Voting is now open for the annual award, which recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK, promoting the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.   

Dell Quay Sailing Club is one of eleven finalists selected by the RYA Awards Panel and has also been specifically recognised for achievement for a special award for ‘Innovative and Forward Thinking.’

Nestled at the top of Chichester Harbour Dell Quay Sailing Club (DQSC), now 93 years old, is proud to be a club run by members for members who are all volunteers, including the instructors. Over the last few years they have implemented a strategy for change, diversifying their offer from racing, as well as engaging volunteers through their ‘Spreading the Load Campaign’.  This campaign has resulted in other members taking responsibilities with initiatives such as The Environmental Tsar.  New buildings and a grounds maintenance team have added to a sense of community. With all the current focus on the environment and, particularly plastics in sea water, DQSC are working with their local partners, especially the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Education Centre on various initiatives.

“Our efforts have paid off and the club has flourished with an increasing membership,” reports Commodore Sue Nash.  “We have a supportive volunteer community and increased participation opportunities on the water.  We have refocused sailing in company through Fun Fridays, dinghy cruises, Victoria Model Boat Racing, Women on the Water and Blokes on Boats along, with of course, the usual racing and Cruiser Rallies.

She adds “Addressing membership trends and wider participation challenges, as a club we have been innovative in our approach. With our close-knit community at the heart of all club activity, this has been reflected in our membership options. With increasing pressure on working families, grandparents are increasingly playing a part in activities with their grandchildren, and in effect have become a new ‘family unit’. The club have therefore introduced a multi-generational family membership.”

RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent, said: “We’re delighted to announce the 2019 finalists of the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award supported by Gallagher.  It’s a privilege to be able to reward clubs and their volunteers for all their hard work and it has been truly inspirational to hear about all the exciting initiatives taking place in our clubs.    “I am really look forward to meeting all of the finalists at the RYA Dinghy Show and would encourage the public to get voting.”    

Georgie Corlett-Pitt, Editor of Yachts & Yachting added: “We are very pleased to have, once again, received such a high calibre of entries. The nominations allow us an insight into some exceptional initiatives underpinning the grassroots of our sport and we look forward to recognising and rewarding the overall winners."       

The public vote closes on Monday 28 January.  Awards will be presented and the overall winner announced at the RYA Dinghy Show on Saturday 02 March.   

For more information about the Club of the Year Award, to find out more about the finalists and to vote for your favourite club visit our webpage.   

To find out more about Dell Quay Sailing Club, please contact Sue Nash, Commodore by email or on 07742 532970.