Fifteen sailing clubs have been chosen to become the country’s first British Youth Sailing (BYS) Recognised Clubs as part of a new scheme celebrating excellence in developing sailing stars of the future.

The Recognised Clubs initiative sees the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) working alongside sailing clubs around the country to promote grassroots sailing and support junior and youth sailors as they develop racing skills.

Hampshire’s Royal Lymington Yacht Club (top right) and Warsash Sailing Club, Poole Yacht Club and Parkstone Yacht Club in Dorset and Devon’s Paignton Sailing Club are among those chosen in the first wave of awards.

They are joined by Felpham Sailing Club in West Sussex, Papercourt Sailing Club in Surrey (below) and Greater London’s Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre.

Norfolk Broads Yacht Club in Norwich, Windermere School in Cumbria, North Lincolnshire and Humberside Sailing Club in Lincolnshire (below), Ripon Sailing Club in North Yorkshire and Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club, County Durham, also join the list.

The inaugural Recognised Clubs list is finished off by Worcestershire Youth Sailing Association in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and Hollowell Sailing Club, Northampton.   

Chris Atherton, the RYA’s senior high performance manager, said: “The key challenge for our sport is to encourage more young people to start participating in sailing and progress into racing.   

“This is best done at club level and a successful junior and youth training and racing programme will enable a club to flourish.   

“The BYS Recognised Club status distinguishes those sailing clubs with a commitment to the development of junior and youth racing and race training, which is delivered in a safe and fun environment.   

“We’re proud to announce the first tranche of British Youth Sailing Recognised Clubs, and would like to invite any sailing clubs which think they meet the criteria to apply for BYS Recognised Clubs status.”   

In order for a club to achieve BYS Recognised Club status it must meet a series of exacting standards.    

Clubs must run a regular race training programme within at least one of the BYS Recognised Classes – the Optimist, Topper, Laser 4.7, Cadet, RS Tera (Sport), RS Feva XL and BIC Techno windsurfer at junior level, and 29er, 420, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, Nacra 15 multihull and RS:X windsurfer at youth level.   

Club sailors must compete at BYS Regional Junior Championships at least once every two years.   

Training must be delivered by qualified RYA Coaches to RYA Recognised Training Centre standards or equivalent, with a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place.     

The Recognised Clubs scheme replaces the long-running Champion Clubs programme which came to an end at the start of 2018.   

For information about how to become a British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, click here.   

British Youth Sailing Recognised Clubs:   

South
Royal Lymington Yacht Club, Hants
Warsash Sailing Club, Hants   

South West
Paignton Sailing Club, Devon 
Poole Yacht Club, Dorset 
Parkstone Yacht Club, Dorset   

London and South East
Felpham Sailing Club, West Sussex
Papercourt Sailing Club, Ripley, Surrey
Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre, Greater London   

East
Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, Norwich, Norfolk   

North
Windermere School, Cumbria
North Lincolnshire and Humberside Sailing Club, Lincolnshire
Ripon Sailing Club, North Yorkshire
Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club, County Durham   

Midlands 
Worcestershire Youth Sailing Association, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Hollowell Sailing Club, Northampton