December 2020


What a different year it has been for us all and wow what a quick one too!

As Scotland and the UK look forward to some sort of festive season, and the various guidance that sit around this, it is worth reflecting on what we have managed to achieve over 2020.

The year started pretty normally with Regional Gatherings at Royal Tay Yacht Club & Loch Insh Outdoor Centre where we had a number of great discussions about how our sport can impact on individuals, change their lives and help develop local communities. Our Annual Awards and Volunteer Day took place at the Falkirk Wheel with a great evening of celebration. At the end of February, with Covid-19 creeping ever closer the RYA Dinghy Show was held for the last time at Alexandra Palace, London where Prestwick Sailing Club were recognised as finalists of the RYA Club of the Competition. From March onwards life completely changed starting with a national lockdown and in late April the concept of guidance emerged around what we could/couldn't do as lockdowns began to ease and also from May around how we could potentially get out on the water.

The rest of 2020 has sped by in a variety of online Connect Meetings, Guidance Updates, Zoom discussions and lots of working from our homes. The Affiliated Club Conference and associated webinars is definitely one highlights of our year so far along with our Podcast. Overall, the amount of content delivered online via social media, webinars, videos etc. has been colossal and we hope you have found the majority of it very useful! Some clubs and centres have managed to get out on the water, as have our Class Academies, albeit in a different way from before, and some have not been able to operate at all. Here's hoping that for 2021 we are all able to get more and enjoy our sport with friends, family and other club members and participants!

So, what is useful information at the moment:

In terms of guidance, the Scottish Government Protection System is regularly reviewed and we at RYA Scotland, along with sportscotland, work to ensure that our Guidance for Boating is up-to-date. Recent changes at the beginning of December looked at Travel within the various levels and the running of indoor training for Training Centres.

As this month's blog is written, there are a number of Local Authorities in Level 3 which limits 'contact activity' for Adults although contact and non-contact activity is allowed for all Under 18s. It also limits, by law, the travel for adults into another Local Authority area for organised activity. As always, if there are any updates/changes then we will let you know, however, we do feel that the current Levels shall be around for some time to come. Please note that to our knowledge, the changes in travel restrictions for the festive period have no effect on sport/physical activity and if you do go to another area to meet with friends and/or family you are then you are bound by the restrictions in place for that level.

What's coming up?

There are a number of online conferences and opportunities available in the early part of 2021,  traditionally our conference season time. Two to draw your attention to at the moment are:

Instructor Training Day - 13th March 2021

This online training day will be run with our colleagues in Training and Sports Development across the UK. There will be a variety of updates and the plan is to have a mixture of virtual sessions on 13th and then follow it up with a variety of small regional practical events for our instructor workforce. More information will follow early in the new year.

Race Officials Conference, starting 11th January 2021

This year's Race Officials Conference will be operating slightly differently and is going to run over a number of evenings starting on 11th January. For only £20 you will be able to access a number of main sessions as well as break out sessions and the opportunities to attend concurrent sessions on the following evenings. All sessions will be recorded and available to delegates afterwards. For more information and to book a space please see here.

Club of the Year 2021

The RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year competition once again attracted a high number of applicants, and we are delighted that Prestwick Sailing Club have been selected as one of the 10 finalists by the panel. You can find out more information and how to cast your vote here . Good luck Prestwick!

Welfare Officers Online Meeting - Thursday 28th January 2021

We are looking to hold a Welfare Officers Meeting for all those who do this role at clubs and centres in Scotland on the evening of Thursday 28th January 2021. It will be an opportunity for you to meet the safeguarding team from across the UK. An official email invite will be sent from RYA early in January 2021 to all those who are registered on our system as undertaking this role. If you don't receive anything or would like to register that you undertake this role for a club/centre in Scotland then please contact either Liza Linton or the RYA Safeguarding team.

eSailing Winter Club Champs

Once again, and following Scottish success in the Spring Club Championships, the RYA are looking to host a Winter Club Championship. As with the Spring Championships, we are looking for clubs to host their own championships before 1st February 2020, before the club champion processes to the Scottish Regional Finals in February. The National RYA eSailing Winter Club Championships Final will then be held (and streamed live) during the virtual RYA Dinghy Show on 27-28th Feb 2021.

This is a great opportunity for clubs to keep their sailors engaged through the winter. To find out more information on the Championships please see here, once again registration is free and club's need to register using this form before 4th January 2021.

May we take this opportunity, on behalf of RYA Scotland, to wish you an enjoyable festive season over Christmas and New Year! Here's to a better 2021 for us all and hopefully to more time on the water.

Take care and stay safe!

The Development Team, aka Robin, Jack & Liza