Awards spotlight on Royal Northumberland Yacht Club

North East club shortlisted in Community category for Club of the Year
08 Feb 24

Group of school children wearing orange lifejackets learning about HY Tyne Lightship in the dock.

Royal Northumberland Yacht Club is celebrating after being shortlisted for a national award by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

The volunteer-run club at Blyth has landed a place in the spotlight as a finalist in the 2024 RYA Club of the Year Awards supported by Gallagher. It is among 14 finalists nationwide and one of four recognised in the Community category.

Alongside its vibrant yacht cruising and racing membership, the club also uses its base aboard a 144-year-old lightship to provide education for school children and entertainment evenings as a local music venue.

Community spirit

Mike Bradburn, Commodore and Training Lead, said: “We’re really chuffed to be a finalist in the Club of the Year awards! It’s great to be recognised because as a small club in the North East we don’t always get noticed as much as the big clubs on the south coast, so it’s a real accolade for our members who put in a lot of effort and volunteer their time to put the club at the heart of the community.”

The overall winners in each category and the Club of the Year title will be announced at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, Farnborough International, on Saturday 24 February 2024.

Musicians with guitar taking a bow to an audience aboard the Royal Northumberland YC lightship on a music night.

HY Tyne, also known as Light Vessel 50, is one of the oldest floating lightships in the UK.

The club’s ‘Friends of LV50’ host hundreds of primary school children a year for visits linked to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, for which they have also created a wealth of educational resources to support the curriculum.

RNYC’s unusual clubhouse also provides an intimate and characterful music venue for club members and the public, with sell-out monthly gigs attracting national and international stars as well as talented local musicians.

Training & racing

The club runs its own marina and is an RYA Recognised Training Centre offering shore based Navigation and VHF Radio courses.

For its sailing members, there is racing throughout the year, with around 20 boats on the water for its winter racing series, and a summer programme already planned for the main season.

As Mike sums up: “The aim is to provide experiences for the local community as well as our members. The children’s visits are now integrated into the curriculum and we’re a fabulous little music venue.

"People are also always welcome to get in touch if they’d like to come out sailing with us to see if joining the club might be something they would like to do.”

To find out more about the club and its activities, visit:

View of the yacht racing at Royal Northumberland YC.