RYA Volvo Dinghy Show 2012 a great success
Some 8,500 people enjoy a day of dinghies...
The RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts and Yachting and Suzuki, proved as popular as ever this year with dinghy enthusiasts from across the country and as far afield as Alaska in the United States, flocking to Alexandra Palace, London.
“We had some 8,500 people attend this year’s show” commented show manager Helen Waterhouse. “This is ever so slightly down on 2011 numbers however in difficult economic times, accompanied by some dreadful weather on Sunday, we are delighted that so many people could join us and make it a fantastic show.”
Being the only show in the world dedicated to dinghy sailing it really is a must for all dinghy sailors and enthusiasts. Throughout the weekend visitors had the chance to check out new boats, redesigned boats, kit, gear, books and much more, as well as pick up some top tips from some of the very best dinghy sailing experts around.
Visitors also had the chance to mingle and get up close and personal with some of the sports elite sailors including Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison and Team GB 2012 sailors Hannah Mills, Saskia Clark, Stuart Bithell and Luke Patience, as well as a host of past Olympians and Paralympians.
From hard core racers to cruisers, families and youngsters the show had something for everyone. Main stage talks attracted big crowds as did the more hands on coaching sessions where visitors got to experience everything from rolling around on a fitness ball to improve core stability to the always popular rig tuning session.
Younger visitors whizzed around the show collecting stickers in the Treasure Hunt, posted good luck messages to our Olympic hopefuls and enjoyed relaxing in the Volvo Chill Out bubble, as well as meeting their sailing heroes, racing on the sailing simulator and trying out the RYA Honda Youth RIB online game.
There were also a whole host of prizes presented throughout the show including Hollowell Sailing Club in the RYA Club of the Year competition; Mariah Wellar who won an RS Tera in the design a sail competititon; as well as Harriett Lee and Phillip Taylor who both picked up a new bike for winning the Treasure Hunt and many more.
In the Club ticket competition Crawley Mariners claimed the top prize of a Rigiflex safety boat complete with Suzuki 9.9hp outboard and trailer. Commodore and Chief Instructor Jeff Smith commented: “Winning this safety boat will be a big help in us being able to cover all of the activities we want to. We have a cruising section that goes into Chichester Harbour and the Solent and when groups go into the Solent we do like to have a support boat out there with them if we can so this is a perfect, timely addition to our safety fleet. With this boat having a recovery rail on the side it also provides an interesting additional element to our powerboat training. Ardleigh Sailing Club won the loan of five Volvo cars for an event, a set of training marks went to Medway Yacht Club and London Corinthian clinched some Rooster sailing bibs.
The show was also a great success for the exhibiting sailing clubs, associations and retailers.
Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club told us: “It has been a great weekend at the show and there has been a really great atmosphere. It is a fantastic chance for us to meet to meet other sailors and other sailing clubs.”
Becky Priest Fireball Class commented: “It has been really worthwhile being at the show this weekend. We have had all kinds of people passing by from ex Fireball sailors to people from other classes looking to try something new. It been a brilliant way to promote the class and we have attracted some new volunteers”.
Whilst David Ellis from Crewsaver said: “As a grassroots brand the dinghy show is perfect for us. A real grassroots show with real people and real sailors”.
“We have been delighted with the number of people visiting the show this year and helping us make it a huge success. Thanks to title sponsor Volvo and supporting sponsors Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki”, concluded Helen Waterhouse.
We look forward to seeing you there next year, 2-3 March 2013.
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Elsewhere on the web
Chatting with Olympic Gold medallist Paul Goodison at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show
Team GB sailor Saskia Clark talks preparations for London 2012 and inspiring younger sailors
Topper Class Association prize winner Laurence tells us about his 2011 series and about getting up close with his sailing heroes at the show