NI Sailing clubs benefit from RYA OnBoard programme

Three sailing and boating clubs in Northern Ireland have been benefitting from a whole range of new resources after their clubs were accepted on the Royal Yachting Association’s OnBoard programme.
07 Oct 22
Strangford Lough Yacht Club, East Antrim Boat Club and Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club all joined the programme at the beginning of 2022 sailing season.

OnBoard is a hugely successful grass roots programme which seeks to make sailing and windsurfing easier to access for 8–18 year olds. 

Launched in 2005 the programme has helped introduce nearly 1,000,000 young people across the country to sailing and windsurfing.

Talking about the benefits of the programme so far, Jack Kennedy, Training Captain at Strangford Lough Yacht Club, says: “Strangford Lough Yacht Club is grateful to be announced as an RYA OnBoard club. The OnBoard programme has meant that we are able to deliver more structured training as part of our Sunday Sailing school, which now acts as the perfect stepping stone to our RYA Youth Sailing courses. 

“With over 80 children signed up to our Sunday Sailing school, it’s fantastic to be able to introduce so many new people to the sport of sailing.”

Kevin Baird  from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club explains: “The OnBoard resources have really helped us structure our children's sailing activities. It's got us off to a great start after two very disrupted years and given us a great foundation to build on for 2023 as numbers build up again.”

Debbie Hanna, who sits on the Training Committee at East Antrim Boat Club, says: “East Antrim Boat Club is delighted to be an RYA OnBoard Club. We have had a great summer welcoming new sailors to our Onboard Bright Night sessions which has been great for the club, our instructors and volunteers to be so active after the last few years.”

Over the summer RYANI grew its OnBoard fleet and welcomed Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Strangford Sailing Club to OnBoard. The organisation is looking forward to seeing the Clubs progress with the programme. 

Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, comments: “It’s great to welcome the clubs to the OnBoard programme. Getting out on the water has a huge amount of benefits which go way beyond just learning a new skill. We look forward to working with them and the local community in the future.”

RYANI OnBoard venues are as follows:
Ballyholme Yacht Club
Carrickfergus Sailing Club
Donaghadee Sailing Club
East Antrim Boat Club
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
South Lakes Sailing Club
Strangford Lough Yacht Club
Strangford Sailing Club

If you would like to know more about how to become an OnBoard venue or how to get involved as a participant on the OnBoard programme, please contact