Departmental Updates

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

Sport Development

Various images for In the Same Boat internal newsletter May 2021

  • Women’s sailing will be showcased in the Steering the Course “takeover” using our existing content and programmes. Supported by the IOC Development Fund, the 10-day campaign (21-30 May 2021) aims to introduce women and girls across the globe to the sport of sailing, as well as encourage alternative pathways for those already within the sport, such as coaching or officiating.
  • We now have over 90 venues with confirmed dates for this year’s Discover Sailing, however take-up is low this year, compared to previous years, as many clubs are striving to meet demand from existing members and they simply don’t have the need for Open Days.
  • OnBoard hosted two Team GB ‘Get Set Travel to Tokyo’ The days were hugely successful with 36 school children getting out in the water and had the chance to meet three British Sailing Team athletes. Read the article here.
  • Our Sport England reporting is all on track, consultation on their new strategy is ongoing, and a new round of Tackling Inequalities funding is now live, which Sailability, Onboard and non-profit organisations can apply for to engage with lower socio-economic groups, black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities , disabled people and people with long term health conditions. Read more here.
  • Work continues on the Dinghy Cruising Trails - Lough Erne is almost complete, work has started on Plymouth Sound (the winning entry for Trails competition) and Cardiff Bay. We also have another eight on the way!
  • British Marine’s On the Water venue finder website will go live this month, with our collaboration.

Training & Publications

Various images for In the Same Boat internal newsletter May 2021

  • We continue to support centres, instructors and training candidates both in the UK and abroad. We are now focused on ensuring that instructors and appointment holders whose qualifications and appointments are expiring are dealt with on an individual basis to ensure their revalidation options are flexible and accessible as possible.
  • Our Wing Foiling pilot is all set to launch in June. If you’ve not yet come across the sport, it’s quite simply riding a foil board while carrying a hand-held inflatable sail. Instructor training will soon be taking place, with recognition of training centres rolling out shortly afterwards.
  • Whilst we’ve seen some negative impact from both Covid and Brexit which has resulted in the on loss of a number of training centres, expressions for recognition of new centres are encouraging and the recognition team is busier than they’ve ever been.
  • We have revamped the way credentials are dealt with in our database. The new system is clearer and easier to use and also paves the way for the new website to display people’s qualifications online in their new MyRYA profile.

 Cruising, Legal & Safeguarding

Various images for In the Same Boat internal newsletter May 2021

  • A Department for Transport (DfT) consultation is starting on the amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act to include PWCs in the definition of a Ship. We are supportive of the approach which should help harbour authorities to better manage PWC safety.
  • Work is ongoing with the expanded Personal Watercraft Partnership to improve the guidance documentation for harbour authorities. Local police are taking a very holistic view of water safety enforcement with Essex police planning a safety awareness course as part of their response to infringements.
  • Following the successful cooperation on VAT and customs, we've been able to issue clarification on certification requirements for second-hand boats in trade between the EU and UK post-Brexit.
  • We are currently planning a visit for the Shipping Minister to an RYA training centre during Maritime Safety Week (5-11 July)
  • Mandy Viggers has agreed to continue as Chair of Safeguarding, but we are needing to push back on the CPSU assessment in the area of training – despite huge improvement no face-to-face training has been possible.

Environment & The Green Blue 

  • The Planning and Sustainability Committee was held recently with a focus on the RYA’s Pathway to Zero Carbon plan.
  • The Sustainability Champions from each department have attended Internal Auditor Training.
  • A statement on Studland Bay is to be issued by local clubs soon.
  • The team are continuing to support clubs in Kent regarding the Gravesend planning consultation.
  • Plans are underway for Boating Wildlife Aware Week 7-11 June.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

  • We are participating in a Sport England pilot to increase committee diversity in conjunction with Perrett Laver and other major sports; this will cover both regional and policy committees.
  • The implementation of actions in our ED&I strategy continues apace, with the staff departmental champions group meeting taking place. The External Affairs and Cruising Committee (formerly CGAC) will lead on committee oversight and welcomed Professor Hylton at their recent meeting.


Various images for In the Same Boat internal newsletter May 2021

  • Our Olympic preparations continue despite uncertainties, however time in the venue will be constrained.
  • Homecoming and opportunities to engage sponsors, friends and family are having to be rethought.
  • We’ve had an impressive 160 entries for the Eric Twiname regatta in Bassenthwaite.
  • Hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing at the Mountbatten Watersports and Activity Centre in Plymouth Sound from August 9 to 15, the Youth Nationals is on track to welcome as many as 350 young racers from all over the country.
  • World Sailing’s Council have approved the Men’s and Women’s Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) and Men’s and Women’s Two Person Dinghy (470) as the first and second alternative event proposals to Mixed Offshore at Paris 2024 following their meeting at the 2021 Mid-Year Meeting.
  • The British Keelboat League kicks off with two events on the 05-06 June, one in Burnham on Crouch and the other as part of the Women’s Open Keelboat Championship, in Hamble. This is a club v club event so if there are clubs that you know of who should be involved, please send them to
  • British Keelboat Sailing has launched the Hyde Sails Under 19 Match Race Championship to be held for the first time on the 26-27 June. If anyone knows any suitable sailors please direct them to RYA Match Racing.

Membership & Membership Development

Various images for In the Same Boat internal newsletter May 2021

  • We’ve seen a further small reduction in membership in April to 103,767 – but lapser rates are significantly lower than April 2020, with more instructors leaving and fewer in total after only one year.
  • New pre renewal emails are going out to members to engage and thank them for their membership throughout 2020 which was a difficult and different year with limited opportunities to get out on the water. It is vital that members who stayed with us and new people who joined understand the value and the difference their membership makes. This is a pre-cursa to an email-based customer journey for members and prospective members which will evolve as we go forwards focused on improving lifecycle communications and improving notifications.
  • The decision has been made not to develop a separate RYA e-card, the “MyRYA” area of the new website will serve this purpose far better.
  • We are in discussion with British Marine to offer promotion and other support for the Southampton Boat Show in exchange for free and/or discounted members ticket offer.
  • The Joining Point prize box competition is well underway and will run until the end of July. We will announce the May winner at the beginning of June.
  • Unfortunately, Helly Hansen and Musto have chosen to end their membership and instructor offers, this was due to pressure being brought to them from retailers they supply who have found it increasingly difficult to operate and compete during the pandemic. Staff are still able to claim discount on Helly Hansen and we are working on a similar arrangement for Musto – please speak to Sophie Pink for further details. Other contracts with HH and Musto are not affected e.g. Sports Dev, GB Sailing Team. However, we are pleased to offer new enhanced discounts with Imray, Bollè and Halo, and will shortly be launching new offers with B&G, Simrad, Lowrance and C-Map.

Support Services  

  • The 2020-21 Audit is almost complete. This has been our second virtual audit and has been slightly easier to manage than the one we undertook 12 months ago! Departmental budgets for 2021-22 should be shared with team leaders.
  • Natasha Gladman has resigned as an RYA Director. Four new Board NEDs will be recruited this year, with a particular focus on diversity.
  • A volunteer working group has been formed to review the Volunteer Code of Conduct and if necessary, strengthen its terms, applicability and enforcement in the event of a breach.
  • Rod’s mammoth project of installing new air conditioning is almost complete. The new units are more efficient and therefore fit our sustainability plans. We are trialling new lighting in the Atlantic Room and in due course will roll this out across the buildings focusing on the internal areas where there is less natural light first.


  • It’s been a busy month for the Strategy team with all hands-on deck to implement the launch of our new website. Our thanks go to the army of RYA helpers that have enabled us to reach this important milestone. In building our new website, we have strived to create an improved, user friendly and engaging experience for our members and other stakeholders.
  • The next steps of our five-year digital roadmap will see us benefiting from a smarter email tool (EXM) offering a more tailored approached with relevant content for users, plus further enhancements of the current processes for ICC and membership.
  • We are all set to run a pilot on the monetisation of some of our historically popular (conflict free) YouTube content. The pilot will run for three months to see how much revenue it generates, with any funds to be transferred back into our google ads account.
  • Just a quick reminder that if you’re planning to ask one of our Regional Communications team to work on a project or campaign, please let the Head of Communications know so that we can ensure a manageable workload across our network of contractors.


  • Our new website is now live! Thanks to all who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, you should be rightfully proud of what we have achieved. As a reminder of some of the new benefits:
    • Better designed customer journeys
    • ICC will move online
    • Future delivery of credential records online to Members
    • Clubs and centres will have a joined up single sign on
    • Ability to deliver increased levels of personalised content

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