This weekend’s RYA Raymarine Yachtmaster Scheme Instructor Conference saw more than 300 delegates from RYA recognised training centres across the world come together for two valuable days of learning and networking (08-09 February 2020). 

Principals and instructors working within the RYA’s Shorebased and Sail and Motor Cruising schemes travelled from across the UK, Europe and as far away as Canada, Australia and Asia for the annual event.

Each year the conference offers a programme packed with all the latest information, expert speakers, interactive workshops and plenty of opportunities to network. In addition, there is always news from the RYA, featuring important updates and key information on emerging trends and developments for the future. 

 

This year’s guest speaker, Ocean sailor and RYA Yachtmaster™ Cruising Instructor Trainer and Examiner, Pip Hare, shared her inspiring journey from sailing as an inquisitive teenager through to gaining a place on the start line of The Vendee Globe 2020. A highlight of the weekend for many, Pip spoke of perseverance, overcoming adversity and how her career as an RYA Instructor has provided the foundations, key skills and determination needed to take on the world’s toughest single-handed yacht race. 

Updates from RYA Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder and RYA Director of Training and Qualifications, Richard Falk focussed on the future direction of the RYA and its training schemes. Key themes included engaging the customers of the future, diversity and mental health. 

RYA Disability Development Manager, Leon Ward delivered a thought-provoking workshop on mental health in the workplace, aiming to provide instructors and training centre principals with the awareness and tools to support colleagues.  There were also opportunities for delegates to learn about heavy weather handling, RADAR and electronic navigation, with Sunday's sessions focussed on continuing professional development (CPD).   

Long-term sponsors, Raymarine gave an insight to the rigorous processes used at their test centre and were also on-hand to offer advice and showcase new innovations and technology. 

Sustainability was embedded as a theme throughout the weekend with Raymarine providing all delegates with reusable water bottles made from 100% recycled PET scraps. Paper and single-use plastics were also significantly reduced at the event and Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager, was on-hand to share resources and advice with instructors.

Carefully selected exhibitors included RYA Publications and Membership, Ocean Safety, Imray, Marlow and Navionics, amongst others, providing delegates with opportunities to find out more about all the latest products and benefit from exclusive conference discounts. 

Richard Falk, concluded: “The annual conferences are incredibly important for everyone working within the RYA training schemes, providing opportunities to get actively involved with sessions led by experts and to keep up to date with more central updates from the RYA. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for us to touch base with our extremely broad network, to say thank you and to gather feedback. 

“The atmosphere this weekend has been fantastic and early feedback from delegates suggest this has been our best one yet! Our thanks go to the many exhibitors, speakers and instructors who gave up their weekend to come and join us and of course to our sponsors, Raymarine for their continued support. ”

Save the date – the 2021 RYA Raymarine Yachtmaster Scheme Instructor Conference will take place from 30-31 January 2021, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/conference for more information. 

Visit www.rya.org.uk/training to find out more about the RYA training schemes and instructor pathways.