London and South East blog September 2020

With the easing of Coronavirus restrictions and a return to boating things are changing quickly, and these monthly summaries may be out of date before the month is through, so please follow us on�Facebook��or Twitter There�s loads of useful information on there, including helpful videos on returning to boating, news of the Affiliate Club Conference, and more from our region. If you haven�t already, please take a look.

Steve Mitchell, Regional Development Officer, writes:

I'm pleased to report that more than 85% of London & South East clubs have now completed the membership census. This will enable us to plan a winter programme of club development activity to support clubs with post Covid-19 planning.�It will also enable us share club data for clubs to use themselves to monitor any significant shifts in membership.

From a regional perspective the overall picture is looking much more positive than anticipated with an early assessment suggesting that membership in London & South East is down around 5%, which with all things considered doesn�t feel as bad as it could have been. Given that some clubs renew membership around the time the pandemic began it appears that they have been very resilient to the pressures brought about the pandemic.�We�re now looking further ahead at preparing the ground for next season and the importance of how we retain members while also continuing to make the club offer attractive to the new members, who for some clubs have been a welcome surprise. Analysis of the data collected is now taking place with the club membership insight due to be shared at the Affiliate Club Conference in November.

Regional Junior Championships

If you know any younger sailors who may be interested please encourage them to book early. Capacity is limited due to the event being made Covid secure.

For sailors who are in their first season of sailing we will once again be delivering an OnBoard event which is designed to be the perfect introduction to an event away from the sailing club. There will be activities, fun and games.

I would especially like to give a big shout out to junior windsurfers in the region including both those who are linked to T15 venues but also those sailors who simply like to blast around and have possibly never raced or even thought about racing. I'm reliably informed by the lead coach Beck Ellis that the day will be very much about having fun on the water with a sprinkle of racing thrown in, so for any newbies the event should be a great experience. Minis Bay Windsurfing Club have entered their first ever junior sailor which is great news!

The event is at Datchet Water SC on 19 September. For more and to enter visit junior championships

Affiliated club conference

We're moving this year's conference online with an exciting suite of forums hosted by double Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster Shirley Robertson, to support club development. Keep a listening watch on our regional social media pages for more information. We hope that this year's event will benefit from a new audience of club members who might not ordinarily attend where capacity is often limited, so hopefully we will see a real variety of club members listening in. Visit club conference for more.

From the Chair

Helen Hofmann, RYA Regional Team Chair, writes:

On 16th September 1620, the ship Mayflower set sail from Plymouth to voyage to America. The website��holds a feast of information about the history surrounding this event, and how people and places in the London and SE region were involved in the historic endeavour. Boats contribute to a sense of adventure, and the same is true today. Thom D'Arcy who worked in the City of London has just returned from a 4 year round the world sailing trip, following that same spirit of adventure.�

As autumn approaches together with the end of the Brexit transition period, we wonder where the future will take us. Plans and dreams are often formulated in the winter months, and as the days shorten, let's start planning for the next watersports season in our clubs, centres and as individuals.�

Brexit Online Forum

How will the Brexit end of transition period affect boaters? Friday 2 October 7.30-9pm with Howard Pridding, RYA Director of External Affairs, and Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager. Please register here

What happened in August

Here�s a round-up of regional news from the last month. Most of these items include information on how clubs have coped with going safely back to boating, and you may find some tips which would be useful to your club.

Broadstairs back to boating with the Dyson Dash

Tamesis back in action after lockdown

Back to boating at Frensham Pond Sailability

Starting them young at Gravesend

Back to boating at Felpham Youth Regatta

Share your experience

Please do share your club/centre's experiences with us: have you received funding, how are you keeping members engaged, how are you returning to boating, what are your challenges, what are your solutions? These could be anything from a two or three lines we can share on social media, to short case studies, say three of four paragraphs, and good news stories for the RYA web site and to share with the local media. Journalists are looking for positive stories away from coronavirus, and other clubs may benefit from your experience. Please send them to Mike Haigh

And finally�..

Wishing you all the very best in these unusual times.