Port Dinorwic Sailing Club / Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli have been crowned RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2021 supported by Gallagher, at the virtual RYA Dinghy Show (27th February 2021).

The annual award recognises the outstanding achievement of clubs across the UK.

The North Wales club were one of 10 regional finalists selected by the RYA Awards panel and were ultimately crowned overall winner by the public vote. The coveted trophy was presented by Dinghy Show host, professional sailor Hannah Diamond and RYA CEO Sarah Treseder.

 

Port Dinorwic SC / Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli were recognised for being at the ‘heart of the community’ for their innovation and efforts to ensure their activities could continue to run safely once lockdown restrictions eased.

When many of their members were unable to get out on the water, the club’s ingenious online activities including training and eSailing continued to keep them entertained and engaged. Their social media campaign attracted new members from the local area and boosted their membership and they also invested in a beach winch, allowing sailors to pull their boats up the beach while remaining socially distanced.

Commodore Noel Bristow said: “Wow! I’m blown away! On behalf of all our members who I know will be delighted, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has voted. We were really proud to be recognised in the ‘Heart of the Community’ category and now to be named RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year is fantastic! Thank you to RYA Cymru Wales for all your support”.

 

During the virtual awards ceremony British Sailing Team athlete Kirsty Urwin congratulated all the finalists: “This year more than any other has provided clubs with challenges but has also proven what can be achieved under these testing circumstances. It has been a pleasure to hear everything that has been achieved”.

RYA Director of Sport Development Rob Clark said: “A huge congratulations to Port Dinorwic Sailing Club and all their volunteers. Whilst this year has been extremely challenging for all sports organisations, Port Dinorwic SC’s hard work, commitment to their members and innovation is what made them stand out to the judges. Congratulations to all our inspirational finalists".    

The 2021 finalists are:

  • Bolton Sailing Club
  • Chelmarsh Sailing Club
  • Debdale Outdoor Activity Club
  • Emsworth Sailing Club
  • Guernsey Yacht Club
  • Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club
  • Port Dinorwic Sailing Club / Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli
  • Prestwick Sailing Club
  • Ripon Sailing Club
  • Strangford Sailing Club

Special commendations were also awarded to Cowes Sailability for their work connecting with isolated members and Llandudno Sailing Club for becoming an integral part of the one of the North Wales field hospitals whilst enabling members to return to boating as quickly as possible.

Thank you to Gallagher for once again supporting the award, Moores Brothers for donating the trophy and to RS for donating a fantastic range of prizes for the winning club to choose.

For more information about the award, how to get involved and this year’s finalists visit www.rya.org.uk/cluboftheyear