June 2021


It’s fantastic to see so many people getting back out on the water, and our clubs continuing to return to activities in a safe and comfortable way for everyone.

As restrictions continue to ease, we have updated our guidance for Step 3. More details can be found in the RYA Covid-19 FAQ document here.

Passing of Stephen Parry

It is with a heavy heart that I learnt of the unexpected and sudden passing of Stephen Parry, on Friday 7th May 2021 from a heart attack.

Stephen was a massive support for the region and active member of the RYA South team. He was part of the Race Management Committee from January 2016 – June 2020, and although no longer on the Committee, Stephen continued to be very involved as the South Region Race Management Co-ordinator, a post he held since December 2014.

Stephen was Rear Commodore Sailing at Royal Southampton Yacht Club and was also a Past Commodore and Trustee of Lee on Solent Sailing Club. An experienced yachtsman, Stephen was very active in race management teams across the Solent, contributing to the Solent IRC Owners Association (SIRCOA) and the Solent Cruising and Racing Association (SCRA), and heavily involved in major Solent based events.

Stephen was well liked and respected by all those who knew and worked with him.  My deepest sympathies to Stephen’s friends and family. He was a great support to me and I will miss him, as I know so many of my colleagues will also.

Mike Samuelson, South Regional Chairperson added: "I know I speak for the whole of RYA South when I say how shocked we all were when we heard the desperately sad news about Stephen. He has been a tour de force for over six years as our regional Race Management Coordinator.  He has organised at least three ‘sell out’ regional Race Officers Conferences and run numerous RYA Race Officer courses.  The advice and support he has provided to so many Race Officers throughout the region has been immense and his boundless enthusiasm and energy will be sorely missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Angela and his family at this difficult time."

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference

We are now starting to plan the content for both the Affiliated Clubs Conference and Club Development Sessions programme and we would really value your help with ideas for how we ensure these events remain useful and relevant to clubs. This is your opportunity to feed in the ideas that you have always wanted to learn more about so that you can improve the offering your club gives to its members or potential members. There is no such thing as a bad idea at this stage, together we will find the information and ideas that you are looking for. Let us know what you think!

Funding opportunities

The Government has launched a Restart Grant Scheme which will provide funding of up to £18,000 to eligible businesses in England. Businesses classified as non-essential retail will be eligible for one-off cash grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, and gym sectors will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000. The amount paid to eligible businesses is dependent on the businesses’ rateable value.

Funding for the Scheme has now been received by local councils - find out if your venue can benefit hereThe Royal Southern Yacht Club’s charitable trust is again inviting applications for grants to assist applicants in their sailing ambitions. 

Grants will be awarded in June 2021 for use during 2021/22 and are available within four categories:

  • 1Young people wishing to take part in training or youth development activities including qualifying regattas.
  • 2Disadvantaged people, for example, those who are disabled or not earning.
  • 3Taking part in Tall Ships or other offshore voyages.
  • 4Participation in Class or RYA-recognised championships.

Applications are welcomed from all - whether a club member or not - and the deadline for this round of grants is Wednesday 7 June 2021. More information and apply here

Join us

We have an exciting opportunity for an inspirational and experienced person to join our Volunteer Regional Committee as Honorary Secretary. The successful candidate will assist the committee to support and deliver the RYA’s strategic objectives within a local context and assist the Chair in the delivery of our 2021 – 2025 RYA South Regional Plan.

If you have a broad experience of boating within the South Region and are able to think strategically whilst taking a regional view we would love to hear from you. In addition, the Secretary will need to be organised, diplomatic, IT literate and have good communication skills. To discuss the role in more detail please contact RYA South Regional Chairman Mike Samuelson.

Training Opportunities

  • A Senior Instructor Course will take place on 14th – 17th June at Oxford Sail Training Trust.
  • Windsurfing Senior Instructor Course on 24th – 27th June at Andrew Simpson Centre, Reading.

Book here.

 As clubs have been so busy with restarting of activity, we took to the decision to postpone our OnBoard training sessions, which were due to take place this month, so that those wishing to attend can do so at a later date.


ReDiscover and Discover Sailing


Did you know that the resources available from our Our ReDiscover campaign (designed to help inspire existing and lapsed members back to clubs) and our Discover Sailing campaign (created to help support clubs attract new sailors via open days or taster sessions) are available on a rolling basis to use all year round – and not just at the start of the sailing season.

Promotional resources available to help advertise your events and activities include web to print posters and banners.

Have you thought about perhaps targeting small groups such as a local community group or invite a local school to come along for an afternoon’s sailing.

Or holding a small open day? Indeed, a smaller event may mean that potential members get a more in-depth feel for your club, and get to know you and your current members. The smaller the event can mean the higher the retention rate because the people who are visiting are getting a more personalised service, more one on one time with your members and may be more likely to join.

RYA Volunteer Awards now open

The RYA Volunteer awards are now open, and will close on 1 April 2022. Volunteers from across the country are recognised for their exceptional dedication and achievements in boating. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognised and for whom a Volunteer Award would make a real difference? Find out more here.

Save the dates

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

The BYS Regional Junior Championships will take place on 25th – 26th September 2021.


Regional Training Groups

The RTG’s continue to take place around our region with 85 sailors taking part in our most recent weekend of training with Toppers, Optimists, RS Fevas and windsurfers all getting out on the water with Duncan West, our Regional Performance Manager.

We would like to thank Burghfield SC and ASC Reading, Royal Lymington YC, Royal Southern YC, ASC Portsmouth, Stokes Bay SC (a new venue to RTG) and Oxford SC.


 Help and support

As ever, please do contact the RYA South team, along with Mike Samuelson, our Regional Chairperson and our Regional Volunteer South Committee who are an excellent source of advice for clubs and centres in our region.

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 and keep in touch!

Please share this Club Room.

The more we share with each other, the more we can learn about the challenges that clubs are facing and how we can best navigate these together. You can email me here and the other regional contacts can be found here.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact me if your club has any further concerns or questions, and remember you can keep up to date withall the latest news from the region via our RYA South and Twitter channels.