RYA Northern Ireland Blog - May 2023

Hi everyone, Exciting times as boats go in the water and the main club racing! We are looking forward to seeing what you are all doing in your clubs so please don’t forget to tag us on our social channels so that we can share. And now – a quick recap of recent events.
09 May 23

RDO Blog May 2023

This news is for club committee members and club members – anyone who is interested in what work the RYANI is doing - please share. 

BYC Discover sailing day, people by the water with a sailing dinghy and SUP

Hi everyone,

Exciting times as boats go in the water and the main club racing! We are looking forward to seeing what you are all doing in your clubs so please don’t forget to tag us on our social channels so that we can share. And now – a quick recap of recent events.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Women and Girls Research, the online surveys and focus groups. We hope to have the results of the survey to you in early June!


You might notice our social posts being tagged with values, these values are set out in the strategy “Navigating the Future” and we want to link them with what we do and what our community does. #Approachableandsupportive #visible #braveandadventurous #transparent #passionateandproud #embracingequality

Keep in touch,

Mary Martin


Women on the Water Festival

20th May, Donaghadee Sailing Club

BYC Discover sailing day, people by the water with a sailing dinghy and SUP

Discover Sailing

A number of clubs have their Discover Sailing days coming up, congrats to Ballyholme YC & East Antrim BC who just completed theirs over the weekend!

Race Coach Level 2 course

Details are coming together for a Race Coach Level 2 course at the start of July. Keep an eye on our socials if you are interested.

Instructor Course dates 

To be among the first to know when booking opens, please sign up for our newsletter and select the instructor newsletter!






Our young sailors made a great start to the competition season with some promising results from the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals, you can find the performance managers’ report here. Lots going on this weekend including the Topper Northerns at Carrickfergus Sailing Club and our first-ever Feva entry at the Eric Twiname Championships in Rutland.


Open Training Dates – Provisional

Final details and booking will be available soon for our open training series:

13th May CAYC Topper TBC

19th August SLYC Topper TBC

Would your club be interested in hosting an Open Training event? What classes would you want coached class must be one-design, but we are open to getting involved in a wider range of classes. Get in touch, mary.martin@rya.org.uk.




Protest Committee – Developing your skills

Denis Todd- Regional Rules Advisor is put together a session on running a protest committee. All clubs with racing were invited to attend. We’ve had some great feedback from the session, so if you missed out, get in touch!

Looking for courses or information on Race Management or Rules? Get some talks and workshops booked in with our regional volunteers now, their diaries book up fast!

Get in touch – Robin Gray, robin@robingray.co.uk – for Race Management, club race officer training and talks

Denis Todd, denistodd15@gmail.com – for rules talks, information about qualifying as a jury or to help with protest hearings

or mary.martin@rya.org.uk – for general enquiries!

RYA Race Management Courses;

Find out more and sign up here:


(top tip: SCROLL DOWN!)

REMOTE! Regional Race Officer Course

Various, September


Booking and information.





Board Recruitment

With the launch of our new ‘Navigating the Future’ strategy in March 2023 it is an exciting time for sailing, boating and windsurfing in Northern Ireland. The sport has seen increasing levels of club membership and participation in recent years and have several Irish Youth Champions coming through. With the appreciation of being outdoors growing, we want to ensure the sport is well positioned to appeal to a wider range of audiences, enabling more people to enjoy being on or around the water.

We are looking to strengthen the RYA NI Board with the recruitment of three new Independent Directors that can support the delivery of the Navigating the Future strategy.

We are interested to hear from people with or without sailing or boating experience.

The North Channel Wind Project

RYA Northern Ireland has been engaging with North Channel Wind on the North Channel Wind project, which is located off the East coast of Northern Ireland. Find out more here.



Let us know if there is anything you want to shout about to other clubs... this newsletter doesn’t reach the general public! 

Lough Erne Yacht Club

LEYC are fresh off the weekend promoting watersports at Enniskillen Castle, and looking forward to a member, Marty Ansfield, who is completing a 24hr sponsored sail on the 30thJune – 1st July the Event is to raise money for Sailibility and pulmonary Fibrosis NI is as follows:

Set sail @1800hrs on Friday, Sail all club class of boats for a 2hr period classes are (Hansa, J24, Yeoman and the fairy class boat), Finish sailing @ 1800 Sat 1st July

Good Luck Marty and all involved.


East Down Yacht Club: Impala Sonata Open Event 2023

On the weekend of 27th/28th of May 2023 the shores of Strangford lough will witness a different event, An event with Impalas and Sonatas which will race one design classes over 2 days with a possible 5 races in total.



Lough Foyle Yacht Club

Seeking Sailing Instructor for 2 weeks work in July. Contact daniel@sailingnorth.co.uk for more information.


Instructors of all kinds! RYA Training Centres too!

RYA have started a new method of assisting centres find instructors and instructors find work.


Why not join the RYA available work list and find the perfect job or opportunity for you! Whether you're looking for something full-time, part-time, or something just for the summer, RYA Training centres will have a job or opportunity to fit your needs.

Get started now and make this summer the most exciting and rewarding yet. Sign up here http://rya.org/ZXac50NObyg


All a centre has to do is email training@rya.org.uk to ask for the list, specify their ‘region’ and qualifications they are looking for! 







Open Pathway Training

Topper Class

County Antrim YC

13th May

Book here

Women on the Water Festival

Donaghadee SC

20th May

Booking and information here.




ILCA Youth World Championships

1-9th July

Dziwnow, Poland


Irish National Topper Championships

7-9th July

Ballyholme Yacht Club


Topper World Championships

24th – 28th July

Royal Cork Yacht Club




Irish ILCA Nationals


Howth Yacht Club




RYANI Youth Championships – SAVE THE DATE!

9-10th September

Ballyholme YC

Entry and information to follow soon.

REMOTE! Regional Race Officer Course

Various, September


Booking and information.





Get yourself set up on the RYA funding portal. Its new and its free to RYA affiliated clubs.


Belfast Harbour Fund


Power NI Brighter Communities

Up to £1000





DEARA: Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme (up to £100K)



Project Re-Boot: Activate (up to £5K)

Project Re-Boot: Activate is the next phase of funding to help clubs and community groups Build Back Better. This investment programme has been set up to support the sports sector through the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Northern Ireland. You need a crowdfunding project to apply for funding.



Meet RYA Northern Irelands Vice Chair Gavin Watson

Gavin Watson has sailed and raced yachts from the age of ten. Since recently returning home to live in Northern Ireland, he has joined the RYA Northern Ireland Board as Vice-Chair. He tells us about his motivation to join the Board and his hopes for the year ahead… Read on.


We are running a survey to help us with our planning. It's not just for race coaching, so you can share with any RYA instructors too.


Topper sailor results from earlier in the season.