We have fantastic clubs in the North East and it's time to enter the RYA / Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards! The awards are open to all sailing and yacht clubs – including those who’ve entered in previous years – and there will be a winner for each of the RYA’s 10 regions and home countries plus two wild cards.

Five of the 12 will also be recognised for outstanding achievement under the following headings: Boosting Membership, Innovative and Forward Thinking, Inclusive and Open to All, Fantastic Facilities, and Embracing Modern Communications.

Our very own Otley Sailing Club in West Yorkshire was not only a regional finalist in 2019, but also won the Inclusive and Open to All category for its work to embrace all ages and abilities at the club - from running OnBoard sessions to its pioneering SailFree programme for those with disabilities.

The awards will be presented at the RYA Dinghy Show, 29 February-1 March 2020, and with all the finalists going to a public vote in the run up,  it’s a great way to get your club in the spotlight and earn recognition for the work of its members and volunteers.

I can think of lots of outstanding clubs and examples of good practice in the region so please don’t be shy at coming forwards, find out more and get an entry in for your club here - nominations close on 20 September so get thinking about what makes your club special!

Calling all junior sailors…

The BYS Regional Junior Championships for the North are coming up very soon! Junior sailors ranging from rookies to experienced racers are invited to Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club for the event over the last weekend in September, with Championship and Regatta fleets for Optimist, Topper, RS Tera and RS Feva XL sailors. There’ll also be an OnBoard Fun fleet with dinghies provided.

We’ve put together a handy guide with everything you need to know about the North event, while windsurfers from the region are invited to enter the Midlands event.    

Remember, the championships are 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.

And this year, in addition to the prizes for sailors, there will be trophies for clubs to win! There will be an RYA Regional Junior Championships Club Trophy for both the North East and North West Region donated by the respective Regional Committees, awarded to the club with the most entries, and a  BYS Regional Junior Championship Club Development Trophy for the club with the largest increase in entry numbers from 2018.

Check out last year's footage below and sign up here before the deadline for entries on Sunday 22 September 2019 - it's going to be awesome! 


Entry is open for the Big One!

Entry is also now open for The Big One - aka the RYA North East Youth Championships - which takes place at 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 for sailors aged 14 to 22 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 – find out more and enter here.

Get flying at Filey!

Following on from the success of our inaugural RYA First Flight course at Filey SC – as highlighted in our round up here, we’ve decided to open up the forthcoming two-day Sustained Foiling Flight course over the weekend of 20-21 September at the club to any other RYA Dinghy Instructors in the region who’d like to give foiling a go! No previous experience is required and the equipment is provided, so all you need is your own sailing kit and an enthusiasm to find out more about this emerging part of our sport. It’s coming up very soon so sign up to book and ensure you don’t miss out. As one participant in summed up after the first course, it’s “safe, fun, enjoyable and a great picture for the album!”

Also coming up is an RYA Advanced Powerboat Instructor Course running 15-16 November at  Royal Quays Marina, Albert Edward Dock, North Shields. This is a two-day endorsement to the RYA Powerboat Instructor qualification to allow a Powerboat Instructor to teach the Intermediate and Advanced courses and undertake own boat training outside a school’s operating area.

Affiliated Clubs Conference

Booking will open soon for our annual Affiliated Clubs Conference so save the date! This year’s takes place on 30 November at Leeds Trinity University and the theme will be all about people - from volunteers and training to rewarding and retaining those who make your clubs incredible places.

A whole variety of topics will include supporting safety teams, making club management easier, developing young people, adding value with the RYA, alternatives to club volunteers, sources of external and internal funding, engaging non-racers and non-sailing families, opportunities for coaches and instructors, promoting sailing to grow clubs and converting open day visitors into members.

Come along for some great ideas to help your club get planning over winter for 2020!

A new national champion!

Finally, congratulations to Matthew Rayner from Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club on becoming the 2019 RS Tera Sport National Champion! Check out Matthew's report and all the results - Yorkshire Dales was top club at the event and the success of its junior sailors over summer follows on from our youth sailors putting in an equally strong performance on the circuit – including at the 29er nationals in Pwllheli, where Athena Vogiatzi and Maddie Wylie (South Shields/Yorkshire Dales) were first girls!

For all the latest news, follow @RYANorthEast on Facebook and Twitter and remember to keep us up to date with your club news by tagging us in your posts, messaging us or by getting in touch via our contacts page.

Happy sailing, Sam.