This weekend (02-03 March), saw the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki return to Alexandra Palace for two full days of everything dinghy.
The only show in the world dedicated to dinghy sailing did not disappoint, as nearly 8,500 sailors and dinghy enthusiasts gathered under one roof to share knowledge, the latest innovations and to get kitted out for the season ahead.
Successfully reaching a new audience and generation of sailors, one quarter of this year’s audience were aged 15 years or under, with many youngsters enjoying the interactive features in Panorama Hall and the Treasure Hunt.
An opportunity for the dinghy sailing community to come together, the annual show features hundreds of boats, expert speakers, sailing brands, clubs, class associations and more.
The weekend also saw several prizes and awards presented, showcasing the fantastic achievement of many deserved winners. Royal Torbay Yacht Club were crowned Club of the Year, seven clubs were presented with coveted British Youth Sailing (BYS) Recognised Club status and 11 talented youngsters were recognised in the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards.
The Concours d’Elegance was awarded to Pete Jary’s foiling A Class Catamaran, and Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club were declared the overall winner of the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge.
RYA Shows and Promotions Manager, Celia Edgington commented: “We were delighted to see so many join us for this year’s show and it was particularly encouraging to see so many young people engaged and passionate about sailing.”
With the highest attendance seen in several years, the feedback was extremely positive from both visitors and exhibitors.
Rob Peake, editor of Yachts & Yachting, said: “The 2019 event could not have been a greater success. There is no other boat show that I know of where everyone present – exhibitors and visitors – are all personally involved in the same hobby. It makes for a very friendly and upbeat atmosphere, one that is bolstered by a vast range of things to do, things to learn and kit to buy. It’s how a boat show should be."
Toby Matthews, Marketing Coordinator at Suzuki Marine added: “We were really proud to be sponsors at this year’s show, it’s the biggest event for the dinghy sailing community and you see so many passionate people here. The show has been really busy and all really positive.”
David Mossman, UK Sales Manager at Marlow Ropes commented: “The show this year has been busier than ever. For Marlow, the RYA Dinghy Show is critical, we’re renowned worldwide for our dinghy products and this is where we get to meet all the grassroots dinghy sailors, from young Optimist sailors right up to adult racers. For us it’s really important to be here, to connect with people, to hear feedback and to teach and give people skills through our workshops.”
Stephen Blake, Sales and Marketing Manager at Hartley Boats said: “This year’s show has been fantastic, it’s a great time for everyone to get together, share ideas, see all the products, all the boats that are here in the UK and get going for the season.”
Jon Partridge, CEO of RS Sailing commented: “The RYA Dinghy Show is our biggest showcase of the year to show our product, our classes and update our customers on all the new projects we’re involved with. It always delivers, it’s been busy, there’s been a great buzz around and we’ve sold loads of boats - it’s been good.”
The RYA Dinghy Show will be back next year, for more information visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ryadinghyshow or on Twitter @dinghyshow.