Ben's Buzz - November 2019


Hello everyone

I'm just going to get straight to the point this month, you have just over a week to secure your place at the RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference in Tamworth on Saturday 16 November! (**UPDATED 17/11/19 this event has now taken place**)

Thank you to everyone that's confirmed attendance so far. It's great to see some new names coming though on the delegates list. But the only way to guarantee you don't miss out on what is always one of the most constructive days on the calendar (and the free lunch!) is to get booked on now. If you haven't checked out the agenda and workshop options yet, take a look now - Agenda.

For me, one of the most interesting elements of the workshop options is how many are based around the data you've given us, with that turned into the big picture of what it means in the region, as well as your club.

We know you get bombarded with requests for data and information over the year, whether it's per RYA programme or through various censuses and surveys. These breakout sessions take all that collated data and make it matter so the insight acquired can be put to practical use. It will help you better understand what's going on locally and what that means both for your club and others in the region.

You're giving up your time and efforts to get all this data over to us. These workshops are our chance to show you why it's useful, how it informs sailing development in the region and how you can take advantage and tap into the recommendations and practical advice. Book now - RYA Midlands Affiliated Clubs Conference 2019.

Watch this space

After Christmas we plan to reintroduce a series of winter forums to take on some of the key themes that emerge from the Conference in more detail.

The details are very much TBC, but the proposal is for there to be three 'cluster' areas - around the Peak District, Birmingham and the Leicestershire/Northants area - where forum events will be held.

Each cluster will host two forums - a one-day forum (on a Saturday) with morning and afternoon workshops that you can attend one or both of depending on what's relevant to you. There will also be one evening session per hub focused on female sailing development. 

We will bring you more information on this after the Conference. But I just wanted to get them on your radars now as they provide another good reason to come along to Tamworth and have the seeds planted for the themes the forums will explore.

Three months in...

It's hard to believe I've been in post three months now. It's flown by, in a good way. It's interesting looking back at the first blogs I wrote to see what progress we've made in a short space of time. 

One of the issues we talked about in September's blog was the instructor lifecycle and the need to train Senior Instructors. So I am absolutely delighted to report the SI courses we've put on this autumn are full with 22 people booked on, which is pretty spectacular and exciting numbers.

We've also filled an 'All schemes Navigation delivery skills session' at Carsington SC with 24 people signing up and more people wishing to attend. New dates for these and other instructor courses will be announced soon so if you are an RYA qualified instructor but aren't a member of our RYA Midlands Instructors Facebook group get yourself joined here - RYA Midlands Instructors.

It was also in September's blog that we sent our thoughts to Toddbrook SC, who had been seriously affected by the damage to the dam at Whaley Bridge and the subsequent draining of the reservoir.

Since then, we have been working with Toddbrook to find solutions to keep the club active for the infinite duration of the dam repairs. And it is brilliant to say that the club has now been approved to run their activities, including RYA Training, at Errwood SC six miles down the road.

The agreement will see both clubs use the same shoreside facilities but operate as separate ventures. This shows a real willingness amongst the sailing community to help each other out and we're delighted to have found a solution that works for all. Thanks to everyone who's been involved in making this happen. 

Save the date

Instructors, just one to add to your calendars - the Instructor Training Day is confirmed for Saturday 8 February at Rutland SC. Full agenda and details will be coming after the Conference. This is two weeks earlier than normal so please get the date in your diaries. While we're on calendars, don't forget the 2020 RYA Training Conference at Wyboston Lakes, on 1-2 February too.

That's all for this month. I'm really looking forward to meeting so many of you at the Conference and if you have any questions before that, either about the Conference or anything else, then please do drop me a line at