Robbie's Blog October 2020


Hi everyone,

We all know club activity would not take place if it wasn�t for all of the hard work from scores of volunteers supporting clubs with all manner of tasks. I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers throughout the region that have been working so hard to ensure the health of their organisations, and a special well done to the recipients of the RYA Volunteer Awards, congratulations to:

  • James MacNaughton � National Award (West Mersea Yacht Club, RYA East Region)
  • Leslie Downing � Francis Elkin Award (Woolverstone Project)
  • Paul Johnson � Lifetime Commitment (Rickmansworth Sailing Club)
  • Sally Self � Lifetime Commitment (Norfolk Broads Yacht Club)
  • Sheena Berney � Outstanding Contribution (Blackwater Sailing Club)

#keeponboating Social Media Campaign

As the evenings are really beginning to draw in and the weather has turned, we are well and truly into Autumn, which for many clubs will signify the end of the sailing season. However, it has been encouraging to hear about several clubs who have chosen to extend their season and carry on sailing for the coming weeks. If your club has decided to do this we�d like to hear from you � please get in touch via

Conversations around sailing for longer also fit within our latest social media campaign �#keeponboating�, which is looking at opportunities for staying on the water at this time of year � do keep an eye on the main RYA Social Media Channels (including the RYA Youtube channel), along with RYA East social media, for more information on this.

Dinghies sailing through mist

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference

Whilst talking about opportunities and planning ahead, I�m sure you will have heard that the Affiliated Clubs Conference has made a move to virtual this year. With the theme 'A different world with new opportunities', the main event will be on Saturday 21 November 2020 from 10am-1:30pm, with our host being Double Olympic Gold Medallist and Broadcaster Shirley Robertson, and key note speakers including Ben Ainslie and Chris Grant. I�m really looking forward to this event, and we hope that this year�s conference will be more accessible than ever before and that you will be able to join us. Throughout the weekend there will be an online Expo area with interactive �stands� � Friday 12:00-19:00, Saturday 09:00-17:00 and Sunday 10:00-12:00 � when you can access RYA expertise with our legal, racing and training teams, through bookable 1-1 appointments, live text Q&As, club case studies, regional and Home Country updates, downloadable resources and on-demand video. Alongside this, there will also be Club Development Webinars on a variety of different topics which will start week commencing the 23rd November. You can find out more and book now via this link: BOOK HERE

Club Development Forum

Now that the weather has changed,�over the coming weeks I will be running a Club Development Forum which will focus on engaging members over the winter, and thinking ahead to renewals. The Forum will take place twice on the 28th October, at 3pm and again at 7:30pm; each session will last an hour and will involve plenty of opportunity for discussion between clubs. Please do BOOK HERE

OnBoard Fleet at the Regional Junior Championships

Despite our best laid plans, unfortunately the OnBoard fleet at the Regional Junior Championships was unable to take place given the unfavourable forecast and our commitment to a considerate and conservative approach at this time to minimise risk. All fleets across the championship event were also cancelled due to high winds on both days. Whilst I realise this was disappointing for young sailors, we are looking forward to this event in 2021.

Share your news

We know that clubs are coming up with some great strategies for the coming season, and are always looking for good practice examples to share with other clubs � if you could add both myself and Holly (Regional Communicator) to club newsletters, we�d love to keep in touch that way and this is a good way of being able to pick up regional news stories � my email is and Holly�s is

Please also remember to tag @RYAEastRegion in Facebook posts, and @RYAEast on Twitter or Instagram. Alternatively use #RYAEast to enable us to like and share your posts

Further Support

This is the time of year when I normally start to visit clubs for annual review meetings and to discuss plans for the winter and next year. Clearly these are different times, but I would very much like to extend the offer to meet with your club, albeit likely virtually, to discuss all things club management. It�s a great opportunity for me to hear what you�ve been up to, share ideas and offer support to assist you with achieving your aims for a strong future.

Please do keep in touch and I hope to see you at the Affiliated Clubs Conference, if not before.