RYA Midlands blog – April 2024

Ben's Buzz! Catch up with all the latest news for clubs and centres in the Midlands with Regional Manager Ben Hodgson...
16 Apr 24

Around six dinghies racing at Notts County SC at the start of the season with the two boats at the front flying blue spinnakers.

With Easter passing, most of the region’s clubs and centres have now launched into their season of activity, and it has been great to see and hear about the range of activity taking place across the Midlands from courses to cruises, racing and socials. A great start to the season!

 It was pleasing to see many of you taking the time to apply for our new RYA Midlands Learning & Development Bursaries.

Although I don’t sit on the panel which selects the successful bids for funding, I have been made aware that we received not only quite a lot of interest but also a wide variety of ideas.

Everyone who applied had really thought about how they could use the money to best effect.

We’ll be announcing this year’s awards soon and if you missed the opportunity to apply or were not successful this time around, the fund will be open again for applications 1 January-31 March 2025.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for grants remember to check out the RYA Funding Finder online tool. It can take a while to explore and set personalise but is a really useful way to find out what is available both nationally from bodies like Sport England and from smaller, local pots of money.

There are also RYA Funding Support Officers, including Tom Davenport and Howard Nelson, who you may know already in the Midlands. To get in touch please contact me in the first instance.

Cruise in Company

A new RYA Midlands event for this year is a Cruise in Company!

We’re inviting you to join us at Rutland Sailing on Sunday 30 June, when we’ll be setting sail for a sociable day with the aim of completing an RYA Dinghy Trail.

It’s a great opportunity for people to go sailing in a different context: away from their club or to experience a bigger piece of water, or for a change from racing.

We’ll be discovering what the RYA Dinghy Trails are all about and if you enjoy it, there are lots more you can try out around the UK as part of a holiday.

The Rutland event will be supported with safety cover and people can either bring their own boat to launch, hire a boat or book a place on one of the club’s RS21 keelboats.

If people want to make a weekend of it, there’s accommodation via the club or locally, and it should be a lot of fun. You might even see an osprey!

Look out for more information and booking opening soon and in the meantime, save the date.

View over boat park and keelboat pontoon at Rutland Water Sailing Club on a sunny day.

Senior instructor courses

Well done to all those who qualified as RYA Senior Instructors on our latest course in the East Midlands at Rutland and Nottingham sailing clubs.

It was an interesting test of skills as the River Trent was in flood, providing an added dimension for the dozen participants taking the course. It’s fantastic that we now have these additional SIs for the region to support activities at our clubs and centres.

For instructors who are likewise be keen to advance their ticket, we have two more courses coming up.

Booking is open for an RYA Windsurf Senior Instructor Course at Burton SC, 13-16 June 2024, and for an RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor Course at Aztec Adventure Upton Warren and Andrew Simpson Centre Birmingham, 5-6 & 19-20 October 2024.

Regional Junior Championships

For young sailors at your club or centre, entries are open across all three fleets at the upcoming BYS Midlands Regional Junior Championships at Carsington Sailing Club, 22-23 June.

This is a fantastic weekend for junior sailors to take part in a big event away from their home club. It’s also an opportunity for youngsters who’ve taken part in previous editions of this event to advance their skills from the Rookie fleet to the Regatta fleet, or from there to the Championship fleet.

As ever the Regatta fleet will be coached for those who are less experienced at racing, and the Rookie fleet will have boats provided and instructors running games with aims.

Please share the details with the junior section and parents at your club or centre!

A dozen junior dinghies with multi coloured sails on the water at Carsington on a sunny day with blue skies.

Event trailers

It’s been good to see a steady flow of bookings for our two RYA Midlands event trailers, with clubs seeking to give their open days and visits to high footfall events a boost in visibility.

Each trailer includes an RYA-branded gazebo, publicity material and leaflets, and one is also equipped with a fully-rigged Fusion dinghy mounted on a swivel stand to inspire engagement.

These are available to hire free of charge for clubs and centres in the Midlands. Find out more and book a trailer for your open day or event!

And finally…

RYA members have the chance to claim an exclusive free ticket plus up to two half price tickets for the Southampton Boat Show, 13-22 September 2024.

This offer is available until 23:59 on Tuesday 7 May 2024, so please do remember to make the most of it, as it will be a great way to round off your summer season!

Find out more about Southampton Boat Show tickets for RYA members.

Keep up with all the latest announcements and opportunities by following @RYAMidlands on Facebook and X and by bookmarking the RYA Events portal.

Until next time,