Young sailors on the fore shore at Derwent Reservoir SC for the BYS Regional Junior Championships

A big thank you to everyone who took part in or supported the RYA Regional Junior Championships for the North region at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club!

It was a brilliant celebration of all that’s great about junior sailing in the region and with nearly 140 children on the water, it will have been one of the largest in the country following the cancellation due to high winds of the South/SW event at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

A huge well done to all the winners across the fleets – the full results are now available here - and I’m proud to say that taking podium spots across the championship fleets were lots of our North East region sailors: the RS Feva XL fleet was won by Esme Barraclough/Tom Johnson with Beth Miller/Tilda Brayshay second (both Yorkshire Dales); the Optimists were won by Adam Bell (Derwent Reservoir) with Christopher Hampshire (Ripon) third; first overall in the Toppers was Archie Burton (Beaver) with Tom Bates (Ripon) second; and second and third overall in the RS Tera Sport fleet were Rebecca Green (Derwent Reservoir) and Thomas Whitehead (Filey).

The Regatta fleet results also show we have much to look forward to in the region: First and third overall in the Optimists went to Toby Waggett (Teesdale Sailing & Watersports Club) and Julia Smith (West Riding); Ella Brophy and Theo McGonigle (both Ripon) took second and third in the Toppers; and Daniel Whitehead (Filey) and Daniel Smith (Derwent Res) took first and second in the RS Tera Sport. The OnBoard fleet meanwhile had lots of fun!

Well done to all of the winners – including all those recognised for displaying British Youth Sailing Values and Behaviours – and to Derwent Reservoir SC for winning both the Club Trophy for the most entries and the Club Development Trophy for the biggest growth in entries since 2018.

Finally, more thank yous! To all the sailors who took part and their parents for supporting them; to Ullswater YC and OnWater Training based at Hartlepool Marina for the loan of powerboats to support the event; and last but not least, to Derwent Reservoir SC’s incredible members and volunteers for pulling out all the stops to help make our BYS North Regional Junior Championships such a success!

Putting people first - sign up for the Affiliated Clubs Conference!

Affiliated Clubs Conference banner with the slogan 'putting people first'The junior championships at Derwent Reservoir highlighted the importance of people in making our sport enjoyable and memorable for all of us who take part in it.

It underlines how essential it is to ‘put people first’ - the theme of this year’s RYA North East Affiliated Clubs Conference at Leeds Trinity University on Saturday 30 November.

The conference will cover everything from volunteers and training to rewarding and retaining those who make your clubs incredible places, so please do look at the agenda and sign up for your FREE place – it will be packed with expert insights and inspiration to help your club plan for the coming year and boost membership.

A whole variety of workshops will include ideas for: supporting safety teams, making club management easier, developing young people, adding value with the RYA, alternatives to club volunteers, sourcing external and internal funding, non-racers and non-sailing families, coaches and instructors, promoting sailing and converting visitors into members.

Bookings are now open here and we’d love to see at least two people from each club coming along because whether you want to grow your membership, increase your volunteer base or simply get better at engaging members of all ages, interests and abilities, you will leave with the information you need to make it happen.

Membership Census

A massive thank you to all who filled out the 2019 RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census - 93.5% of our clubs across Yorkshire and the North East submitted their data, the second highest return in the country. Initial findings show membership numbers overall dropped slightly in 2018-19 but apart from this dip the overall trend since 2016 is upwards.

In all, a total of 270 members were lost during the last year due to factors such as large family units leaving the region and older members not renewing. It is a reminder that tackling the churn rate in clubs remains a priority – our clubs and their dedicated members and volunteers are clearly doing a great job of demand creation to gain new members but the census shows that it’s essential to continue looking at ways to retain existing members as well.

Those who took part in our Satisfaction Survey will hopefully gain some good insights into what makes their members happy, or not, and into their demographics so that if a club is top heavy on age bracket, this can be addressed. Again I would encourage committee members of all clubs to look at attending the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference, where we’ll be sharing the RYA support available to help and lots of ideas and best practice.

For those who did take part in the RYA Affiliated Club Membership Census, there was a prize draw for clubs returning their data on time and the winner, chosen at random, was Sheffield Viking SC. The club wins £200 to spend on equipment of their choice, whether that’s buoyancy aids or a racing mark or supporting a social activity!

In the North East the census is a barometer of the health of our clubs and with more than four years of data we will now able to look at the trends in more detail and tailor RYA support accordingly. It is very much appreciated that so many of you took part.

Calling all youth sailors!

Youth sailors on the patio at Yorkshire Dales SC at the first RYA Regional Youth Championships two years agoRemember remember the 2-3 November! It’s our RYA North East Youth Championships at Yorkshire Dales SC which will have great racing and thanks to the timing, a bonfire night social too!

This special event - also known as The Big One! - is open to 420, 29er, RS200, Laser and RS Aero youth sailors from across the region and beyond, so please do share the details with your club members and parents, and with class associations and friends from around the country.

Camping is available at the club and all the details, including the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and booking, can be found here.

The feedback from the inaugural event two years ago was overwhelmingly positive with reports of great racing and lots of fun both on and off the water. It’s fantastic to be able to provide a quality youth championship on our doorstep – without our youth sailors having to travel south! – so if this is the kind of event you want to see more of in the region, please get your youth sailors to sign up.

Would you like to be an RYA Dinghy Instructor?

Would you or someone you know like to become an RYA Dinghy Instructor? We have an RYA Dinghy Instructor Course coming up very soon at Scaling Dam SC, 29 October-2 November. It’s open to anyone aged over 16, and the half term timing of it makes ideal for young people wanting to get their DI ticket.

We also have two RYA Powerboat Instructor Development Days to choose from in Scarborough, 16 and 17 November, when you can join our RYA Training Team for the day to perfect your Powerboat Level 2 instructing sessions while gaining top tips and feedback.

Both of these opportunities are coming up very soon so check out the details and sign up if you don’t want to miss out and share the details in case anyone you know might want to develop their skills - and add to the know-how in your club!

Save the dates!

This year’s RYA North East Instructor Training Day takes place on Sunday 15 March and will again have a whole variety of sessions across all aspects of the dinghy, windsurf and powerboat programmes, while at the same time providing great opportunity to share ideas and network.

The RYA North East Cruising Conference is also coming up in 2020 and will take place at Leeds Trinity University on Friday 8 February, with an exciting programme of keynote speakers and specialist workshops.

Further details about both of these events will be available soon. Look out on Facebook and/or Twitter @RYANorthEast for all the latest news!

Happy sailing! Sam.