Rob's Round-up September 2023

The latest news from the SW Regional Development Officer
13 Sep 23
A fleet of dinghies sailing in Bristol Docks, under blue skies

I hope you’ve had a really good, busy summer, and that you’ve seen plenty of wind when you needed it! As things gradually calm down, it’s time to start thinking about the RYA’s winter programme, including our RYA Connected regional conference and the RYA Knowledge Series – six weekly sessions about coaching, team racing, keelboat sailing and match racing every Tuesday from 19 Sept - 24 Oct.

RYA Connected Regional Conference 

This event was previously called the Affiliated Clubs Conference. Now, there is a new look and feel to it and it has been re-branded RYA Connected. The south-west event is being held at the Taunton Racecourse on 04 November. 

RYA Connected is designed to support Affiliated Clubs, Sailability sites, Race Officers and Class Associations. Some of the workshops will be specific to those individual groups, and others will be relevant to everyone. Because of the wider range of topics, the event is open to more people from your club community and it will offer several opportunities to talk to staff, share ideas, network with other clubs and get involved in forums, workshops and presentations. There is more information about the topics and formats of the day on the booking form - please share it with relevant people from your club, including Race Officials, Sailability leads, Training Centre Principals and Chief Instructors from your club RTC as well as your flag officers. 

I hope to see you and some your club officials there.


I’m happy to say that we exceeded our target by the deadline for the return of your census forms, so we can have confidence in the figures we’re getting back. We’re going to analyse them now and that will give you more data to help your club to thrive, as well as giving the RYA important information on which to base its strategy. Thanks so much to everyone who sent in their figures. 

It would, of course, make a massive difference if we had all of the figures – we received 99 of 132 forms - so if you’re from one of the 33 clubs (representing thousands of members) who haven’t got round to it, I would really appreciate your figures in order to make the picture as accurate as possible, so please do contact me

OnBoard project at All Aboard, Bristol

An instructor in a dinghy with four young people wearing helmets and buoyancy aids, all smiling and one giving a thumbs-up

We’ve been running some really successful OnBoard activity at Bristol Docks over the past month, with youth groups from Bristol. It’s been obvious how effective it is to link a youth group with a professional training centre, and then introduce the youngsters to long-term boating opportunities in a natural progression. We’re already seeing great results, so if you want us to help you make those kinds of connections in your area, let me know - we’re happy to help.

Also, we have seen the positive impact of using OnBoard resources and sessions alongside the four days of sail training, and it’s clear that instructors, youth leaders and parents all saw the benefit of this approach. 

Young girl helming a dinghy, wearing a helmet and buoyancy aid, with other dinghies and dock buildings in the background

If your TC would like some free training in how to deliver OnBoard sessions, please contact me and I’ll organise a Trainer to come to you.

Junior racing news from Regional Performance Manager, Duncan West

Now is the time to start planning the Instructor and Race Coach courses you need to run over winter and spring. Start booking up your trainers before they’re too busy when you want them!

If you need advice on booking Race Coach courses, contact me and I’ll talk you through the process.

If you have questions about setting up Instructor training, get in touch with Rob.

Look out next month for Regional Training Group (RTG) selection news, and the start of RTG activity.

RDO Rob Howlett  

07876 330374