Around 60 attendees from the region represented dinghy, yachting and motorboat clubs. Workshops were held in the morning covering topics such as boat renovation by Roger Clark from the Medway, tips and tricks for boat rescues by the RNLI, and a splicing and soft shackle workshop by Ian Stewart from the Little Ship Club together with David Mossman of Marlow Ropes.
Steve Mitchell, RYA Regional Development Officer, gave an informative update on boating statistics which was followed by David Mossman's plenum presentation on "Knowing the Ropes."
The afternoon included a presentation by Mervyn Wheatley from the Royal Western Yacht Club on the loss of his boat Tamarind in an OSTAR race. This was followed by a session on "Cruising after Brexit? Your Questions Answered" by RYA Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers and Howard Pridding, RYA Director of External Affairs. It was apparent that further clarification will be needed in 2020 as to what will happen at the end of the Brexit transition period.
"We are very grateful to the Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club for hosting and supporting the event, which has enabled yachtsmen and women from the region to network and focus on important topics at the beginning of the season. Huge thanks also to the Eastbourne RNLI for their support for the event with lifejacket clinics and safety advice being offered throughout the day," said Helen Hofmann, RYA regional Chair.
It is anticipated that the next RYA regional cruising/racing conference will be held in 2022.