Bens Buzz August 2021


It’s been a great summer for sailing and I hope you all enjoyed watching the Olympics and Team GB in action. We had three Olympians from the region performing in Tokyo – Alison Young from Trimpley SC, silver medallist John Gimson from Rudyard Lake SC and gold medallist Dylan Fletcher from Northamptonshire – and they all started out sailing at local Midlands clubs.

Following on from these extraordinary Games it is worth considering whether the associated spike of interest in sport - and particularly in disciplines which did well like sailing - might be something your club could capitalise on, perhaps with an extra course or two, or a press release to your local newspaper about your activities.

With Great Britain remaining the most successful Olympic sailing nation in the history of the Games, now is a really good time to reach out to your local communities to let them know that this is a sport which they can access on their doorstep right here in the Midlands!

Census - thank you!

A really BIG thank you to all the clubs and membership secretaries who’ve taken the time to complete this year’s RYA Club Membership Census.

We appreciate the time people spend filling in the census and it’s genuinely important to help us understand what’s going on, so we can tailor RYA support for clubs and identify opportunities for development. Participating clubs also benefit from their own individualised report with valuable insights for flag officers and committee members.

At first glance there appear to be some good news stories from the census. The full data review will now take place, with trends and insights being presented at the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference. Here clubs will be able to find out how their local experience fits against the regional and national picture; this often reveals some key opportunities.

If your club hasn’t seen or submitted its census return yet, we’d rather have it late than not at all so please get in touch so we can support you with filling it in. We’re here to help!

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference

This year’s hybrid RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference will have a national online evening on Monday 8th November 2021, followed by an in-person RYA Midlands event at Whitemoor Lakes, an RYA Recognised Training Centre near Lichfield in south Staffordshire, on Sunday 28th November.

It will be a great opportunity for clubs to catch up with all the latest national and regional updates, with workshops and key speakers due to be revealed soon. In the meantime please do remember to save the dates on your club calendar!

Courses for instructors

If you are part of a RYA Training Centre, please do keep an eye out on the regional courses webpage for development opportunities in the coming months, importantly, please make sure your instructor team are aware of these opportunities.

  • Senior Instructor Course - for RYA Dinghy Instructors looking to take the next step. Aztec Adventure Upton Warren and the Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham, 18/19th September & 2/3rd October.
  • RYA Midlands Instructor Revalidation Day - for DIs or SIs who have missed the normal window of opportunity to revalidate your qualification, 8th October, at SCC Midland Boat Station, Birmingham.

All the details for courses in the region can be found at RYA Midlands Instructor Courses and I would also recommend joining the RYA Midlands Instructors group on Facebook. If you would like any further information about courses, or any pre-requisites which may be necessary such as First Aid or Powerboat certificates, please do feel free to contact me so I can assist.

Club of the Year – apply now!

Could your club by the next RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year? Nominations for the 2022 awards close on 20th September and you can find all the details about how to apply here. As our 2021 regional finalist Chelmarsh SC discovered, the awards are a great way to put your club in the spotlight!

All clubs are different and in addition to a finalist for each region, there will be two wild cards, alongside special commendations in these categories: Heart of the Community; Modern, Innovative and Forward Thinking; Sustainability; Inclusive and Open to all; and Boosting Membership.

Don't worry if your club does not excel in all areas. Simply tell us about what makes your club special and give it a go because your club could be the next Club of the Year!

Regional junior championships

The British Youth Sailing (BYS) Regional Junior Championships will be taking place at Carsington SC over the weekend of 25th-26th September 2021, with OnBoard, Regatta and Championship fleets catering for all abilities from rookies to experienced racers.

And new for this year – exclusively for the Midlands! – we will also have an opportunity for young sailors to compete in General Handicap and Sailability fleets, making it an even more inclusive festival of junior sailing for the region.

There will also be a one-day event for windsurfers on Saturday 18th September at Glossop SC.

Entries are now open and all the details are available at

Awards for youth and junior sailors

The JMST scheme is now open again for nominations so if your club knows of an aspiring sailor or windsurfer who would benefit from having their own boat or board to help them develop their racing skills, please take a look at the details and find out more here.

Nominations are also invited for the RYA Musto Youth Awards which celebrate the achievements of young people across the sport, including performance, volunteering, instructing, coaching and overcoming adversity. The deadline for these awards is 1st November 2021.


There has been another instance of theft from a club in the region – this time with the loss of powerboat engines – so please do remember to regularly review your security arrangements and be vigilant for any unknown persons acting suspiciously. For crime prevention advice you may want to consider contacting your local community police.

And finally…

As the summer continues, it’s been really good to see lots of clubs and centres running courses over the holiday period and hearing about the amount of activity going on has been extremely positive across all sectors – dinghy, cruising and waterways.

Keep up to date with all latest the announcements from the region by following @RYAMidlands on Facebook and/or Twitter and tag or message us if you would like us to share your news. Whatever your plans for boating over the coming month, enjoy!

Until next time, Ben.