from each day. Saturday’s winner was Geoff Stones in 1.04.66, whilst Hamish Webb took Sunday’s prize with a time of 1:08:56.
The show was also a great success for the hundreds of exhibiting sailing clubs, associations and retailers, with launches including the new Hornet dingy and two new designs from Red Forza Yachts.
Yannick d’Armancourt, CEO of Transsonique, said of the show:
“We exhibited the eP0h dinghy for the very first time.
“The show’s proved to be really exciting with lots of visitors expressing an interest in the eP0h and it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to showcase our new boat to the UK world of dinghy sailing. We’re looking to come back to the UK for sea trials soon and hopefully we’ll be back at next year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show with other new boats.”
Matthew Forbes, Sales and Marketing Director, Adidas Sailing, said:
“This weekend has been fantastic for us. It’s our first time at the show, and we’re really happy we came. The public has been really receptive to our products and the equipment we have on offer, and we’re excited to come back next year.”
Make sure you enter the ‘Sailing Selfie’ competition that was launched at the show, with a pair of 2017 RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show tickets going to each monthly winner.
We look forward to seeing you at next year’s show, from 04-05 March 2017 at Alexandra Palace.