Rob's Round-up October 2023

The latest news from the SW Regional Development Officer
10 Oct 23
A group of youngsters in OnBoard buoyancy aids and helmets listen to an instructor on the shore

It’s been an exciting month, as the team and I have been running two pilot events in the region as well as cementing our plans for the upcoming RYA Connected conference.

RYA Connected Regional Conference

The south-west RYA Connected event is being held at Taunton Racecourse on 04 November and this new-look conference is for everyone - Affiliated Clubs, Sailability sites, Race Officers and Class Associations. 

With so many more people from club communities attending, there will be loads of opportunities to talk to staff, share ideas and network with other clubs as well as getting involved in the forums, workshops and presentations, many of which will be interesting and relevant to all.

In addition, if you’re from a Sailability group, don’t miss the workshop on Growing and Developing your People and the presentation on Making Reasonable Adjustments as well as a Sailability networking session.

For Race Officers and Class Associations, sessions include a presentation by Poole Yacht Club about getting non-racers racing and one on Running Successful and Safe Events as well as a workshop on Building a Thriving Competitive Sailing Scene.

Find more information about the topics and formats of the day on the booking form - please share it with all the relevant people from your club, including Race Officials, Sailability leads, Training Centre Principals and Chief Instructors from your club RTC as well as your flag officers. 

Two regional pilots

I’m very grateful for the efforts of volunteers and staff at clubs and centres in the region that have helped to produce excellent outcomes in two pilot projects which we plan to roll out more widely over the coming year. 

Youth keelboat training

Youngsters in three of the keelboats

This took place last weekend (7/8 October) at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.  It involved four sailing clubs, six keelboats, and 24 children, and over the two days, we trained teams of four, mixed so they weren’t with their usual sailing buddies. While they were initially doubtful about this, by the end they loved it, and saw the benefits of sailing with a wider community of youngsters. 

Watch this space – we’re going to run more of these across the region. 

Cornwall OnBoard Festival

Two children wearing buoyancy aids and helmets, in a dinghy playing a bucket game alongside a buoy

Four commercial Training Centres with OnBoard clubs sent a total of 36 children to this all-day event at Stithians at the end of September. It was rainy and miserable weather, but the youngsters showed massive determination and resilience and got stuck in. The on-water games all focused on the OnBoard character attributes and developed the children’s sailing along the way. The outcome was a huge advance in their sailing skills, as well as a lot of fun and the chance to meet other young sailors.

To me, the highlight of the day was when I asked them all what they’d learned; One child said: “You didn’t teach us how to park the boat, but the bucket game means I know how to now.” 

The instructors hadn’t taught this kind of OnBoard session before, but they all will be now!  Don’t forget, we offer free OnBoard instructor training – whether you’re part of an OnBoard club or not, we want to show you how to use this in your club or venue. Contact me to arrange a free day’s training– I’ve got lots to give away!

RYA affiliation

You may have heard that the RYA affiliation process is changing. There will be opportunities to learn about the upcoming changes at this winter’s conferences, workshops, and webinars, but if you’d like any additional help and support with what’s happening, please feel free to contact me

Junior racing news from Regional Performance Manager, Duncan West

We’ve now selected our Regional Training Groups (RTGs) for Optimist, Topper, RS Feva, Techno windsurfers and ILCA 4 sailors and our first camps will be running over half term. A new feature for this year will be that each RTG will be having a residential camp!

This year we’ve invited sailors from:

  • Axbridge Animals
  • Brixham Yacht Club
  • Castle Cove Sailing Club
  • Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club 
  • Exe Sailing Club 
  • Dittisham Sailing Club
  • Lyme Regis Sailing Club
  • OTC
  • Paignton Sailing Club
  • Parkstone Yacht Club
  • Poole YC
  • Restronguet Sailing Club
  • Rock Sailing and Water Ski Club
  • St Mawes SC
  • Saltash Sailing Club
  • Starcross Yacht Club
  • Sutton Bingham Sailing Club

Congratulations to them all and good luck for all their winter training.

RDO Rob Howlett 

07876 330374