September 2021

Latest news from your Regional Development Officer

After a pretty good summer, all things considered, we’re looking forward to conferences and training in this issue. 

Save the dates for the Affiliated Clubs Conferences

The RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference (ACC) will this year involve both online and face-to-face events, covid restrictions allowing, so please save the dates. Booking is now open! 

The online conference will take place on the evening of Monday 08 November, hosted by Shirley Robertson and including interviews TED-style talks exploring the theme of Planning for a Successful Future.

We’d also love you to join us at the South-West face-to-face ACC on 20 November at South Devon College, Paignton, where we will be delivering four core club development workshops:

  • Recruiting and motivating volunteers
  • Developing and modernising your facility
  • Attracting and retaining members
  • Overcoming governance and legal challenges

We are planning a series of follow-on webinars from these core workshops in which we will explore specific topics in more detail – more on that later in the year. 

Maintaining comms with members over winter

We have received your census returns – thanks for taking the time to complete them. One thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of clubs have lots of new members, so now is the time to think about member satisfaction and communications, and not let them go during the winter. In lockdown a lot of you actually increased your communications – it’s worth remembering and learning from that and adding value for your new members, who may not know about winter sailing, powerboat training, quiz nights, talks etc. This is your chance to show that your club is more than just a staycation option – see how much you can extend your summer season into the winter. If you need a bit of ‘revision’, take another look at the Club Development video I made at the beginning of this year with Lisa from RYA Northern Ireland about satisfaction, engagement and communication.


There are now lots of opportunities to train or develop your skills as an instructor or race coach throughout the south-west region, including Senior Instructor CPD, instructor revalidation and much more.

We’re also currently planning our Spring 2022 CPD, so if your club would like to host a course (and there are benefits for clubs doing this!), please contact me.

Sailability Keelboat League

Last week there were two days of racing at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with the Sailability Keelboat League. I was there, with Disability Development Officer Leon Ward so read all about it. 

Southampton Boat Show 

I’ve been at the Southampton Boat Show this week, and it was great to see representatives from clubs and centres from the south-west there. 

RDO Rob Howlett 

07876 330374