Royal Torbay Yacht Club (RTYC) have been named as winners of the 2019 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award supported by Gallagher.
The club was one of 11 finalists selected by the RYA Awards Panel and ultimately crowned by the public vote. The coveted trophy was presented by British Sailing Team sailor, James Peters today at the RYA Dinghy Show.
Acknowledged for their achievement in embracing modern facility development, the club were also awarded the ‘Fantastic Facilities’ recognition.
The South West club has worked hard over the years to have a broad and extensive offer for its members. From the RYA OnBoard programme, to hosting several major sailing events each year and more recently the launch of ‘Squadron 13’, a pay and play initiative for 08-18 year-olds, the club has been creative in keeping members engaged.
Over the past two years, RTYC volunteers have undertaken a programme of modernisation to make their grand and historic clubhouse a more welcoming, appealing and friendly place for the whole community.
The renovations and relaunch of the club to the local community, a successful RYA Push the Boat Out campaign, open days and improved communications has seen increased engagement within their current membership and an influx of new members.
“Members love the refurbishment, they bring their friends to the restaurant or social events who then often join or want to book the facilities for their own events – we continue to grow. It is a snowball effect,” explains Commodore Adrian Peach.
He continued: “The club now hosts loads of fantastic sailing and social events. With our new licence upgraded from a Club Licence to a full Premises Licence, we are now hosting wedding receptions, birthday celebrations and Christmas parties, therefore driving the excitement and buzz around the club.
As RTYC were revealed as the 2019 Club of the Year, Chief Executive of the RYA, Sarah Treseder said: “The club has not only taken steps to create new pathways into participation, but has broadened and improved the range of activity that it offers. As a result, the club has increased its membership and is extremely well placed to grow and thrive for many years to come.”
On winning, Adrian commented: “This award means such a lot to us as a club, it’s been a great experience. We’re a club of volunteers, and as volunteers it’s so nice to have the recognition that this brings.
“Winning is fantastic, but there are a lot of categories, sub-awards and opportunities for recognition. I’d definitely encourage other clubs to get involved next year.”
As well as laying claim to the esteemed title of Club of the Year, RTYC will have access to a generous coaching and boats package from RS Sailing for one week this summer. The club was also presented with a prize bundle awarded to all of this year’s finalists, with products from RYA Reward Partners; Yachts & Yachting, Gallagher, Datatag, Spinlock, ICOM, Techniblock, SACQUA, Overboard, Dryrobe and Sail Mates.
RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent commented: “A huge congratulations to Royal Torbay Yacht Club. It’s fantastic to see the success of their innovative approach to improving the club’s facilities, and just goes to show that you don’t have to have a brand new clubhouse to keep your members happy, it’s all about making what you have work.
“I also want to thank RS Sailing and all of the RYA Reward Partners that have contributed to the prize packages. With so many volunteers working hard at clubs all over the country, it’s wonderful to be able to recognise all 11 of this year’s finalists.”
RTYC will be hosting the prestigious J70 World Championships, RS 200 Nationals and Laser Masters this year. They have also expanded their offer of RYA training courses, increased capacity and implemented an online booking system for courses and low-cost dinghy hire. To find out more about the club and upcoming events visit www.rtyc.org.
For more information about the award, how to get involved and this year’s finalists visit www.rya.org.uk/cluboftheyear