I hope everyone had an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend and your club was busy with lots of people enjoying social activities on land or out on the water. I know that many clubs put on successful Easter Funday activities for members, a perfect way to help kick start the new season.
Attracting lapsed or new members
If your club is looking to re-engage any lapsed members have you thought about putting on an event for these existing sailors? Perhaps they do not realise the full extent of your club’s activities now that Covid restrictions have relaxed.
Or if you are looking to attract new members who haven’t tried sailing before, an open event which involves taster sessions and a friendly tour of the club can be very effective.
Now is the perfect time to be planning and promoting these events and we can help you with this through the free resources available through the RYA ReDiscover and Discover Sailing campaign - being part of this nationwide initiative is a good way to help publicise what you have to offer. There are lots of free downloadable resources, plus there is an £80 contribution towards your own bespoke materials available for each affiliated club and centre from the RYA. The next print run date for materials is 7th April. Find out more here.
The RYA has been awarded £195,000 of The National Lottery Funding from the Sport England Together Fund, a continuation of the Tackling Inequalities Fund supporting the physical activity sector during the pandemic. Non-profit organisations including RYA Sailability and RYA OnBoard venues can apply for small grants for projects which connect sailing with local communities here.
Youth sailing achievements
There is lots of activity and recognition for our youth sailors at the moment. With over 50 sailors from 13 clubs it was great to see so many competing in this month’s Youth Nationals. With sailors finishing on the podium from Royal Lymington YC, Emsworth SC, Brading Haven YC and Hayling Island SC, including five class winners – a fantastic achievement.
Three young sailors from the Isle of Wight have also been recognised in this month’s Isle of Wight Sports Foundation Achievements Awards. BHYC Cadets Arthur Farley won the Intermediate Boys category and Ruby Sunderland won the overall prize in the Junior Girls category. Whilst Natasha Lambert won the Esplanade Senior Disability Award, for her magnificent achievement of crossing the Atlantic in her boat using 'sip and puff' technology.
Supporting young sailors to race
The South region certainly have a lot of young people prepared to put in the training and hard work. However, their success would not be possible along with the support from parents and clubs alike. If your club would like to help youngsters succeed in racing, then don’t forget that we have Race Coach Level 2 courses taking place over the next few weeks for race coaches looking to help others to learn racing skills. Check out the web page for all the courses here.
If there are volunteers at your club who are interested in becoming a race coach but unsure if it for them, then we also offer a ‘try before then buy’ coaching taster programme called ‘Discover Coaching and Instructing’ If your club in interested in attending or setting up a Discover Coaching and Instructing event, then please do get in contact with the Coaching team here about this half day programme.
For all your instructors interested in learning some dinghy skills for free, it’s not too late to sign up to an upcoming OnBoard Dinghy Instructor Skills Day taking place at SWAC THIS WEEKEND - Sunday 24 April. Sign up here.
Regional Junior Championships
I’m excited to once again be running the OnBoard activities at the Regional Junior Championships at WPNSA on 18th – 19th June. The OnBoard fleet will be running on both days. If there are young sailors who require additional support then please do email Leon Ward, the South’s Regional Disability Officer here, if he can be of any assistance. We want this event to be open to all youngsters no matter their ability. Bookings will go live soon so do keep on eye out on social media.
Steering The Course
I am heavily involved in running next month’s Steering The Course festival and keen for clubs across the country, as well as obviously here in the South, to get involved. All the info is in this article here And join up in the social media take over here
Online Club development forums
The final remaining Club Facilities forum will take place next month. Planning, Permissions and Consent on 4th May and Procurement and Build on 17th May. Book or watch all the previous forums here.
South Affiliated Clubs Conference
The South Affiliated Clubs Conference will take place on Saturday 12th November, once again at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. You can tell us what contact you’d like to be included by emailing here or via this short form here.
RYA Volunteer of the Year Awards 2022
In case you missed it, the deadline to submit nominations for the RYA Volunteer of the Year Awards has been extended until Monday 2 May. Nominate here.
John Merricks Sailing Trust
A reminder that applications for the fund are now open. Nominate a deserving young person from your club here.
Although opportunities to get back out on the water are now increasing with the warmer weather, virtual sailing remains very popular all year round. The National Championship (which runs alongside the World championship) is already open and will close on 31st July, with the top thirty ranking British eSailors qualifying for the semi-finals, with the Live Final on 8 September when the GBR eSailing National Champion will be crowned.
The top 10 ranked players from the GBR Championship will also automatically qualify for the eSailing World Championship Finals Playoff. One of the South’s most successful eSailors, Mike O’Donovan, will now be representing his hometown club in Scotland. However some of the best eSailors from the world are members of South clubs, including Arthur Farley from Brading Haven YC, who is frequently ranked #1 in the world.
Whilst there’s a slightly new format for the Nations Cup. The British team will compete in a group stage over the summer then in October there will be a knockout to get to the final. The Nations Cup team will be based on World Sailing’s selection criteria. More info here.
I will soon be recruiting for a new part-time Sailing Development Officer to join the South team. Further details on this wide-ranging role will be available in the jobs vacancies page on the RYA website and promoted on social media soon.
Until next time,
Take care, Susie