London and South East blog September 2021

Here is this month's update from the RYA London and South East team
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Steve Mitchell, Regional Development Officer, writes:
Didn’t August go quick?!  Some would argue the sailing season is almost at an end but for a good many clubs and centres the autumn and winter months simply signal round 2 as a new plan is rolled out to keep members using the club/centre.  Most sailors have a winter wardrobe of sailing kit and with winter being reasonably mild in the South East extending the sailing season and providing a formal winter activity continues to grow in popularity; the activity could be anything from more club racing, instructor training, through to power boat training. 
If you have anything new in the pipeline for the winter to help boost winter activity at your club/centre we would be interested to hear. Contact
Here in Sport Development September is an exciting month as we prepare the ground for our club development activity, including the regional RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference, winter club development workshops. This winter we're looking at a programme to support aspirant coaches/instructors which clubs and centres have been expressing an interest in owing to the surge in demand in the last 12 - 18 months. 
To help grow instructor and volunteer teams we would like to encourage clubs to look at their own needs and where possible work with their local cluster of neighbouring clubs to share any expertise that may be brought in. For example, there is often a limited supply of dinghy, windsurf, and power boat trainers at this time of year so a group of clubs/centres sharing one trainer will not only support the training being at capacity but will mean a better use of time for the trainer, enabling them to support as many venues as possible.
The RYA membership census is now completed for this year. The LSE team are very grateful to the clubs who contributed toward this and we look forward to playing this back at this year’s Affiliated Clubs Conference and throughout the winter months.
Our Regional Junior Championships are on 18 September for windsurfers at Datchet Water SC and 25-26 September for dinghies at Queen Mary SC. Dinghy entries close 19 September. 
Could your club to the next RYA and Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year? The awards celebrate the outstanding achievement and promote the hard work of sailing clubs. Nominations close on 20 September. Find out more and apply 
The Affiliated Club Conference on 21 November will be a hybrid virtual and in-person event this year to provide the best of both World. Please save the date, and read about it here
Nominations are open for the RYA Mustow Youth Awards. The search has begun for this season’s most successful and inspiring young sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters. If you know a young sailor who makes a difference to boating find out more and nominate them. Apply now. Closing 1 November.
Regional Youth Training Fund Bursaries - cash awards are available to help promising young sailors and aspiring coaches. Applications close 31 October. Find out more and apply 
OnBoard JMST boats and boards partnership - Do you know a young sailor or windsurfer (age 14 or under) at your venue who could benefit from exclusive use of their own boat or board for the next two years, with the boat/board then passing to your club? Apply now Closing date 27 September.
From the Chair
RYA Regional Team Chair Helen Hofmann writes: The outlook for autumn is more optimistic than this time last year. Covid vaccinations have changed the state of play even if we do still need to be cautious. What will this autumn and winter look like though? We are planning that the regional affiliates conference will go ahead in person at the end of November, with precautions taken. It will be a chance to network with other clubs as well as attend RYA talks. Before that the Regional Junior Championships will take place at the end of September. Winter workshops and area meetings will also be possible, online or face to face before the spring. 
Planning for 2022 is a useful exercise - will there be more staycations, or will folk go abroad more than this year? What personal plans and dreams for our own time on the water will we have? With the Southampton Boat Show in full swing this year, we have some reason to hope that things are gradually returning back to normal. 
Share your stories
We’re always looking out for stories to pop on our web site and send to your local media, or snippets and short videos to share on our social media. Other clubs can enjoy your achievements and benefit from your experience. Please send them to Mike Haigh