RYA regional development officer Steve Mitchell kicked off proceedings with introductions and an update on progress of the RYA regional development plan, before keynote speaker Sarah Tresseder, RYA ceo, presented “The future of boating – is your club ready?”

Workshops followed, with delegates able to choose three from the wide range available, and topics such as reaching new members with Facebook, RYA training recognition for your club, and GDPR and other legal updates.

There was plenty of opportunity during breaks for delegates to meet the RYA regional team and members of other clubs within our region, to share problems, solutions and best practice.

The conference was free, proving there is such a thing as a free lunch, and in response to feedback from previous years there was a plentiful supply of custard creams.

Steve Mitchell said: "Building on the success of the last three Regional Affiliated Club Conferences, which were well attended, the day was very much about more engagement and for clubs to gain the most up to date knowledge and information from a range of workshops and RYA experts.”

Initial feedback has been positive. Varne Boat Club said: “Just a quick thank to you and your team for the RYA conference, it all ran very smoothly and was most informative and enjoyable.”

Downs Sailing Club added: “Again a very useful occasion and enthusiastically followed by all our representatives.”

If you missed the conference, and/or would like to attend more of the workshops, then you still have chance at the RYA series of winter workshops. Venues and dates are:

19 January Sussex YC

26 January Downs SC

2 February Datchet SC

Agendas will be confirmed and bookings live shortly. Please follow our region on Facebook and Twitter to catch the details.