July 2021



Hi everyone,


It has been excellent to see clubs in the South region continue to return to activities in a safe and comfortable way for everyone. If your club is perhaps apprehensive about the implications of the easing of social distance restrictions on 19th July, then please do get in contact with me for help and advice. As ever, the RYA Covid-19 Hub, which can be found here, includes all the latest RYA Information and advice.



Thank all to the clubs in the South region, and around the country, who took part in World Sailing’s recent SteeringTheCourse festival. This 10-day event helped raise the profile of women in boating and it was pleasing to see the breadth and range of the different areas which women and young girls are involved in.


RYA Membership Census

Thank you to all the clubs who have already returned their RYA Club Membership Census. Like last year, we are asking clubs to submit responses as close as possible to the date they did it last year. The deadline is Sunday 15th August 2021.


You may ask how does my club benefit from taking part? Well, firstly it helps provides vital data to help the RYA monitor the health of our clubs, tailor programmes of support and shape bids for future funding. And secondly, we will provide you with a bespoke report which will include really useful information to help you and your committee members make informed decisions. For example, this data could help you put a funding application together.


If you can’t find your email then please contact me and I will re-send it to you.


John Merricks Sailing Trust Scheme now open

The RYA OnBoard and John Merricks Sailing Trust Scheme is now open. This fantastic initiative helps promising youngsters who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals in our sport. You may have seen our recent Facebook post which shows the progress of our most recent recipient, ten-year-old Raffy Seldon, and how his JMST Topper is making a real difference to his sailing achievements.


The scheme, as in previous years, will reward one deserving young person, from each of the nine RYA regions and Home Counties, with the exclusive use of their own boat or board for two years after which it is given to the sailor’s original venue so other youngsters can continue to benefit.


This year there is a change to the nomination process. Clubs and venues will need to submit nominations on behalf of deserving young people they know will benefit - rather than parents and carers. So it really is important that Clubs become involved in the nomination process. More info can be found here.


Youth Awards now open

Nominations are now open for the RYA Musto Youth Awards. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to reward young people who are making an impact in boating. I hope you will take the time to complete a nomination (clubs and individuals can nominate) and help celebrate the achievements of young people in our sport whether this be performance, volunteering, instructing, coaching or overcoming adversity.


Those nominated must be under 19 years of age on 31 August 2021 (or under 19 on 31st December in exceptional circumstances), and each of the ten winners will receive £150 to spend at Musto and will also be invited to take part in a once in a lifetime sailing experience with the British Sailing Team. A fantastic prize! Nominations close on 1st November, submit yours here.

RYA Volunteer Awards open

The RYA Volunteer awards are open and will close on 1 April 2022. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognised? Find out more here.


Takes advantage of this Olympic year

In an Olympic year there is always an increase in the interest in Olympic sports and hopefully this year will be no different. Combine this with the increase of staycations and families looking to take part in activities closer to home, therefore there is a real opportunity for clubs to take advantage of this by putting on a Discover Sailing event.


As restrictions have eased it has become a lot easier for clubs to put on a Discover Sailing session. I believe that these – be it an open day or a taster session - will help attract these newcomers to our sport over the summer period through to autumn. There are lots of resources available through the initiative here alternately if you have any questions please do get in touch.


New RYA Dinghy Trails in the South region

Following the launch of the national RYA Dinghy Trails at the Dinghy Show, I am now pleased to report that two new trails have been launched in the South region – Itchenor to East Head and Lymington to Newtown Creek. You can find the trails here. Perhaps you can display these in your club and send out to your membership.


Foiling Future Project

The Foiling Future project is an exciting new initiative designed to bring young people from different sailing disciplines together to develop their kite skills and get more people foil racing. The project will be offered to selected sailors and delivered in partnership with BKSA kite schools this summer and autumn. More information will be available soon on how sailors can apply direct to this new foiling opportunity.


Training Opportunities

Dinghy instructors can freshen up their on-water and theory skills at an OnBoard Instructor CPD Day on Saturday 28th August at Spinnaker Sailing Club. It costs £25 and book here.

The next OnBoard Instructor CPD Day on Guernsey takes place on Friday 13 August at The Guernsey Sailing Trust. Book here.

Both OnBoard training days are beneficial to all Instructors as numerous areas of the OnBoard programme are transferable to all youth training. 

Please note that the planned ITD (adapted craft) on the 24th July at Oxford Sailability has been postponed and will be run later in the year. Please contact Leon Ward If you would like more information about this training.


Save the dates

Dates for your club calendar:


  • The RYA 2021 South and SW Regional Junior Windsurfing Championships will take place on 18-19 September, whilst the 2021 Dinghy Regional Junior Championships takes place a week later on 25-26 September. Both will take place at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and will feature our very popular RYA OnBoard Fun Fleets. Bookings open on 1st August.


  • The national RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference takes place the evening 8th November 2021. This will be an online event.


  • The RYA South 2021 Affiliated Clubs Conference will take place on Saturday 13th November. We are currently looking at getting together in person with additional virtual support.


  • The combined RYA Raymarine Yachmaster Scheme Instructor Conference and the RYA Training Conference, supported by Gallagher, takes place on 5th- 6th February 2022. This will be one hybrid event with both live 'in person' and virtual elements for 2022. More information here.


Please also note, that entries for the RYA Youth Nationals Championships 2021, which take place on 8th – 15th August, close in just a few days time. Plymouth Youth Sailing Club will hold the event from its base at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre on the shores of Plymouth Sound. More info here.


Planning for 2022

I know that we are all busy with the summer season but now really is the time to start planning ahead for next year. I would like to encourage all clubs to look at their training support and identify any areas which need to be developed. Please do get in contact with me to discuss your requirements, which will also help me to identify where clubs need support as we go forward from 2021.


Help and support

Please remember, the RYA South team are here to help and support you. As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact me if your club has any concerns, questions or would like advice. You can email me here and the other regional contacts can also be found here.


The Regional Volunteer South Committee are also an excellent source of advice for clubs and centres in our region. The South Regional Chairperson is Mike Samuelson, and his new email address is chair.so@rya.org.uk


Share your experiences

We are always on the look-out for positive boating stories for the RYA website and for use with local media. Our South Regional Communicator is Helen Skelton-Smith and the South region Facebook  @RYASouthRegion when sharing details of your activities on Facebook social media so that we can also help promote your club on Twitter and Facebook.


Please share

Please share this Club Room - and encourage people to sign themselves up here. This is our main communication for club related information so be the first to hear.