RYA Courses


Case study:  Winsford Flash Sailing Club

Winsford Flash Sailing Club is situated on a 90 acre lake in the heart of Cheshire, created from the river Weaver. The club offers various types of membership, social events throughout the year, has keen but friendly competition for all levels of proficiency, runs informal training during the summer and is working towards becoming a RYA Recognised Training Centre.

As an RYA Affiliated club, they have organised racing on Sundays between March & October, host weekend open meetings for classes and run a short winter handicap series. Although they are quite active, they realised there was a ‘gap’ in the pathway from members learning to sail and then actually going club racing.  It was also found that training and coaching was being delivered only to the junior members. Winsford has been working with their Regional Development Officer on ways to increase adult participation and, as a result, took up the offer of a Level 2 Racing Coach to come to the club to run a Start Racing course for their members to both bridge this ‘gap’ in the pathway from training to club racing, and also as a step towards offering more ‘formal’ training.

The course was run over two Saturdays in the club’s GP14’s and members own two handed dinghies. It bought together people who were returning to sailing after a break, club members who had not raced and some new to racing. Two club members who were looking to become Level 2 racing Coach’s themselves were also on hand, both to welcome and encourage the candidates to the club on the day, and to gain experience themselves on how to run the course in the future. They themselves benefited from delivering parts of the course and were able to explain club specific aspects such as the class starting procedure.

The format of the 2 days followed the RYA Start Racing course syllabus but, as it was run at the club where the candidates were members with the club boats, it made them familiar with the club facilities, equipment and procedures. The benefit with running the course on Saturdays was that they could then go and try club racing on the Sunday to put all the information & skills learnt into practice and it didn’t disrupt normal club routine.

Learning points:

  • Members were given the information and skills to help build their confidence to join races which will increase their enjoyment of the sport.
  • Members made new friends by sailing with different people and ‘built’ on the team spirit of the club.
  • Having a person from outside the club to run the course meant that others could assist & develop their own coaching skills.
  • Providing training is on a separate day from club racing means that candidates & coaches can both train & race at the weekends and club routine was undisturbed.
  • To sustain the interest in the course, the club can now get their own club racer’s qualified as Level 2 racing coaches.