Thousands of dinghy sailing enthusiasts from across the UK, and further afield, flocked to Alexandra Palace, London this weekend (29 February-01 March) for the 69th RYA Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts & Yachting.“We were delighted to see 8,000 people joining us for another fantastic show. Once again the unique atmosphere was really buzzing as visitors browsed over 100 dinghies, shopped for the latest kit and gear, enjoyed talks from the industry’s biggest names and caught up with life-long sailing friends” said RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson.
Hosted by Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton and the British Sailing Team’s Sam Whaley, the theme was ‘A World of Opportunity - see where dinghy sailing can take you?’ The show boasted a brand new layout with over 170 exhibitor’s filling the halls across four new zones: shopping & equipment, buy a boat, holidays and training, and clubs and classes.
Three stages (The Great Hall Stage, West Hall Stage and the Knowledge Zone) attracted large crowds with expert speakers including record-breaking dinghy adventurers Will Hodson and Rich Mitchell, British Sailing Team coach Jonny McGovern and meteorologist Simon Rowell.
In Sailors’ Corner and around the show, members of the British Sailing Team, including 11 of the athletes competing in the Tokyo Games this summer, were on hand for visitors to snap selfies, sign autographs and share their knowledge on trapezing, knot-tying and splicing, racing fitness and more! Not forgetting Elliot Hanson who was named as the final member of the TeamGB after being selected in the Laser class.
Throughout the weekend many prizes and awards were presented. Christchurch Sailing Club were crowned RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year and the Scorpion, Tallulah, was named winner of the 2020 Concours d'Elegance Trophy for boat of the show.
Ten inspirational young sailors from across the UK were celebrated in the RYA Musto Regional Youth Awards,whilst Bath University Sailing Club and the Sussex University Sailing Club were recognised by The Green Blue in the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge.
The show also marked a milestone anniversary, kicking off the start of a year of celebrations for the 50th birthday of RYA Training.
It was also a great success for the exhibitors including boat builders, class associations, sailing clubs and commercial retailers.
Pip from Rockley Watersports said: “It’s been a brilliant show. We had two really great days of trading, we’ve seen lots of our existing customers as well as lots of bookings from new customers into the sport so for us it’s been a great weekend.”
Steve Walker from the Scorpion Class Association said: “It’s been a real positive for us this year. The focus has been on the boat and we’ve had a lot of passing trade and a lot of interest. We use the Dinghy Show as a focal point for the class association, for us all to come together and build that community.”
Find out more about all the events at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk
RYA Dinghy Show on the move!
After 25 years at Alexandra Palace, the RYA announced that the show will move to Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre for 2021 (27-28 February).
“Moving the location and venue of the show was a difficult decision to make but so far the feedback and support we have received from our exhibitors has been fantastic. We’ve taken an extensive review, carefully considering everything from travel and distance to sustainability and floor space and we are really excited about growing the Dinghy Show in Farnborough.
“Our thanks once again to everyone at Alexandra Palace for looking after us so well for the past 25 years”.
You can find more information about the move to Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre here