September 2019 RDO Blog


Dear All,

With a fantastic Summer of sailing behind us, it’s time to start planning ahead for next year and one of the key events which will help you to do this is the RYA Affiliated Club Conference which is taking place on 23 November at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk. Please do ensure that your Club has this date in the diary, as it will be a full day of useful workshops for Club volunteers, with more information below. 

Club Census

Thank you to all the clubs that submitted returns to the RYA Club Membership Census this year – it really helps us to gauge an understanding of the current state of boating in the East Region, and the results will be fed back at the Affiliated Club Conference later in the year.

RYA Affiliated Club Conference

The Affiliated Club Conference will take place on Saturday 23 November at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk. This year’s theme is ‘Putting people first’ and means understanding what your members, volunteers and new sailors need, and putting that at the forefront of your decision making. Whether you want to grow your membership, increase your volunteer base, develop your instructors and race coaches or simply get better at retaining members of all ages, interests and abilities, you will leave with the ideas and information you need to make it happen. There will be opportunities to share ideas, be inspired and get expert insight on how ‘Putting people first’ can boost your membership, with our keynote speaker being RYA CEO Sarah Treseder OBE.

The workshops at the Conference will cater for all, covering matters from adapting volunteer practices to essential information on employment law, increasing female activity, environmental matters, developing racing opportunities, and ideas to grow your membership. We are encouraging all clubs to send up to four delegates free of charge to the Conference, which not only provides opportunities to learn from initiatives that have worked successfully in other clubs, as well as ideas for the future, but it provides the chance to network with other clubs and volunteers from across the region. The event is free and includes all refreshments and lunch. 

More information and how to book will be posted in the Courses, Events & Conferences section of the RYA East website very soon, so keep a look out there for further details.

RYA & Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year Applications Open

Applications are currently open for the Club of the Year Competition. With Blackwater Sailing Club having been a finalist in 2019, it would be fantastic to see more East Region clubs applying this year, especially with so much good work going on. 

This year it’s easier than ever to apply and there will be a finalist in each Region, so if your Club has done something which fulfils one of the five criteria (below) we’d be keen to hear from you.

  • Innovative and forward thinking
  • Inclusive and open to all
  • Fantastic facilities
  • Boosting membership or
  • Embracing modern communications

The deadline for applications is 20 September, and more information can be found here.

RS Fevas sailing towards camera

Racing Success and the British Youth Sailing Junior Championships

It’s been great to see sailors hailing from the East Region reaching success at International events – for example, Giles Scott (from Huntingdon) claimed bronze in the Olympic Test Event dubbed “Ready Steady Tokyo”, whilst Ben Saxton (originally from Cambridgeshire), along with crew Nikki Boniface, collected silver sailing in the Nacra 17 class as part of the Hempel World Cup Series in Japan, just days after a bronze medal on the same waters in the Olympic Test Event. If these recent successes have inspired your Club’s young sailors to get out on the water, do encourage them to take part in the British Youth Sailing Regional Championships which take place at the end of the month, on 28/29 September at the Burnham Clubs, Essex. The event is a festival for all junior sailors to get out on the water, along with being a key indicator for those looking to RYA Zone Squad selection, and also for any young sailors who would like to apply for a John Merricks Sailing Trust boat or board to support their development. With racing in Toppers, Optimists, Cadets, RS Feva XLs, and RS Teras (Sport Rig) across the Championship, Coached Regatta and OnBoard Fun Fleets, there is something for everyone, at all levels of sailing.

You can find out more information and book here.

Cruising Conference

  • Save the date: 24 November, more information to follow!

That’s all for now – enjoy the rest of the season, and I look forward to catching up with you all soon!