The South Region is managed through the Regional Committee, its members being representatives of area associations and individuals with specialist skills or interests.
The RYA South Region incorporates all RYA Affiliated Clubs and Organisations in the areas of Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight, West Berkshire and that part of West Sussex which falls within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, plus a few London based and Services Clubs whose sailing base is in the South Region, approx. 180 in total. The Region is run by a committee; most of the members are volunteers representing the areas and the major sailing organisations in the Region.
Recreational boating in the region is a mixture of coastal and inland clubs which are very successful. The Solent and the neighbouring areas to Chichester in the east and New Milton in the west contain by far the largest number of boaters in the United Kingdom and it is famous throughout the world as a major sailing venue. Boating is a major contributor to the economy of the region and employs large numbers of personal in marinas, training, boat and equipment design and manufacture.
As well as being very heavily used for recreational boating, the Southern area contains two major ports, one commercial at Southampton, one naval at Portsmouth, as well as several smaller but busy harbours such as Lymington, Cowes, Hamble and Chichester. The Solent is a European Marine Site with large areas protected by both National and International designations for nature conservation and fishing including areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Development of the sport has to be reconciled with commercial, environmental and security interests.
Boating in the region covers the whole range of activities from the most physical to the less energetic, including windsurfing, kitesurfing, dinghy sailing, yacht sailing, personal watercraft, ribs and motor cruisers. It includes both recreational and “fun” boating and competitive racing at the club, regional, national and international level. A large number of our Olympic sailing medallists are based in the region and many of them contribute their time on a voluntary basis to coaching, training and organising sailing events.
The Region is represented nationally by the Regional Chairman who serves on RYA Council, and is elected by the Clubs in the Region, also by a representative on the RYA Cruising Navigational Panel, who is also a member of the Regional Committee. The full Committee normally meet three times during the year.
The Regional AGM is held in October, just prior to the RYA AGM. At the AGM each Regionally Affiliated Club is entitled to send one voting representative. RYA Personal Members and members of affiliated clubs and organisations are also welcomed at the AGM, although they are not entitled to a vote. Every affiliated club receives 28 days’ notice of the AGM, with a full Agenda, Chairman's Annual Report, together with a copy of the Regional Accounts.