Coronavirus update from RYA Chair and Chief Executive

30 Apr 20

The impact of Coronavirus continues to be felt deeply right across the UK and we hope that you, your family and your friends remain safe and well.

Our primary focus is to support our members, individuals and affiliates alike, through these difficult times. For that reason, we want to update you on the support and advice that is available to the recreational boating community.

We know that many of you will have valid concerns about the inability to undertake checks in respect of security and essential maintenance of your boats. In response to the many concerns raised by our members following marina closures, we have written to key Government Ministers seeking support for a practical way forward to give owners immediate access to their boats whilst respecting current measures to control COVID-19.

We do believe there are measures that could be permitted within the existing Government guidance to allow access for essential maintenance – and this applies not just to marinas, but also to club dinghy parks and boats on moorings. We will keep members updated on developments as they unfold. With this in mind, be sure to check out the RYA Coronavirus hub for all the latest advice and information.

Here are just a few of the hub features that we hope will help to answer your questions at this time of such uncertainty:

  • Advice and information for recreational boaters
  • FAQs for RYA Affiliated Clubs, Classes and Recognised Training Centres
  • Lockdown insurance update from Bishop Skinner Marine
  • Financial support for clubs and centres
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme advice

As well as lobbying Government and providing guidance to our members, we've also put together an exciting #SailfromHome project which brings you a range of online sailing-specific content – plus we’ve arranged a whole host of eSailing events to help keep racing alive during lockdown.

Our Sail Smarts and the OnBoard Challenge are geared at younger sailors, while our Youth and Junior members can check out the British Sailing Team YouTube channel to learn from the experts, follow workouts and get lots of top tips.

Over the last month or so, hundreds of clubs up and down the country took advantage of the Virtual Regatta VIP Pass running their own club events, as well as signing up to the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship. Clubs can also tune in throughout the week to take advantage of our Club Development Webinars.

With all sports now beginning to consider recovery, our plans are now well advanced on our ‘return to boating strategy’ in collaboration with the Sport and Recreation Alliance and their representations to Cabinet Office, as well as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

We are looking forward to supporting a safe and appropriate return to the water and we will be getting the message over that there is a very strong case for boating to be one of the first activities that could be resumed safely within any necessary parameters for social distancing, once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions.

In these unprecedented times, we would like to thank you for your continued and loyal support as an RYA member. Your support is vital and ensures that that recreational boating interests are represented effectively to ensure that Government takes account of our activities when making decisions during these challenging times.

We will look forward to seeing you back on the water, as soon as it is safe and advisable for us to do so.

Take care and stay safe,

Chris Preston - RYA Chair

Sarah Treseder - RYA Chief Executive