Susies Scoop Blog October 2021

Here is this month’s update from Susie Moore, RYA South Regional Development Officer

Hi everyone, 

Let me kick off this month’s blog with a big thank you to everyone involved in last month’s BYS Regional Junior Championships, when 300 youngsters took part in the dinghy weekend, along with 50 at the windsurfing event. All the hard work in the run up to and during the events was well worth it when we receive such positive feedback from parents on how much the youngsters enjoyed themselves. 

Sailing at a new venue can be daunting – for youngsters and parents alike! – and it was particularly pleasing that so many youngsters took part in the OnBoard activities, whom for many it was their first experience of sailing away from their home club. We had lots of fun and the children hopefully formed some new friendships too. Please remember, that not having a boat is not a barrier to taking part in the OnBoard Fleet. We can provide kit and boats. 

Hopefully you saw the fantastic photos which we shared on the RYA South Facebook page and you can read the full dinghy report here and the windsurfing weekend report here. Next year the event will take place before the summer holidays on 18th – 19th June. 

RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show

The RYA Dinghy Show is becoming the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show presented by Suzuki Marine UK. The show is also moving to a new location, which also happens to be in our region, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre. Taking place over the weekend of 26-27 February 2022, it will showcase a range of watersports along with the traditional and much-loved dinghy sailing exhibitors, talks and features. It will be a fantastic weekend – see you there! Read more here.

Affiliated Club Conferences – 1 month to go! 

As mentioned last month, the hybrid RYA Affiliated Club Conference takes place next month and booking is now live.   

Double Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster Shirley Robertson will be returning to host the national online evening session, which will also feature keynote speakers and interviews. This takes place on Monday 8th November at 7:30pm. 

This will be followed by our South face-to-face event, which takes place a week later on Saturday 13th November. I know that many clubs have lots of new members and with a fair amount of renewals taking place in the new year (around 90 per cent of clubs have their renewals in January, February and March) and are looking at ways of maintaining this membership. With this in mind, there will be an Attracting and retaining members workshop which will look at some depth into retaining memberships. 

There will also be lots of additional time to reconnect and network with other clubs with longer than normal breaks. If you are concerned about being indoors then please do get in contact with me and I can discuss with you measures we have put in place to make everyone feel comfortable including the use of proximity colour coding. 

With easy access by road, train and for clubs on the Isle of Wight, the face-to-face event will take place at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Remember it is FREE to attend, and will include a hot lunch and refreshments. Registration is flexible and you can book either or both visit here

CPD, and Instructor and Race Coach Training Day

The Instructor and Race Coach Training Day will take place next year on 19 March 2022 at Thorney Island. With a name change reflecting how this day is now open to Race coaches as well, the day aims to refresh skills and reconnect with other instructors and race coaches. I am busy setting the agenda and if you have any suggestions then please do email them to me. Booking will open soon. 

If anyone at your club is looking to improve safety boat and powerboat boat handling skills then come along to one of four courses taking place in November, at just £25 each. The day will be shaped to participants’ needs and requirements, and is open to powerboat instructors, other RYA instructors who use powerboats for instruction such as dinghy instructors as well as safety boat drivers from affiliated clubs. The day is also open to those operating with Sailability sites and groups and will include the use of Hansa dinghies. So, if your club wants to improve powerboat driving skills, learn better positioning whilst operating as a safety boat, or how to recover a range of vessels, this day is not to missed. 

We want to help build confidence and support getting back out on the water, so we have designed our upcoming CPD, including refresher instructor dinghy skills, with this in mind. For existing Dinghy Instructors wishing to refresh skills in single and double handers, there are four one-day Dinghy Instructor Refresher courses, at a cost of £25 each, throughout November to choose from. 

A Race Course Level 2 course will take place at Royal Lymington Yacht Club on 11th & 12th December, costing £125. If you are interested in this course you can send me an expression via this interest form.

If your club wants to support volunteer development, and would like to run powerboat or dinghy instructor courses then please do let me know as we can link your club up to trainers. Indeed, if there are any other needs, for example keelboat endorsements or advanced race instructor endorsements, then please let me know. 

All our upcoming regional courses can be found in the South region hub here. If you cannot find a suitable course please complete this expression of interest form and let me know how I can help you. 

This form can be completed by individuals or if there is enough people at a club interested in attending a course, I can link your club in with a trainer to run it. 
I am currently finalising the program of CDP sessions and Instructor and Race Coach courses which will last until October 2022. These will be launched at the South region conference. 

John Merricks Sailing Trust to wind up after 25 years

The Trustees of the John Merricks Sailing Trust have announced their intention to dissolve the charity and the Trust’s residual funds (approx. £200k) will be gifted to one or more organisations that can provide a lasting legacy that will continue the Trust’s object to help young people under the age of 25 to achieve their potential through sailing.

The Trustees are inviting applications from sailing organisations that might accept a financial award and provide a legacy in John’s name that will last for at least 10 years. Preference will be given to dinghy or windsurfing initiatives, however, all proposals that fit the objectives of the charity will be considered. For details of how to apply please see the JMST website here 

PY Returns

Can I please remind clubs to submit their Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) returns – it is important that we get as many returns as possible in order to generate the most accurate number for 2022 - the more data we receive the more accurate the number will be. Club handicap or results officers can submit results to PY Online. If you encounter any problems please contact

Keeping members inspired over the winter 

With the colder months looming ever nearer, now is a good time to start planning for how to keep your club members active and engaged over the depths of winter. Here is a range of ideas for your club to consider in this article here.

Can you help?

Do you have a background in town planning / planning applications? We are looking for someone to consult with our affiliated stakeholders regarding planning applications which may affect their operations. This is a volunteer role which will help assist affected stakeholders in the consultation process and will work directly with Richard Hill, the RYA Planning and Environment Officer.  For more information please email Richard - 

The South Region Committee is looking for a new Secretary and a Deputy Chair. More details about the Secretary role can be found here. Please contact the South Regional Chairperson, Mike Samuelson for more information.  

Save the Date

• RYA South Region AGM - Saturday 30th October 2021, 11am at RYA House, Hamble. Please email Regional Chair Mike Samuelson for more info. 


• RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show, 26-27 February 2022, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre

• Instructor and Race Coach Training Day – 19 March, Thorney Island. 

• RYA Youth Nationals, Plas Heli, North Wales, 9th - 15th April

• RYA Eric Twiname Junior Championships, 30th April - 2nd May, Rutland SC

• BYS South & South West Regional Junior Championships, 18th – 19th June 2022, WPNSA

• RYA Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships, 8th - 9th October, Oxford SC, Farmoor


• British Youth Sailing South & South West Regional Junior Championships, 17th - 18th June, WPNSA

Help and support 

Please remember that 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 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 can be contacted on: 

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Until next time,