2016 was the year that the regional fleets made a comeback.
With a new, central point of contact, and a more straightforward booking process, the Topper and Oppies available for hire from the RYA in the Midlands secured 19 bookings as clubs took advantage of the chance to add to their junior training or racing fleets for a specific event or activity.
As you start thinking about your 2017 programmes, could booking the regional fleets make a difference to how many juniors you can get on a training course, or at a holiday camp or starting to transition to racing, to stoke the embers of their interest to spark real flames of passion for sailing?
So here's the deal for 2017...
- 6 x Blue Dragon Oppies @ Banbury SC
- 6 x Blue Dragon Oppies @ Rudyard Lake SC
- 6 x Toppers @ Rutland SC
- 6 x Toppers @ Himley Hall SC
- 6 x race-rigged Toppers @ TBC
- 2 x Laser Vago (high performance dinghies) @ Bartley SC
You can see the full list here - Regional Fleet Hire
Pricing has been reduced and simplified to a flat rate of £10 per boat per day, with the scope for negotiated discounts on a block bookings.
Last year the boats were kindly hosted and looked after by Rudyard Lake, Banbury, Rutland, Himley Hall and Bartley sailing clubs. In return for acting as host and upkeepers, the clubs can use the fleets when and for whatever they wish when they are not hired out to a paying club.
A number of clubs have already said they might like to host a fleet for 2017, so we are opening up the invitation for any interested clubs or centres to formally tender their expression of interest to Midlands Regional Fleet Coordinator Roger Day at email@example.com by Wednesday 30 November.
Here are the Terms and Conditions of hosting a fleet - RYA Midlands Fleet Hire T&Cs
The booking process
This new Google calendar shows bookings and availability for each of the fleets so you can work out when you might want to use them, and where you might have to organise to move them from.
Once you have identified potential dates and know which fleet(s) you would like to book for how long, Roger Day is again your man to confirm the booking, sort payment and discuss logistics at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be able to meet and discuss any queries with Roger at the RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference on Saturday 19 November - conference information and booking details here.
New for 2017
As well as Regional Fleet Hire, this is the same process for booking the RYA Midlands Promotional Pack, including the Go Sailing Gazebo, which you can borrow for any outdoor shows or public events your club will be attending to help promote sailing locally.
The Midlands Regional Volunteer Team have recently invested in a new trailer from Mersea Trailers to help move the kit around the region more easily and safely. The possibility of having a single-hander on a simulator on the trailer, to enable potential sailors to 'have a go', is also being looked in to.
Reflecting on the success of the regional fleet hire in 2016, Gareth Brookes, RYA Midlands RDO, said: "It was great to see the appetite among clubs to try to grow their activities by using these resources.
"Regional fleet hire has never been so organised and it's thanks to Roger's drive to make this work that we have shown that if we can make it as easy as possible for clubs to use the boats they will use them.
"Amongst the clubs that used the fleets this year included Burton SC, who hired all the small boats for a whole week at a discounted price to support a hugely successful Scout jamboree. Others have used them to help rookie racers attend their first events, often a local Traveller series event, or to support them in their early race training.
"It is fantastic that it looks as though we will have even more Toppers to hire for next year too, so 2017 is already gearing up to surpass the success of 2016."
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