Hannah stays on as Cat comes back

We're super excited to welcome Cat Ferguson back to the RYA Sport Development Team in February following the arrival of her son, Harry.

Cat will be returning for three days a week working in a more general club support role, which means that Hannah Cockle, who has been covering for Cat as OnBoard Operations Officer while she was on maternity leave, will stay on in the role full-time as your lead OnBoard contact. Yay all round!

Whitstable's Ruth Is 'Saving Lives At Sea'

Whitstable YC's RYA Onboard Officer, Ruth Oliver, demonstrated another string to her bow as an RNLI volunteer when she featured in an episode of BBC's Saving Lives At Sea in September.

The 21-year-old, who started sailing with her dad aged eight and had been a Whitstable RNLI crew member for 14 months at the time the programme was aired, was involved in the life-saving rescue of two men who had been in the water for two-and-a-half hours after their boat had upturned.

As Ruth explained on the show: "You never know when you're going to need the lifeboat so it's a good thing to give back to the community. The two guys had minutes, literally minutes, they had said their goodbyes and were fully ready to let go and give up. You just can't even comprehend saying goodbye to someone in the water when something has happened like that. It's very difficult."

After the rescue her crew mate and Helmsman, Andy Mayo, said: "Ruth handled the situation very well, she took everything in her stride. It had turned out to be a more life or death call and she didn't flap or become flustered at all and just dealt with it as it happened in front of her."

Whitstable's OnBoarders are clearly in safe hands.

New face in the East as familiar face returns to South West

In October the East region said goodbye to the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire area's Sailing Development Officer, Brian Stanbridge
after 11 years and welcomed his successor, Holly Dabson.

Holly, from Bedford, now takes the lead on the RYA OnBoard Programme
in the East. She said: "I’m enthusiastic about the sport I love and I’m
looking forward to promoting entry-level sailing and widening its participation" Find out more about Holly here - Hello to Holly

Meanwhile, former regional OnBoard Development Officer, Stuart Jones, has re-joined the South West team as an SDO and will be working initially with OnBoard Clubs and Centres in the Plymouth and South Devon area, as well as the South West Lakes Trust sites at Siblyback and Roadford.

Welcome OnBoard to four new clubs :)

We're always excited to welcome new OnBoard clubs to the family and Emberton Park SC, the Guernsey Sailing Trust, Oulton Broad Watersports Centre and Brenin Adventures in Wales are the latest to get a big virtual hug!

Emberton Park SC is near Milton Keynes and they are aiming to build on the achievements of their first season as an RYA Recognised Training Centre. The club is already working with local youth groups including Scouts, Sea Scouts and the Sea Cadets and plans to extend this to include schools and local youth groups.

Meanwhile, the St Peter Port-based Guernsey Sailing Trust has a long track record of helping newcomers progress their sailing and they are now really excited to be able to welcome even more youngsters to try sailing and give them a chance to progress through their training programmes.