Departmental Updates

Find out more about what your colleagues are working on and current team priorities

Sport Development

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  • Sailability held a very successful virtual conference, with an insightful and challenging keynote from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson with over 800 unique viewers and up to 230 people watching live over the weekend.
  • Seven development sessions were delivered in the two weeks following the conference - each attended by between 30-60 people.
  • The online Instructor Training Day on 13 March had over 1,600 delegates attend.
  • Affiliated Clubs are being invited to attend forum meetings on “make the most of 2021” and our Discover Sailing programme now has 110 clubs registered.
  • We’ve seen more than 2,500 views of the new Dinghy Trails on the website and more trails are being created to ensure all parts of the UK are well represented. Please do get in touch with Rob Clark or Michelle Gent if you have any new suggestions for potential locations.
  • Our support for World Sailing’s “steer the course” female sailing programme in May will be confined to promotion of existing RYA programmes and giving profile to existing female sailors. Please do ensure Sport Development is aware of ongoing activity in this area.
  • The Club facilities survey is all set to go live next week.
  • A total of 8,200 people registered for the virtual RYA Dinghy Show, with approx. 5,800 unique logins over the weekend and a total of 12,044 logins altogether over the live weekend. The show is still open to view all the stage content on demand until the end of March.
  • 71 clubs and 780 eSailors from all regions took part in the RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship. The final was streamed live at the virtual Dinghy Show, where Mike O’Donovan (South Region) from Stokes Bay SC was crowned winner!

Training & Publications

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  • Clear guidance has now been given by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which allows a return to on-the-water RYA Training across all schemes in tandem with the return to outdoor sport on 29 March.
  • The Instructor Training day went well with more than 1,600 attendees and positive feedback despite technological challenges for some.
  • Training, Technical and Youth Racing are undertaking a peer-review of each other’s areas of operation in line with recommendations from the RYA Safety Management Group to critically assess existing protocols and learn from existing good practice across the organisation.
  • We’ve seen high levels of interest in Wingfoiling with the first instructor course planned for May.
  • The Training Committee are piloting a youth forum on behalf of the RYA.

Cruising, Legal, Government

  • We have responded to the MCA consultation on the disposal of flares by suggesting they no longer need to be carried in the first place.
  • Brexit has seen some positive news this week as centres in Spain have had written confirmation that UK-issued ICCs will in fact be accepted for use on Spanish vessels.
  • We are awaiting a response from HMRC to our challenges on post-Brexit tax matters and have escalated our concerns to Lord Frost as Minister for EU Relations. 
  • The Legal team continues to provide high levels of support to Clubs on insurance, lease issues, tax treatment of grant payments, and lockdown travel restrictions for maintenance work on boats.
  • The RYA B&G Cruising Conference took place on Sunday 21 March UPDATE INFO.

Safeguarding, Diversity & Equality

  • Please take some time to take a look at the new RYA Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-2030 and discuss with your teams how you can best support its roll-out following its launch on Sky Sports TV! The execution of our new strategy is reliant on a collective approach to its delivery. One person or department cannot be solely responsible for its delivery as it encompasses all areas of the organisation and needs commitment and contributions from all to succeed. Together, we can and will chart an equal, diverse, and inclusive course for the future of boating.
  • Annual Child Protection in Sport review takes place on 26 March.

Sustainability & The Green Blue

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  • We have now submitted our latest UN Global Compact Report.
  • Proposed environmental management measures for Studland Bay continue to cause controversy.
  • The European Boating Association is discussing policy in several areas of sustainability including underwater noise, air quality and means of propulsion.
  • New funding applications are being made to TASS and Sport England.
  • Sail Smarts have had a green takeover for March with a focus on seagrass and marine habitats.
  • The University Sailing Sustainability Challenge has now finished until September with a fantastic finale at the Dinghy Show.


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  • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that no special help is available for Schengen-area visas for UK athletes which will impact training for a number of BST sailors.
  • We’ve issued an update to the process for the awarding of elite status to sailors and support staff for the purpose of international travel. Possession of an RYA-issued elite status letter can enable sailors and support staff to leave the country for specific reasons. Elite status does not necessarily provide exemption from quarantine obligations upon exiting or returning to the UK, it only allows an elite sailor to continue their training and/or competition within UK and at all other times during the specified period they must self-isolate.
  • 470 world championships and RS:X European championships just took place in Vilamoura, Portugal. Amy Seabright and James Taylor won bronze in the new mixed format that will replace separate men’s and women’s fleets at the Paris 2024 Olympics 
  • April 14 marks 100 days to go til the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020

Membership & Membership Development

  • The new credential processes will be going live week commencing 22 March, so all staff will be receiving training next week in readiness for the switch over.
  • Over 1,000 people who registered for the virtual dinghy show requested more information about RYA membership and we will be following up these prospects.
  • Throughout April we will be running a Joining Point double commission promotion as well as a double gift, plus bonus gift for introducing five new members with the Refer a Friend programme.
  • New member reward partner Ecoworks is being introduced as a priority for the start of the new boating season.


  • A quick reminder that all appraisals must be completed and closed on the People HR system before the end of this month – thank you. 

Support Services

  • All staff are asked to check the address on their payslip to ensure it is still current, if the details are incorrect please can you advise Dona in the accounts team –
  • This week sees our financial year-end and the team is mega-busy preparing for another virtual audit. All managers must now ensure that their final forecasts are updated and accurate, and that all supplier invoices have been obtained and coded on the system, even if payment is on hold.
  • New legislation expanding the definition of Positions of Trust seems likely to go through – and will require several changes to RYA guidance and operating procedures.
  • Underwriters have reconfirmed their position that Clubs will not receive a pay-out from the business interruption insurance. Gallagher is advising two Clubs which they believe have strong claims.
  • Return to office planning will follow a steady, tailored approach and teams will not be required to return to Hamble offices “en masse”. RYA House will be unavailable until mid-May due to the replacement of the old air-conditioning with a more efficient, and sustainable, system.


  • Our new one-year Transition Plan is now live and available as a handy tri-fold PDF so that recipients can chose to enjoy it in a self-printed format, or alternatively a more ecologically friendly online version. Aspects of the Transition Plan in the form of objectives and actions are being fed into departmental objectives, staff appraisals and annual operational plans, to ensure that every department has a sense of ownership and involvement. If the organisation works together to complete its objectives, we are optimistic that the Plan will come together and be successful. To request your copy of the plan, just drop Victoria a line via
  • Our Regional Plans for 2021-22 are advancing apace and will be available for publication in April. As such, the Regional Communicator roles are being re-framed to align with these operational plans.
  • Just a quick reminder that if you’re planning to run a virtual event (such as a conference, show, or webinar etc.), please do speak to our video team at the earliest opportunity for input on the most suitable platform.


  • We have now launched the new site, a massive thank you to everyone for your hardwork and ongoing support getting us to this point. We appreciate your ongoing support as we continue to refine the site.
  • We will also soon be benefiting from a smarter email tool, EXM, offering a more tailored approached with relevant content for users, plus enhancements to the current processes for ICC and membership.
  • Also, we will be launching credentials online in the near future, giving users a unique way to see all their RYA credentials online.

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