London and South East blog March 2020


Please keep up to date with all the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our regional website 

Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell writes:

It was great to see so many clubs attending our Winter Forums over the past month which led to some good discussions around existing club approaches to developing membership. Sadly, the Downs SC Forum was cancelled due to storm Dennis and risk to travel, but we are now looking at an alternative weekend so keep an eye on our social media and regional website for an update shortly.

Instructor Training Day

Spaces are still available for this year's Instructor Training Day that takes place on Saturday 7 March at Queen Mary SC. The day is for existing RYA small boat scheme instructors and offers both land based workshops and activity on the water. The LSE A team of windsurf, dinghy and power boat coaches / trainers will be on hand to help develop personal skills and knowledge. Further information along with how to book can be found here.

Discover Sailing (formerly Push the Boat Out)

Has your club/centre signed up for Discover Sailing 2020, this year’s bigger, better version of what was previously Push the Boat Out? You can register your club here. Early registration is recommended to help Sport Development colleagues support clubs to make their day a success. Sign up to the Discover Sailing programme is FREE to RYA Affiliated organisations and comes with resources to support your offer.

Female participation

A topic within this year's Winter Forums focussed on female activity in clubs and the opportunities that exist for clubs to grow membership and engage current female club members. With more clubs offering activities for their female members the LSE team are working up a plan to better support female participation which will include a one day event for existing female participation groups to swap notes and share ideas, along with clubs who might be thinking about and require advice on the all-important ingredients on what will make an activity successful.


There has been some great feedback on the ‘Future of Sailing’ webinar series. If you are yet to take a look the web link to all six short webinars can be found here.

From the Chair

Regional Team Chair Helen Hofmann writes:

The Regional Team met in January to brainstorm for the new four year regional development plan which will be presented at the affiliates conference in the autumn. Any suggestions/ideas can still be forwarded to Regional Development Officer Steve Mitchell

Huge thanks go to Lesley Kaye who has represented the West London (non Thames) clubs and to Bill Stock who has represented RYA personal members in the region. Both are moving to the West Country and will continue to enjoy watersports there. We welcome Hannah Burt and Ricardo Chacon to represent West London, and are looking for a new representative for RYA personal members. Elena Setterfield also joins the committee as an environmental rep (see info below).

Spring is in the air, and preparations are beginning for the new watersports season so let's enjoy being on the water again!

Off water OnBoard activities

Here are some tips from our regional Sailing Development Officer Ben Kimbell:

After Storm Ciara and Storm Denis here are some fun off water activities for the kids that maintain the learning and give them some new sailing skills.

Try putting your kids in groups and doing a rigging race, this gets them working as a team and teaches them determination.

Set up a land drill double hander, put two kids in it and blindfold the helm, this teaches them the feel of each manoeuvre and gets a lot of communication going between helm and crew.

For the slightly more advanced kids draw out a race course on a whiteboard with various obstacles, river bends, tidal flows, moored boats & wind funnels and put them in groups to decide the best route round the race course and discuss after, this gets them being creative.

There are many more ideas for off water activities in the OnBoard resources here

Disability Awareness Course

Some 14 Sailability volunteers from four different sites enjoyed a Disability Awareness Course run by RYA Sailability at Herne Bay Sailing Club on 31 January.

The Sailability National Conference was a great success with 184 delegates from 60 Sailability sites.

Youth Training Fund Awards

Our region’s Youth Training Fund has made a number of performance awards and a coaching award to young sailors to help them progress their sailing and pass on their experience and enthusiasm to others.

Major grant success for Phoenix Outdoor Activity Centre

London Marathon Charitable Trust has awarded Phoenix Outdoor Activity Centre a grant of £250,000 towards the centre’s new building fund.

New Environmental Representative

Elena Setterfield has been appointed as the new volunteer environmental representative on the RYA London and SE regional committee.

Elena holds a zoology and physiology degree from Bedford College (now Royal Holloway, University of London) and is the environmental officer for the Kent Schools Sailing Association. You can contact her here

Sailing rules

Here’s this month’s update from regional rules guru Chris Simon. If you’d like Chris to give a talk on rules at your club/centre please contact him

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.

Association of Thames Yacht Clubs (ATYC)

Here’s the February 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

Dates for your diary

RYA Discover Sailing (used to be Push the Boat Out)

27 April midday cut off time for ordering for July-Sept events

See RYA 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

What’s on

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

We hope to see you on the water soon.