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. 

Blackwater Sailing Club is one of 11 finalists selected by the RYA Awards Panel.

The Club, which has over 1000 members, is based near to Maldon on the tidal Blackwater Estuary. The Clubhouse and facilities have benefited from significant investment by the members since its inception in 1899 and the club continues to thrive today.

As a volunteer-run, self-help Club, Blackwater has a thriving cadet section and the club is a hive of activity during the whole week with a variety of activity taking place for the whole family, for all abilities. At the Club’s 2018 Push the Boat Out Open Day, over 500 taster sails were enjoyed on the lake and river, with the Club seeing over 100 new members joining during the 2018 season. 

Steve Jarred, Club Commodore said: “We are thrilled to be a finalist in the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year. Many members, in many different ways, make this club the success that it is today, and we hope to get as many votes as possible to win this accolade, to bring the trophy and its benefits home to the Blackwater, and give our lovely river, and sailing facilities along it, the recognition it deserves”.

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.

“It's certainly a tough competition, but now it's over to the public to decide."

Awards will be presented and the overall winner announced at the RYA Dinghy Show on Saturday 02 March. 

To find out more about the finalists and to cast your vote visit the online voting page. For more information about Club of the Year visit www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear.

Voting closes on Monday 28 January.