All finalists go through to a public vote with the overall winner selected by RYA members, Yachts & Yachting readers and the Panel.

The overall winner of the 2021 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show in February.

Last year Royal Anglesey Yacht Club were the Welsh club to be shortlisted.

Speaking of being shortlisted last year, Stevie Scanlan, Commodore of the RAYC, said, “We want everyone to enjoy being involved in water activities and work hard to welcome and encourage new members.

We are the host club for the historic Menai Strait Regatta every year and regularly take our boats to classic regattas in the UK and Europe.

We have made great strides in recent years with a team of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers coaching the juniors and at the same time developing a very popular rowing section. The objective of bringing in younger elements has succeeded beyond our expectations.

We're grateful for the external support we have received and have seen this investment reap large rewards within the sport, as a result the future of our club is bright.

We believe our most important success has been the one that came unexpectedly – the greater inclusiveness, diversity and local engagement with what was previously seen as a sport for the privileged.”

RYA Cymru Wales CEO, Gerwyn Owen said: “The RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards have always been a fantastic way for us to celebrate the huge efforts of those involved in running sailing clubs.

The past few months have been hugely challenging for clubs, so it feels more important than ever to recognise the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure that others can continue to get out on the water safety and enjoy what they love doing.

I’m genuinely proud by the hard work I’ve seen from clubs across Wales during the Covid-19 pandemic. Clubs up and down the country have lent their time and resources to helping their communities, as well as carrying out essential tasks to enable a safe return to boating.

I want to see as many clubs as possible applying for this year’s award and hope to see another Welsh club make the shortlist!”

Georgie Corlett-Pitt, Yachts & Yachting Editor said: “Celebrating club activities has always been central to Yachts & Yachting’s coverage.While recent months may have posed many unprecedented challenges for our clubs, they have also brought to the fore the spirit and resilience of the sailing community. This year more than ever we look forward to acknowledging those achievements with the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Awards”.

All RYA affiliated clubs across the UK are eligible to apply and the Awards Panel will select a finalist for each of the 10 RYA Regions as well as two ‘wild card’ entries. During the shortlisting stage, the panel will also provide five clubs with recognition for particular achievements in the following five areas:

Heart of the community- new for 2021, a recognition for a club that has worked tirelessly to support their local community. This could be through the efforts of volunteers working within their local area for good causes, sharing club facilities with those in need or opening their club up to local community groups to get out on the water.

Modern, innovative and forward thinking- recognition for a club that makes a break from traditional ways of running a club or delivering boating activity. This could be delivering different formats of training or racing to engage new participants, creating new membership models or embracing the use of modern communications.

Sustainability- Another new category with recognition for a club that has embraced sustainability and demonstrably reduced its own and/or its members impact on the environment through education, action or improved facilities.

Inclusive and open to all- recognition for a club or project which has been impactful in developing participation amongst people with disabilities or from other under-represented or disadvantaged groups. 

Boosting membership- recognition for a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are, attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership.

Club applications close on 21 September.

Thank you once again to Gallagher for supporting this award.

For more information on RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award and to complete an application form visit www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear