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.

Felpham Sailing Club, located in the village of Felpham near Bognor Regis, is one of 11 finalists from across the UK selected by the RYA Awards Panel.

The club is an excellent sea sailing venue with a sandy beach. It is a small, family-oriented dinghy sailing club with a strong racing pedigree. It also caters for windsurfers, has very active training centre, a busy social programme and a commitment to contributing to village life. The club was founded in 1958 and the current clubhouse officially opened in 1973. In 2018 the club ran over 180 dinghy races and 860 student days of training.

In recent years the club has been extensively refurbished and this year a new balcony has been added to the front of the clubhouse. In addition, the club has a fleet of 20 dinghies used for training both young sailors and adults. This year 8 new RS Tera sailing dinghies have been added to the training fleet.

Photos credit Tony Lord

David Rowe, commodore, said “I am extremely proud to announce to our members, friends and local community that Felpham Sailing Club has been selected as a finalist in the RYA Club of the Year Awards.

“We all know how great our little club is – and how we manage to do what we do through voluntary help is nothing short of amazing. It’s down to everyone who helps pick up glasses, pull boats up the beach, fixes a leaking tap, buys fuel for the safety boats, pumps up the marks, goes out racing, supports our social events, bakes cakes…. the list is endless.

“Now we’d like to ask our local community to help us a little bit…. all the finalist clubs have now been put through to a public vote so this is where we need you to give us a little extra push towards the finish line and vote for Felpham. Please visit http://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/felpham-sailing-club/ and vote for your local club!”

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.

Felpham Sailing Club is an RYA British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, an RYA Training Centre and an RYA OnBoard Club. To find out more visit http://felphamsailingclub.co.uk