Hello to allof you! I’m Rob Howlett, and I’m taking on the Regional Development Officerrole from Tony Wood, who has done an amazing job here in the south west for somany years. I wish him all possible good luck in his future career. My officialstart date with the RYA is 27 August and am very excited at the challengeahead.
I have beenworking in the outdoor activities industry since I was 16, originally rentingPWCs on Sandbanks beach in Poole during the school holidays. I started afull-time career as a watersports instructor at the age of 18 - as a keelboatinstructor working on a 39ft schooner out of Portland Harbour, and a kayaklevel 2 coach. Since then, I have worked in a range of community and commercialcentres, most recently running the Hengistbury Head Outdoor Education Centre, andhave visited many clubs in the region during my time racing.
24 years on,I still enjoy sailing in many forms, from plodding across Poole harbour with mychildren for a picnic, to weekly keelboat racing and occasional outings tocircuit races in my dinghy. I race a 19ft R19 keelboat on a weekly basis – it’sa competitive one-design fleet within Poole Harbour. As a dinghy sailor I havetaken part in National and European championships in my ISO, and in 2012 I wonthe European championships at Lake Marjorie. I am also a keen surfer and sea kayaker.
I have livedon the south coast all my life. I ampassionate about the south west, a beautiful region in which to go boating, andknow that each club and centre within it has something unique to offer. I amlooking forward to meeting all of the people who make boating happen here,working with each of you to support your goals and ambitions for your organisation,helping you to get more from your sport and to introduce more people to it.
There is,without doubt, a shortage of instructors in the region for both clubs andcommercial centres and I aim to improve this situation. I also see boatingdismissed by so many people as an expensive sport, when in fact there areplenty of ways to get on the water at low cost - I want to increase these fantasticboating opportunities and also highlight them to encourage newcomers to a sportthey may otherwise have disregarded.
I’m verymuch looking forward to getting in touch with all of you over the comingmonths, but if you need to talk to me before I get round to you, my contactdetails are shown below.
Membership census – help influence ourdevelopment plans
You will by now have received your RYA AffiliatedClubs Membership Census. The information, insights and feedback we obtain throughthis annual data-collection exercise are crucial to the development plans wemake in the region, so please makesure you fill it in and get it back to HQ as soon as you can.
Junior racing news from Duncan West
As weannounced last month, the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championshipswill be at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy again this year, on28 and 29 September. If you want to introduce your OnBoard sailors to racing,this festival of junior sailing and windsurfing is an amazing opportunity forthem – there will be a Fun OnBoard Fleet as well as the Championship Fleet and CoachedRegatta Fleet.
Youngsterswho are learning to sail in club boats and squad sailors in Recognised JuniorClass are all welcome – don’t forget that entries close on 22 September.
Until 27 August, you can contactGareth Brookes