It’s been brilliant to catch up with many of you over the last month at our RYA Connected events for the North – a big thank you to everyone to took the time out to join us.
We had 90 delegates for our main RYA Connected event at Chorley, followed by a really positive Club Gathering at Sunderland Yacht Club, with 18 people representing around nine clubs from the cluster of venues in that particular part of the North East region.
Picking up the key headlines from RYA Connected, the topics we covered included changes to RYA affiliation, PY Online and the YTC yachting equivalent for racing, the benefits of diversifying activities, and how to find and apply for funding opportunities.
RYA North East is one of the few regions where membership has remained stable from 2021-2023. We have just over 14,000 members, similar to previous years, whereas some regions have seen a drop amid the cost-of-living crisis, and the national average is down.
Congratulations and well done to our incredible network of clubs because there is clearly some great activity going on, which means people are seeing the value of their membership.
Another subject to have emerged from RYA Connected events as we look ahead to 2024 is the need for instructor and race coach courses.
If there is a particular RYA course which you would like to see in the region, please let us know as we can then either run or facilitate that to support you.
Fill out our RYA North Instructor Course/CPD Expression of Interest form as that will help to inform us about what is needed and to schedule dates into the calendar.
Two Powerboat Skills Days are lined up at Ripon and Halifax sailing clubs, and there is an RYA Dinghy Instructor Course at Lincs & Humberside SC: details and booking.
Due to the Christmas holidays, our next monthly online forum for clubs, training centres and OnBoard clubs will take place on Thursday 25 January 2024.
The focus will be what to expect from this year’s Regional Training Days: Saturday 23 March at Welton Waters Adventure Centre; Sunday 24 March at the Anderton Centre; and Saturday 13 April at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club.
I’m really keen that we’re back on the water for these development days and as a regional team, we’re aiming to deliver sailing, powerboating, windsurfing and winging at each event.
Open to all levels of instructors, along with race coaches and volunteers who help to deliver activities, our aim is for these Regional Training Days to be fun, sociable and informative.
You might want to strengthen your instructor skills or try winging or windsurfing for the first time. At Derwent Reservoir we plan to give team racing a go!
When bookings open in January, I’d encourage people to register as soon as possible because numbers will be limited. Your preferences will influence what we deliver on the day and it would be great if you could do your chosen activity.
In the meantime please do save the dates, share with your team, and look out for when registration opens in the New Year for our January forum to find out more!
We also have an OnBoard Networking Day at Ripon Sailing Club on Saturday 2 March 2024. This is for OnBoard coordinators, volunteers and instructors - in fact anyone involved in delivering youth and junior activities - to get set for the season ahead.
It will be a shore-based day when we’ll be checking out latest updates and the resources which are available to support you; we’ll also be bringing these to life by working through some of the activities and games! Book now for the RYA NE OnBoard Networking Day.
For young sailors and parents meanwhile, the dates have now been published for the North East & Yorkshire Youth Traveller Series 2024. It’s also not too early to get the British Youth Sailing (BYS) Regional Junior Championships marked on your calendar.
Our festival of junior sailing for the North will be at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club, 22-23 June 2024, with camping on site for a really good value and fun weekend away, and something for everyone with rookie, coached regatta and championship fleets – save the date!
Tickets are now live for the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show at Farnborough International, 24-25 February 2024. I appreciated it’s quite far to travel for everyone from our region but wanted to let you know that I’ll be there throughout on the RYA stands.
If you are going, it would be good to see you there. Get in touch if you’d like to catch up with me for a chat or to ask any questions, as it’s always great to say hello in person.
Good luck to clubs running events over the festive and New Year season. If you are looking to burn off a few Christmas calories, remember the Selden SailJuice Winter Series will be visiting the region the day after Boxing Day, 27 December, so the Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey will be a place to be!
Whatever your plans to get afloat over the holiday period, the regional team and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.