Rob's Round-up May 2023

The latest news from the SW Regional Development Officer
10 May 23
A man is washing a dinghy with a power hose

In a month with three bank holidays, I’ve heard from Training Centres about lots of people on the water, especially PB2 courses which are filling up more than normal. Sadly, the weather seems to be putting people off sailing at the moment, but that’s bound to change soon. So now is the time for clubs to prepare for a busy season ahead.

Time to Talk sessions for Training Centres

I recently ran three online Time to Talk sessions for Training Centres, and representatives from a total of 41 centres participated.

Discussions were generally very positive; there are still lots of people wanting to start sailing, powerboating and windsurfing.  

For most participants, Instructor pay was a concern. With supermarkets and other employers increasing wages, Training Centres are feeling the pressure and sometimes struggling to recruit, even when increasing their normal rate of pay.

Lots of interest was expressed in instructor development, but there was a real mix of opinion as to what that should be and how it should be delivered.  

I will continue to work with you all to assist instructor recruitment and development. Thanks to all those who attended for their continued support in training.

DI online training 

We know that Senior Instructors are in short supply, so if you’re a Centre Principal or a Chief Instructor with DIs ready to step up, book them onto a special live online event on Tuesday 16 May at 19.30.

Unleashing Your Potential as a Sailing Instructor: Discover the Rewards and Advantages of Becoming a Senior Instructor will help DIs learn about the many benefits and rewards of becoming a senior instructor, from the opportunity to mentor and guide aspiring sailors to the chance to develop their own leadership and teaching skills. Under discussion will be the various pathways to becoming a senior instructor and what it takes to succeed in this dynamic and rewarding role. 

These sessions will be delivered on the RYA Training Facebook page and RYA YouTube Channel.

Inspection allocations

The inspection year is now April to April, so your allocation, which was sent to you recently, has to be completed by 31 March 2024 - but it’s crucial that we see on-water instruction. So contact your allocated inspector and try to arrange a date before 31 October. If you can’t get a mutually suitable date, please contact me as soon as you can so that I can reallocate an inspector for you. 

Getting dinghies up to scratch for the season

Have you had a ‘dusting off the cobwebs day’ at your club or centre yet this spring? Dinghies need care and attention at the beginning of the season, and I have to admit I’ve seen a few slippery floors, rust-marked sails and threadbare ropes that could be off-putting to potential students and sailors as well as a health and safety issue. So, if you haven’t already, arrange a day to get your boats sorted. There are, of course, lots of low-cost fixes – but if you’ve got any larger, high-cost issues, check out the RYA Funding Finder!

British Keelboat League Sailability Championship

This great opportunity for any SW sailors with a disability of any kind will take place on 01 – 02 July at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). I was involved in last year’s event, and can’t wait to helm one of the Elliot 6s again this year – it’s two days packed full of racing as part of this year’s British Keelboat League.

If there are a few of you who’d like to take part, why not form a team of four (not everyone has to have a disability)? And if you’re an individual who wants to join in, get in touch with Leon and he’ll find you a team. You don’t need to be part of a Sailability group to participate.

Junior racing news from Regional Performance Manager, Duncan West

Don’t forget to get those Regional Junior Championships bookings in before the prices go up!

The South and SW Windsurfing event is on 10/11 June at BCYC Axbridge Reservoir and the South West Dinghy event is at Royal Torbay Yacht Club on 17/18 June.

For the first time in over 10 years the SW Region lifted the Eric Twiname overall shield for the Top Windsurf and Dinghy Region (it was shared with the North region who were joint winners). The weekend was marked by testing conditions and each day brought new challenges. With multiple classes on each racecourse, a new experience for many, it was great to see all the hard work over the winter training coming together. Congratulations to the SW windsurfers and sailors!

The full results 

RDO Rob Howlett 

07876 330374