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Council’s primary function is to provide a forum for the exchange of views and opinions of the RYA Stakeholder Groups1 in compliance with the Code for Sports Governance and provides a two-way channel of communication between the RYA and the Stakeholder Groups in order to maintain and promote safe and responsible recreational boating.

In particular, Council collates issues, concerns and matters of interest arising from the Stakeholder Groups and raises these with the Board as appropriate and, on behalf of the Board, disseminates information to the Stakeholder Groups.

The long term Strategic Plan developed by the Board is referred to Council for consultation on behalf of the Members of the Association and Council endeavours to ensure that due consideration is given to the views of all other Stakeholder Groups.

Council meets at least twice a year. Meetings are regularly chaired by the Association’s President, HRH The Princess Royal, who is elected annually at the association’s Annual General Meeting.

Membership of the Council is based on a number of different criteria. Some members are ex officio, meaning that they have a seat on Council by virtue of other responsibilities they hold within the Association (such as Chair of a departmental or regional committee). Others are directly elected by the membership. Scope also exists within the RYA’s constitution for Council to have up to six supernumerary members co-opted to represent specific interests and under-represented sectors of the boating community and further corresponding members, who are invited to sit on Council by virtue of their particular experience or expertise, but who are not permitted to vote.

The period that a person may serve continuously on Council is limited normally to a four year period. This is to ensure that Council can introduce new thinking as well as draw upon long-standing experience.

Council’s workings are reported on to the members of the Association in the annual report and accounts document, although policy issues with an immediate impact are covered as they arise on the website and in the RYA Magazine.

1 Individual Members, organisation Members, RYA recognised training centres, Sailability centres, participants in RYA racing programmes and other stakeholders.

RYA Council Membership 2017-18

Elected by the AGM

  • HRH The Princess Royal, KG, KT, GCVO, QSO (President)

Ex officio  

  • Peter Cardy (Cruising & Government Affairs Chair)
  • James Dadd (Technical Chair)
  • Charles Glover (Participation & Membership Chair) 
  • Susan Keay (Powerboat Racing Chair)
  • Carla Stanley (Racing Chair) 
  • Matt Wright (Training Chair)

Elected by the Personal Members            

  • David Brunskill
  • Peter Gordon
  • Vernon Harten-Ash (Senior Nominated Director)
  • Charles Hessey
  • Johnny Johnston
  • Beverley Lawrence Beech
  • Tony Palmer
  • Martyn Sharp
  • David Wheldon

Ex officio Regional Chairs

  • Richard Brown - South
  • Mike Butterfield - Cymru Wales
  • Richard Card - East
  • Helen Hofmann - London & South East
  • Roger Jobson - South West
  • Ewan Macpherson - Scotland
  • Geoff Meggitt - North West
  • Jackie Patton - Northern Ireland
  • Ian Smith  - North East
  • Steven Tinsley - Midlands


  • Megan Pascoe (Elite Sailing)

 Corresponding Members

  • George Clark
  • Stacey Clark
  • Mike Evans
  • Richard Langford OBE  
  • Edward Ramsden MBE
  • Brian Southcott
  • Dave Williamson

Honorary Member Appointed by the Council

  • HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM

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