RYANI Blog March 2023

We are excited to be calling for participants to take part in research, which aims to provide a better understanding of the experiences of Women and Girls in sailing. We had some great insight to date and we want to build on that!
16 Mar 23
a hand holding a sanding block in the middle of wet and dry sanding a red Sonata.

This news is for club committee members and club members – anyone who is interested in what work the RYA is doing in NI - please share. 

Hi everyone,

We are excited to be calling for participants to take part in research, which aims to provide a better understanding of the experiences of Women and Girls in sailing. We had some great insight to date and we want to build on that! Can I ask you to share the survey with women and girls you know that may no longer be in the sport but are still be in contact with. It feels like this the group that is going to be hardest to reach but perhaps some of the most important insight to collect. Read more about the research and find the survey link here.

I also wanted to write a short note/reminder that you may be the only person in your club who receives this newsletter. Please share the email as much as you can/with the people you feel it will be relevant to, or ask any avid readers to get in contact so that I can add them to the list too!

As a team, we are still working away on our strategy and are excited for how it looks and feels. A big part of the strategy will be recognising the brilliant people within the sport, building on our events such as our Awards! The event is running 21st April, and invites will be going out soon. Thank you for all the amazing nominations, I can’t wait to share their stories! In the meantime, let me remind you of some past winners, amazing Hannah Blair and inspirational David Nelson.

We have also had a request from Regional Rules Advisor, Denis Todd to get in contact with him if your club needs a Protest committee! Denis is in the planning of a protest preparation day for clubs to send their willing volunteers. Email denistodd15@gmail.com if you are interested!

RYA Discover Sailing days have arrived back on the calendar, if you’re thinking of running one, be sure to contact kate.pounder@rya.org.uk and check out the Discover Sailing page for clubs and centres here; https://www.rya.org.uk/club-centre-support/affiliates/finding-new-members/adults/discover-sailing

Lastly to say, thank you for all the birthday wishes, who could believe that I’m 40 when clearly I don’t look a day over 21….. *cough*. My birthday wish came true and I will be hitting the water this season on my very own, shiny red Sonata (see the title picture of the boat owner bonding process beginning) ! See you out there! 😊

Keep in touch,

Mary Martin


Designated Officer Course


A must for your club/centre welfare officer. 21&22 March

Sailing Instructor Courses
Dinghy Instructor

Pre-entry assessment:

26th March

10 – 14th April – this is the last planned course before the summer in NI.

OnBoard Development Day

Onboard – RYA’s grassroots programme – is relatively new in Northern Ireland. Its aim is to provide safe, fun and equal access to sailing and windsurfing for anyone aged 8-18 through a structured and progressive programme.

There are currently four Centres in NI but 280 in total across the UK. RYA Northern Ireland is aiming to get more centres Onboard.

At the event, Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer will provide information and share her expertise on all things Onboard, from the Sessions Cards to delivering Onboard activity on the water support.

More info & booking.

Senior Instructor Course
The next RYANI SI course will be between Jan – March 2024.

RYA Race Coach Level 2

5TH & 6th April Strangford Lough Yacht Club – Fully Booked!

If you or your club is interested in running this course, please get in touch.

Powerboat Instructor Courses
Red Bay Powerboating (Cushendall)
Course just completed Oct.
for info and booking contact redbaypowerboating@gmail.com

PGM Training (Antrim)
for info and booking contact Paul Magee training@pgmtraining.com

RYANI do not coordinate powerboat instructor courses - the above centres can run the courses and have dates set -if the dates above don't work for you - please contact them to find out if they have other dates in the calendar. 
If you would like to run a course at your Club/Centre (you must be a Recognised Training Centre (RTC)) please contact me: Mary.martin@rya.org.uk; 079 1992 3018

Windsurfing Instructor Course

Instructor Course dates 

To be among first to know when booking opens, please sign up to our newsletter and select the instructor newsletter!



Performance Manager gave some youth squad sailors a chance to sail a cruiser racer, practising drills. A great introduction to another side of the sport!

Open Training Dates – Provisional

Final details and booking will be available soon for our open training series:

4/5 April EDYC Feva - booking coming soon

13th May CAYC Topper - TBC

19th August SLYC Topper - TBC

Would your club be interested in hosting an Open Training event? What classes would you want coached class must be one-design, but we are open to getting involved in a wider range of classes. Get in touch, mary.martin@rya.org.uk.


Protest Committee – Developing your skills

Denis Todd- Regional Rules Advisor is putting together a session on running a protest committee. All clubs with racing are invited to attend. Details are still being agree so an expression of interest is required at this point:

If you are interested, please send Denis an email here - denistodd15@gmail.com

Stating your interest and the club to which you belong (You may nominate someone else in your club). Please also express how your current confidence levels within the protest committee so I can best understand how to support you. Currently, I am proposing holding a training event on a Saturday soon (date TBC). 

The event would be at RNIYC, say from 10.am to about 2 – 3 pm (max). There will be no exam or certificate and no fee. The programme, mostly delivered by me (please suggest others, no offence taken). The programme delivered will be along the following lines.

  • Preparing for an event (including checking NoRs and SIs etc. )
  • Receipt of protests and redress requests
  • Recommended PC procedures, including child protection issues
  • Arbitration (if available)
  • Decision making – Facts and conclusions (including some participant scenarios)
  • PC outcome reporting, results
  • General relationships with sailors, protestors, protestees, witnesses, supporters, etc.
  • How to progress to achieve RYA qualifications (RJ, NJ )

Looking for courses or information on Race Management or Rules? Get some talks and workshops booked in with our regional volunteers now, their diaries book up fast!

Get in touch – Robin Gray, robin@robingray.co.uk – for Race Management, club race officer training and talks

Denis Todd, denistodd15@gmail.com – for rules talks, information about qualifying as a jury or to help with protest hearings

or mary.martin@rya.org.uk – for general enquiries!

New! RYA Regional Jury course is now online! Find out more and sign up here:

https://www.rya.org.uk/racing/running-racing/upcoming-race-official-courses (top tip: SCROLL DOWN!)


The Staff & Board team have been working on the new RYANI strategy.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our consultation.

We are using the new strategy already to complete our application to SportNI funding for the next year and forming our plan for the next 5 years.

To that end, we will be hosting a strategy launch evening, 23rd March, where some stakeholders will be invited along with Commodores and Vice Commodores of all RYANI affiliated clubs.


Let us know if there is anything you want to shout about to other clubs... this newsletter doesn’t reach the general public! 

East Down Yacht Club: Impala Sonata Open Event 2023

On the weekend of 27th/28th of May 2023 the shores of Strangford lough will witness a different event, An event with Impalas and Sonatas which will race one design classes over 2 days with a possible 5 races in total.


Lough Foyle Yacht Club

Seeking Sailing Instructor for 2 weeks work in July. Contact daniel@sailingnorth.co.uk for more information.

Instructors of all kinds!

Clubs and centres are now looking for their summer scheme instructors. If you are available for work away from your normal centre – please email me with your qualifications and I can add you to a list to share with centres when asked.



RYANI Weather Talk – Adults

Very popular talk last year is revisited again with Simon Exley.

22nd – Online!

Safeguarding Children and Young People awareness course - Online

Mon 27 Feb 2023 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

RYANI Annual Awards nomination Closing date

28th February 1200/midday.


Regional Race Officer (RRO) two-day course

4th/5th March 2023

Ballyholme Yacht Club

Booking and info to follow

Ireland on the Water EXPO


Eikon Centre


OnBoard Development Day 

11th March 2023

South Lakes Watersports Centre (Craigavon)

Booking available now.

Designated Safeguarding Officer Course

21&22 March – Online

SportNI Certificated Course

A must for your club/centre welfare officer.

RYANI Strategy Launch


Invitation only.


Race Coach Level 2

5th & 6th April

Strangford Lough Yacht Club

Booking and information

RYANI Annual Awards

21st – Venue TBC

Eric Twiname Junior Championship

29th April

Rutland Water




Get yourself set up on the RYA funding portal. Its new and its free to RYA affiliated clubs.


Belfast Harbour Fund


Power NI Brighter Communities

Up to £1000



DEARA: Rural Social Enterprise Investment Scheme (up to £100K)


Project Re-Boot: Activate (up to £5K)

Project Re-Boot: Activate is the next phase of funding to help clubs and community groups Build Back Better. This investment programme has been set up to support the sports sector through the ongoing coronavirus crisis in Northern Ireland. You need a crowdfunding project to apply for funding.


Meet RYA Northern Irelands Vice Chair Gavin Watson

Gavin Watson has sailed and raced yachts from the age of ten. Since recently returning home to live in Northern Ireland, he has joined the RYA Northern Ireland Board as Vice-Chair. He tells us about his motivation to join the Board and his hopes for the year ahead… Read on.

We are running a survey to help us with our planning. It's not just for race coaching, so you can share with any RYA instructors too.


Topper sailor results from earlier in the season.

Equality & Diversity in the sport.

RYANI Staff and Board members have met on the subject of equality in our sport following feedback from an RYA UK-wide equality monitoring survey. Many thanks to those of you who answered it. Looking at the diversity of our members and uncovering barriers to those not currently in our sport is a way for us to increase the numbers who partake. The data collected also help us to explain to need to potential funders. We are planning some more work in this area over the next couple of years.

RYA & RYANI have responded to the consultation by DEARA on proposed legislation around Fast Craft and personal watercraft.

RYA Census 2022

The biggest thanks to you all for completing the census. This year, 94% of our clubs completed the census, giving us confidence in the figures and a clear picture of membership in NI. The results of the census for your club and for the region will be coming your way over the next 2-3 months.