RYA Chair


RYA seeks new Chair to helm the national governing body

It is a truly exciting time for the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and the world of boating. In addition to Great Britain’s status as the most successful Olympic sailing nation in history, participation and the number of people enjoying being on the water has grown rapidly. As the National Governing Body for boating with over 107,000 members and nearly 1,500 affiliated organisations, such as clubs and recognised training centres, we play a challenging yet hugely rewarding role by advocating and providing a voice for them all.

The RYA is a complex organisation, both a membership body and also a successful business with significant commercial activity in training and publications. Our purpose is “to promote and protect safe, successful, and rewarding British boating for all” and we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that sailing and boating is an open, accessible and inclusive sport and pastime for all new, existing, past and potential boaters.

Role description and responsibilities

We are currently emerging from an exciting developmental stage and will launch a new long-term strategic plan by the end of 2022, setting the future tone and ambition for the organisation. As we embark on this next chapter and head towards our 150th anniversary in 2025, we seek to appoint our next Chair to manage and provide critical leadership to the Board. Collaborating closely with the CEO, who started in January 2022, the Chair will oversee the delivery of our next strategy, uphold high standards of business operations, and empower a skilled, diverse, and committed workforce.

The successful individual will be an ambitious, collaborative and strategic leader with a proven track record of working within a multi-faceted organisation and varied stakeholder environment. Demonstrating personal gravitas, they will be an engaging and compelling ambassador to lead a significant national organisation and to advocate on behalf of our members and affiliates.  They will possess tact, diplomacy, and exceptional communication and persuasive abilities. A thorough understanding of good governance and sound judgement will be critical, as will excellent financial and business acumen.  While a sailing background is beneficial, an interest in boating in all its forms as well as a willingness to be visible and integrate within the community will be essential.

The role is voluntary with reasonable expenses paid, and the Chair will serve a three-year term from November 2023-2026 and may then be extended for a further three-year term. Meetings take place predominantly in Southampton, London or virtually although some travel to other parts of the country is expected. We would be delighted to hear from those who share our vision, and who have the ambition, capacity and expertise to enable us to deliver a bright future to our members and other stakeholders.

How to apply

For further details, including the job description, person specification, and information on how to apply, please visit https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies. Candidates wishing to apply should submit a CV (including comprehensive details of key achievements and responsibilities) along with a covering letter which fully addresses the competencies outlined in the role description and person specification.

The closing date for applications is 9am BST on Monday 17th October. 

The Royal Yachting Association will be supported in this appointment by executive search firm Perrett Laver. Any initial enquiries should be directed to Joe Blanch joe.blanch@perrettlaver.com or +44 (0)20 7340 6258.


For a conversation in confidence, please contact Joe Blanch at joe.blanch@perrettlaver.com or +44 (0)20 7340 6258.

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