London and South East blog July 2019


Regional development officer Steve Mitchell writes:

I hope you are all enjoying the start of the summer. June is always an interesting month in the world of RYA sport development as we see clubs hit the ‘GO’ button and turn on areas of club activity that have been in planning mode for many months, often without the club members realising the planning timeline.

One area of club development that stands out for summer are those new members who are now turning up to our clubs as a result of the clubs' successful open days. This is where the hard work and the 'long game' begins as committee members identify new folk entering the club and take care to gently nudge them into regular activity on the water and/or through club social activities. 

The other vital ingredient in introducing and retaining new members is the responsibility that sits with the wider membership of making new faces feel welcome. The RYA Membership Satisfaction survey continues to highlight that the top reasons why people don't continue to be a member simply comes down to not being made to feel welcome! So, if you see a new face at your club over the summer be sure to approach and say hello and do your small bit to support club membership and equally important all the hard work your committee have been planning over the winter in order to attract new members.

Membership Census

Keeping with the theme of new club members entering our clubs/organisations and retaining existing members please note that the Membership Census has gone live so please keep a look out for the reminders that will be coming from the HQ team. 

Nearly 90% of L&SE clubs/organisations completed the Membership Census in 2018 as it continues to be a vital piece of information capture that helps clubs identify membership trends. 

London & South East Region Junior Championships

This great end of season event has now been confirmed for the weekend 28th & 29th September and will run at Datchet Water SC. For more information on this event please follow the link here

Olympic sailor Amy Seabright (centre top) helping out at last year's championships

Region Junior Championships OnBoard Regatta

We're pleased to announce that alongside the main Junior Championships racing fleets we will also be delivering a fantastic event for newbie junior sailors. The event is titled OnBoard Fun Fleet, but don't worry if the sailor doesn’t attend an OnBoard provider as everyone is welcome.

The key things to note at this stage are:

  • OnBoard Fun Fleet run for newer sailors
  • Led by local OnBoard instructors
  • A regional end-of-season OnBoard festival filled with games, sailing all types of boats and heaps of OnBoard club camaraderie
  • Sailing in any suitable class of dinghy
  • Ideally under 13 aged sailors
  • 2 day event
  • An end of year regatta for Onboard sailors

For more information on Region Junior Championships including the OnBoard Regatta please follow the link here

Physical activity sector urged to embrace digital

There was an interesting article in the latest Sport England newsletter with providers in the sport and physical activity sector being urged to embrace technology to make it easier for people to get active.

We know online booking for courses and events is the way to go, but the article goes a long way in explaining why and is definitely worth a quick read - Physical activity sector urged to embrace digital.

eSailing National Championships

Following the success of last year’s inaugural eSailing World Championship, the RYA are pleased to be partnering with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, to launch the GBR eSailing National Championship.

The free-to-play online game provides players with an opportunity to race against friends, fellow sailors and real-world Olympic champions. All players from the United Kingdom will automatically be entered into the exclusive GBR eSailing National Championship, racing the same challenges, seasons and playoffs as the eSailing World Championship and ranking both nationally and globally.

From the Chair

Regional team chair Helen Hofmann writes: The Summer Solstice has passed, but we continue to enjoy plenty of summer days making the most of the sporting opportunities. It has been good to see some resurgence of motorboat handling competitions on the Thames with RYA representation helping with the judging from both RYA HQ from Andrew Norton together with Amber Sexton, as well as from regional RYA rep. John Shepherd with Manfred Starkyl at the Thames Motor Yacht Club. The competition has inspired other clubs, and we look forward to seeing more competitions next year. The annual Association of Thames Yacht Clubs rally in August will also include some boat handling challenges.

Looking to the early autumn, we hope many under 17 year olds will attend the Regional Junior Championships at the end of September. It gives opportunity for clubs to send teams to the event and for all sailing abilities to experience a larger regatta. 

Try Sailing this Summer

Dover Sea Sports, Dinton Activity Centre and Datchet Watersports are running free or low cost Try Sailing sessions over the summer. For dates, details and to book visit Try Sailing

Dinton photos above and top right credit Stuart Turkington

British Empire Medals for two Kent volunteers

Two sailing club stalwarts from Kent, David Hogben from Herne Bay SC and Carey Marsh of Rye Harbour SC have been awarded British Empire Medals this year.

Battle of the Boroughs at London Youth Games

Over 180 young Londoners enjoyed this year’s London Youth Games Sailing Regatta at Queen Mary Sailing Club in June. Tower Hamlets took gold, Westminster silver and Hillingdon bronze.

Boat skills flood up the Thames with new competition

Recent years have shown a steady decline of club and inter-club boat handling events on the Thames, yet seniors of the motor boating set enthusiastically recall competitions over the years, a source for enriching their knowledge in readiness for unpredictable situations. This year Thames Motor Yacht Club has revived the competitions with great success.

Sussex girl overcomes challenges to reach Panerai Challenger Trophy Final

Vanessa Hutchison (11) from Uckfield in Sussex, whose love of sailing has helped her overcome significant challenges in her life, is a finalist for the Panerai Challenger Trophy

Queen Mary Sailability volunteer opportunities

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Queen Mary Sailability. They enable disabled adults and children to experience the relaxation of cruising and the excitement of racing in a safe sailing environment. Find out more about how you could be involved in this fun and fulfilling role.

Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC)

Here’s the June newsletter from ATYC with news of their annual rally at West India Dock on 24-26 August (save the date) and more.

What’s on

See what’s on in our region and have your event listed here

Regional fleets

We have a regional fleet of Oppies, Teras and Fevas available to support your youth training, racing, and club cadet regattas. Find out more

We hope to see you on the water soon.

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