London and South East blog February 2020


Please keep up to date with all the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and why not visit our regional website 

Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell writes:

January is often identified as a time of year when boats are in storage under their cover, but If the truth be known January is a fairly busy month for clubs in the London & South East with frostbite racing series, youth and junior class training and participation events. I am seeing more and more activity taking place with the experienced and winter equipped sailors taking advantage of milder temperatures and reasonably settled conditions. So, the question is, could your club be offering more activity earlier in the season to encourage members through the door and to start using their club facilities?

The first main event of the year kicked off with the ever popular Bloody Mary event which is run by Queen Mary SC. Another big year for entries and very close racing using the pursuit racing model. A real mix of competitors including youth and adults demonstrating this event isn't just for the experienced club racer. 

The London and South East Cruising and Racing Conference at Sovereign Harbour YC was well attended by yacht clubs and cruising clubs from across the region. Fascinating talks throughout the day including a good session from the local Eastbourne RNLI coxswain. 

Winter forums

The last two winter forums are planned for February. Representatives from RYA Affiliated Clubs are invited for this free day where we will be looking at the following club development areas.

  • What can your club do to retain more members?
  • How can we grow club membership by adapting what we offer potential members?
  • How running 'women on the water' activity can increase your club membership

Dates and links to booking: 

15 February at Downs SC

Dinghy Show

For most of us the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on 29 February to 1 March is not too far to travel and the insight suggestion that a visit to the show nudges sailors to go sailing earlier in the season is a good excuse to pay a visit. The show is so much more than viewing equipment and dinghies, with a packed agenda of talks and demonstrations. So do make sure you look at the programme and get involved with as much as you can.

Instructor Training Day

For any small boat scheme instructors this year Instructor Training Day will be taking place at Queen Mary SC on Saturday 7 March. This day is for qualified instructors of the small boat scheme.

Booking information will go live shortly.

RYA strategy engagement tool kit

We are currently mid-way through our 2017-2021 strategic process and are already building great ambitions for the following four years, and we want you to be part of it. Boating is a volunteer, club and training centre based sport and it’s imperative that we better understand the challenges and opportunities which you have within your venue. This will ensure we can provide the best support possible for you and your venue going forwards.

Your club contact will have received full details on how to complete the toolkit, however if they or your committee have not received this please get in touch. It would be amazing to see lots of responses from the region so we can ensure our voice is heard as we continue with the planning process for 2021-2025.

Lastly, happy birthday to Bough Beech SC located in Kent who celebrate their 50th Birthday (1970 - 2020)!


From the Chair

Our Regional Team Chair Helen Hofmann writes:

The regional committee met in January to consider the next four year regional development plan, brainstorming ideas to inform where we are now and where we need to be over the next few years. By September, the new plan will be ready, so there is still time to submit your ideas and suggestions to your local RYA area rep.

Brainstorming at the regional team meeting.

We plan also to have a Regional Youth Forum on Saturday 29th February at the Dinghy Show in a Palm Court room at 12pm. If any young people would like to come and speak for about 5 minutes about their watersports involvement, please contact me so that we can put the programme together. All are welcome to the Forum. 

A huge thanks to the Sovereign Harbour YC in Eastbourne for hosting the January bi-annual RYA Regional Cruising/Racing conference, and to all those who supported the event, including the Eastbourne RNLI. 

We look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming RYA Winter workshops and other events over the next few weeks. 


Dates for your diary

RYA Disability Awareness Course - free of charge and open to all, Saturday 1 February 10am to 4pm at Herne Bay SC contact Sarah Sibley to book

RYA Discover Sailing: 

05 March midday - cut off time for ordering merchandise for April/May events

27 April midday - cut off time for ordering merchandise for June-Sept events

See the website for info about registering if your club/centre hasn't received the info by email already.

RYA Instructor Training Day:

7 March at Queen Mary SC

RYA OnBoard Day for all OnBoard centres:

28 March at Bewl Water

RYA Regional Junior Championships:

26-27 September at Queen Mary SC

High performance update

Here's an update on our Zone Squads, training groups, Junior Championships and coaching from our regional High Perfomance Manager Paul Wren.


Regional Instructor training

The regional RYA Instructor Training Days are a brilliant opportunity for personal and professional development. With updates from RYA Training and the Regional Development Officers, as well as expert coaching sessions and various on-the-water and shore-side workshops. A chance to engage with top coaches and networking with other instructors in our region. Queen Mary SC 7 March. Please make a date in your diary, booking will open later.

January headlines

Cruising and Racing Conference 2020

Bursary award for young Weybridge sailor

Medway YC joins RYA OnBoard

Chatham Maritime Watersports Centre joins RYA OnBoard

Finian Morris receives his bursary award

Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC)

Here’s the January newsletter from ATYC.

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

What’s on

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

We hope to see you on the water soon.