We’re excited to announce that The Big One is back! The Regional Volunteer Team is working hard and looking forward to delivering the North East Youth Championships with Yorkshire Dales SC over the weekend of 2-3 November with racing for the following classes: Laser 4.7, Radial and Standard, RS Aero, 29er, 420 and RS200. This special event is for sailors aged 14 to 22 and is designed to give youth sailors in the region a quality championship, on their doorstep, and thanks to the timing will again have a Bonfire night social on the Saturday with food and fireworks!

This event is also open to youth sailors from further afield so please do share the date with your friends from around the country in these classes and look out on Facebook and Twitter @RYANorthEast for further details – entry is due to open soon!

Entries meanwhile are already coming in for the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships at Derwent Reservoir SC at the end of September. The 2018 inaugural event saw the North second only in numbers participating to the South at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, so please highlight the details for this year with junior sailors and their parents as it would be great to see our region again showing off its outstanding junior sailing!

There will again be Championship, Regatta and OnBoard fleets and all the details can be found here. The event is a key indicator for those seeking RYA Zone Squad selection and for any aspiring junior sailors or windsurfers who would like to apply for a John Merricks Sailing Trust boat or board to support their development.

RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census - we’re leading the way!

A big thank you to all the clubs across the region who have now completed the RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census. Half of our 62 clubs across Yorkshire and the North East have submitted their data - putting us ahead of all other RYA regions in England - and it would be great to see even more census returns completed ahead of the deadline on 15 August.

This annual census provides invaluable information. It enables the RYA to tailor its support effectively, while participating clubs receive their own bespoke report, highlighting trends in membership which can help when it comes to planning for the year ahead and for a sustainable and vibrant club for the future.

Looking at trends nationally derived from the data submitted each year, it is interesting to note that the RYA North East region is the only one to have achieved year on year growth in club membership since 2016 at a time when all other English regions are seeing a dip in participation. And latest figures show that of the 31 clubs which have so far submitted their data for this year, the region is up more than 200 members!

It’s a great indication of the huge efforts which clubs put into high-footfall events like Push the Boat Out and Try Sailing open days - and of the hard work by committees and club members in ensuring that people new to the sport have a pathway from taster sessions to training to ongoing engagement in sailing and racing. We have much to be proud of in the region and it is fantastic to see this reflected in the census figures.

Please check if your club has submitted its return for this year. I would urge all those yet to do so to please take part! The census can be accessed – along with details of which clubs have already completed it – here. 

Instructors are flying high!

Our First Flight taster sessions for instructors at Filey SC have proved a great success, as summed up in this video - you don’t have to be the best sailor in the world to get flying and all those who participated were clearly inspired by their day and would encourage other instructors to have a go too. Next up is a two day Sustained Foiling Flight course at Filey over the weekend of 20-21 September.

As ever there are a variety of courses for instructors including an RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor Course over the weekends of 21-22 & 28-29 September at Tees & Hartlepool YC and an RYA Advanced Powerboat Instructor Course running 15-16 November at  Royal Quays Marina, Albert Edward Dock, North Shields.

Remember, if your club is short of Senior Instructors, we can put in some targeted coaching support to help your Dinghy Instructors gain the necessary skills or confidence to go for this more advanced qualification. Please do get in touch if you feel that your club would benefit from this.

Cruising Conference - save the date!

For all cruising and big boat sailors a date you will definitely want to save is for the RYA North East Cruising Conference, which I can now confirm will be at Leeds Trinity University on Friday 8 February. We’ll have an exciting programme of keynote speakers and two rounds of specialist workshops for delegates to choose from covering all aspects of cruising. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks – watch this space!

Women on the water

It was great to see Scarborough YC in the news with its annual Lady Helm Race and coincidentally World Sailing is currently conducting a strategic review of women in sailing, including a global survey looking at trends and gender diversity.

Here at RYA North East we are always looking at ways to support female participation in the sport but there is still work to be done and it remains a key focus for the regional team to get more women on the water. If your club has any ideas or projects it would like to pursue to encourage more women onto the water, then please do get in touch as we would love to hear about it and may also be able to help.

Yorkshire Dales SC gets OnBoard!

Finally, congratulations to Yorkshire Dales SC on becoming part of the RYA OnBoard programme. The club has much to celebrate with its commitment to developing junior and youth sailing and its recent accreditation as an RYA OnBoard centre is well deserved.

Follow @RYANorthEast on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news!

Happy sailing, Sam.