London and South East blog October 2019


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Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell writes:

News news news…booking for the 2019 London & South East regional Affiliate Club Conference is NOW LIVE. The conference takes place at the New Line Learning Academy in Ashford Kent on Sunday 24 November. For further information including the agenda and to secure your place please follow this link

We're pleased Alistair Dickson, the RYA's Director of Sport Development, will be joining us for the keynote address, and to look ahead at what the sailing club landscape will be over the next five years. We will also welcome RYA Staff including Richard Falk (Director of Training & Qualifications), Ian Walker (Director of Racing) & Mandy Peters (RYA Legal Manager).

This year's conference is about 'Putting people first'. That means understanding what your members, volunteers and new sailors need, and putting that at the forefront of your decision making. As well as plenty of chances to share ideas with other clubs, the day is broken into three rounds of club development sessions.

Alistair will be running three workshops on volunteer recruitment and management, whilst hot topics around attracting and retaining new members, training instructors and coaches and legal issues also feature.

This year also includes workshops on developing cruising. We have thousands of very active cruisers in the region and it's important our clubs - from our specialist cruising clubs to clubs with cruising sections - have the chance to develop more interest in and opportunities within big boat sailing.

Remember the conferences are free with lunch and refreshments provided at no cost. We would love to see at least two people from each club come along and it would also be great if one of your people could be a conference first-timer. Due the conference's popularity, pre-booking is essential, so get in early to avoid disappointment. I'm really looking forward to meeting lots of you there.

Membership Census update

Thank you so much to everyone for getting their RYA Club Membership Census returns back to us by the mid-August deadline. Sorry for the bombardment of emails and calls, but it paid off and I'd like to thank the regional team for their support.

This is such an important piece of research every year as it allows us to analyse and understand the health of our sailing clubs, and spot key patterns and trends as part of the regional and wider national pictures.

With every participating club receiving an individual report of your membership data, and a comparison of how this has changed year-on-year over five years, you also get valuable insight to help shape and/or stay on track with your club development plans.

These were the key findings for London & South East from last year's census, with more detail on how the London & South East shapes up in the national context available here

Junior sailing

As this blog goes live we see the RYA BYS Regional Championships taking place at Datchet Water SC which has once again seen a strong attendance across the regatta fleet and the championship fleet along with delivery of the inaugural OB Fun Fleet activity which involves newbie sailors as young as six taking to the water.

In addition to RYA Regional championships there has been another strong year for organisations such as Kent Schools Sailing Association  (KSSA) West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing Association (WSSYSA) and London Youth Sailing League (LYSA) which deliver brilliant local programmes throughout the year helping junior sailors to grow their confidence and sailing skills while introducing them to racing.

WSSYSA had a successful end of season event at Felpham SC, KSSA an annual regatta at Whitstable YC, and LYSL had a regatta at Welsh Harp and also have their end of season event at Queen Mary SC later in October. All the groups have autumn / winter programme, and all three will be at the regional conference.

I look forward to see some of you on my travels over the next month..

Dates for the diary:

Sunday 24 November 2019 LSE Affiliate Club Conference at New Line Learning Academy, Ashford, Kent.

Sunday 12 January 2020 LSE Cruising Conference.

From the Chair

RYA Regional Team Chair Helen Hofmann writes:

We look forward to seeing many affiliates represented at the upcoming RYA Regional Affiliates Conference on 24th November in Maidstone. It's an opportunity also to get to know RYA area reps and the wider RYA regional committee who represent the region and who look forward to hearing how they can support affiliates further in their sport development. The regional website gives contact details for the regional committee so we hope you'll get to know who your area rep. is especially over the winter period when area meetings take place organised by your RYA area rep.

As we start to look at the next 4 year regional development plan which begins in 2021, it would be helpful to have feedback from affiliates and centres on where you think the development foci should be, so do send an email to your area rep. with your ideas and suggestions!

Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC)

ATYC had a great turn-out for their 2019 Rally at West India Docks. And here's their September newsletter

September headlines

How sailing gave Nessie a new life after cancer

Mad dog and Englishmen raise charity cash at The Dyson Dash

Young Docklands windsurfers relish National Championships

Celebrity launch for new accessibility at Bewl Water

Fun in the sun at London Youth Sailing League Regatta

Association of Thames Yacht Clubs Rally 2019

What’s on

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

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.