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A temporary concession has been introduced for British or Channel Island nationals wishing to visit the ports of Saint Cast and Saint Quay in France.

The concessions will run for the 2022 summer season now under way and which concludes on 30 September, the RYA says.

Recreational boaters wishing to visit Brittany via the ports of Saint Quay or Saint Cast will be required to complete a modified Declaration of Arrival/Departure form.

On Arrival
Recreational boaters planning to visit either of the ports will be required to complete the Declaration of Arrival form, one form is necessary per boat. These must be completed and sent to the marina office email address displayed on the form. The marina office will then forward the completed document to the maritime authorities in Saint-Brieuc for processing.

Once the form has been validated by the authorities, a copy will be returned to the marina office, who will then return it to the boat concerned. This copy should then be kept on-board at all times during the period that the boat remains in the Schengen Area so as to be available in the event of a customs visit, on land or at sea. The boat will then be cleared to sail elsewhere in Brittany.

Boaters are advised note that if entry into the Schengen Area is via the Brittany ports of Saint-Quay or Saint-Cast, then departure from the Schengen Area of Brittany must also be via either of these two ports.

On departure
Recreational boaters wishing via the ports of Saint-Quay or Saint-Cast must download and complete the modified Declaration of Departure document. Similarly, one copy only is needed per boat and should be completed and sent to the email address of the departure marina. The marina office will then forward the completed document to the authorities in Saint-Brieuc. Once validated, a copy will be returned to the marina for onward transmission to the boat concerned. The boat will then be clear to leave the Schengen Area.

For further information, visit the Port D’Armor website, where you can also download a copy of the Arrival/Departure form.
 
Find further general information about cruising abroad on the Boating Abroad hub page. Further questions can be directed by email to [email protected]

Published in Cruising
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The Royal Yachting Association has today (Monday 27 June) announced that the board has agreed a one-year extension to the tenure of Chris Preston, a passionate sailor with more than 50 years' experience of racing and cruising, as its chair.

The extension provides a welcome period of stability for the RYA following a time when many external factors have presented major challenges — including the impact of the global pandemic, a significant increase in watersports activities combined with changing attitudes to both participation and membership, and regulatory uncertainty resulting from Brexit.

Board chairs ordinarily serve a fixed four-year term. However, due to the current exceptional circumstances including a new chief executive and four new non-executive directors all joining in the last eight months, Preston has been invited to remain in post as RYA chair until November 2023.

The board, through its nominations committee, will shortly commence the open process to appoint a successor for the role of RYA chair and the one-year extension of Preston’s tenure affords the organisation the benefit of a healthy handover period.

In his sporting and volunteer roles, Chris Preston has been a school governor, an officer of two sailing clubs and member of various boards within the boating industry.

He and his wife Victoria currently race a 1924 West Solent One Design with a Corinthian mixed crew, taking and training young people whenever possible, and are supporters of the UKSA yachting charity.

His professional career with Bank of America, Rothschilds, Citi and the BCV Group has given Chris many opportunities, including as CFO and CEO, and he has served on, or chaired, multiple boards, including for partially state-owned or co-operative organisations.

Commenting on the extension of his appointment, Chris said: “I have immense respect for the association and its staff and volunteers. My key objectives in the year ahead will be to work with the RYA executive and my board colleagues to continually improve the services we provide and to represent the interests of our members, and indeed all boaters, while maintaining the exceptional performance and motivation of the British Sailing Team.

“These objectives will be supported by the extensive and collaborative process we are currently undertaking to set out our strategy for the future, which we look forward to launching later in the year.

“The vital support we receive, both from our members and our funding partners, will ensure that we are well-positioned to do everything we can to create even more opportunities for all communities to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of getting afloat.

“I very much look forward to working with the RYA team and members to maintain our momentum in meeting the future challenges of UK boating.” 

Published in News Update
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Volunteers are the bedrock of sailing and the backbone of the Royal Yachting Association’s member clubs across the UK, dedicating their valuable time to make sure sailing and boating continues to develop and that all of our sailors have a positive experience on and off the water.

At East Down Yacht Club on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, Margie Crawford has been volunteering for many years in a variety of roles. She tells all about her sailing and volunteering journey so far.

On her background and experience in sailing...

“I started sailing as a cadet and other dinghies at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club where my parents raced a Dragon. I joined East Down Yacht Club when I came home from working in England around 30 years ago and raced a Laser, then a Wayfarer at national and international events until 2019. I also skippered the Northern Ireland ladies’ team in the BT/RYA Women’s National Match Racing Championship in England, solo-sailed to Isle of Man and now own and race an Impala 28.”

On how she found her way into volunteering…

“I got involved as a volunteer with the youth at East Down Yacht Club (EDYC) as a family member and it continued from there, to serving in committees and eventually as commodore of EDYC. I help with sail training for beginners and improvers on Friday nights in May and June. I help with running the Icicles Winter Series (and race my Laser if my help is not required!).

“I instruct during the Youth Week every summer and we are a ‘self-help’ club so everyone does a bar duty and also for those who are qualified we do an on the water duty. In the past I have been chair of the School Sailing Association out of Killyleagh Outdoor Centre; weekend volunteer on Lord Rank (Sail Training Association NI) and assistant Youth Leader role for Belfast City Council Sail Training when I took a youth group out to Halifax Nova Scotia in 2009 to sail back to Belfast on tall ship Europa taking part in Tall Ships Atlantic Race. I was also offshore volunteer on Dublin-based tall ship Jeanie Johnston. I was also involved in delivering a programme for the recently formed RYANI Youth Forum.”

On her volunteer role and what motivates her…

“As commodore I wanted to get to know every member and realised there was a role for a new members’ contact person. So when my term has finished I offered to take on this role. It is not an ‘officer’ role as such, in that I don’t sit on committees, but I liaise with the hon secretary when membership enquires come in and make a personal approach by telephone if possible. I show them around the club and give them my contact details and they can ring me any time for information or queries.


“There are some key elements to this:

  • Always have a personal approach — by phone if possible.
  • Show them around club and give them a membership form.
  • Give contact details to ring any time for information or queries.

"When they are members I act as buddy for first year…

  • making sure they know and are introduced to the officers of the club.
  • finding out what they want from the club and any training requirements.
  • keeping them in touch with any courses/events/social gatherings

“I am happy to be the general contact for any queries in the future. If I don’t know the answer I give them details of who to contact.”

On what interests her most about volunteering and how it impacts on her and her club…

“I love meeting people and interacting at any level. The impact for me is that I have to manage my own time well and the impact for the club is that the club gets members who feel welcome. We get families/individuals who take part in lots of different on the water activities.”

On what advice she has for others…

“Make sure [you] know what is involved and enjoy chatting to people. It is not something to be done in half measures, as some new members need quite a lot of support but others just slot in as long as they know that someone is available to speak to.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

Since the pandemic there has been a boost in numbers of people getting afloat - mostly sailors relatively new to the sport - and the RYA and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) are keen to encourage as many keelboat and cruiser-racer sailors as possible to enjoy racing at their clubs or local regattas. Recognising the need for, and current lack of an entry level rating system, the RYA and RORC have joined forces with the South West Yacht Time Correction Factor (YTC) rating system to develop and roll out a new initiative: the RYA YTC, powered by RORC Rating.

YTC has been developed over recent years by a group of volunteers, initially based in Falmouth, but now more widely spread across the South West, to rate the wide variety of cruiser/racer yachts to be found racing in clubs so that they can race against each other easily, competitively and fairly. YTC is based on the statistical models developed by Linda Wolstenholme of Emsworth Slipper SC, but the system has developed significantly since the early days and, for those clubs who wish to use it, a means to introduce more accurate results-based club handicapping. Under an innovative tripartite agreement, the existing YTC core team, led by RYA SW Regional Chair Chris Davis, will continue to advise and support both the RYA and RORC in order to achieve both a seamless transfer for existing users and development and alignment of the system with IRC. The RORC Rating office will bring their unrivalled operational knowledge of rating systems to managing the new system and overseeing future development.

RYA Racing Director Ian Walker explains: “We recognise the existing RYA National Handicap for Cruisers system (NHC) was not fulfilling clubs’ needs and nobody is keener than my team to see more boats out enjoying racing on the water. Having a good, proven rating system that is portable between clubs and regattas and available nationally, free of charge to anybody wanting to go racing, must be a good thing.”

For the RORC Rating Office this project is part of their ambition to support the growth of the sport. Director of the RORC Rating Office, Jason Smithwick adds: “YTC has proven popular in the South West and has been successful in encouraging more boats into the sport. The system provides an excellent, simple entry-level introduction to racing without the need for personal handicapping, and we are enthusiastic that expansion will help many clubs increase their racing fleets. For those keen to progress further it acts as a simple stepping-stone to IRC racing; the gold standard for rating.”

The aim of the new management team is to move systems across and embed the processes in 2022 before really promoting the system and encouraging more clubs to adopt the system in 2023 and beyond.

SW YTC Chair, Chris Davis added: “This is an exciting time for the YTC system. It is important to us that sailors and clubs that already use this system have a seamless transition to the new management group. All current YTC ratings and certificates for 2022 will remain valid and the process will remain free of charge. I would like to thank all the volunteers that have worked so hard, for over 10 years now, to implement YTC in their clubs and regattas, and of course our sponsors here in the South West. We in the core team are delighted that YTC will be developed further, whilst maintaining the current ethos of the system for the good of anyone wishing to go yacht or keelboat racing at club level.”

Any club wishing to adopt the RYA YTC for their club racing, or any boat owners interested in obtaining an RYA YTC rating can find details here

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Sixteen of the UK’s most promising young sailors have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Youth Sailing World Championships.

The talented youngsters, all aged 18 or under, will represent the British Youth Sailing (BYS) Team in eight classes at the 51st edition of the prestigious youth event at The Hague, Netherlands, from 8-15 July 2022.

The sailors gained selection to the team for their performances in the 29er, 420, Nacra 15, ILCA 6, iQFOiL and kiteboarding at the recent RYA Youth National Championships.

Previous Youth Worlds participants include some of today's best-known sailors including the world's most decorated Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie and 2008 Beijing gold medallist Pippa Wilson.

Among those selected and making a first appearance at the Youth Worlds, Santiago Sesto-Cosby (Royal Lymington YC - pictured above) is looking to draw upon venue knowledge and home similarities as the secret to success in the 29er alongside returning crew, Leo Wilkinson (Maidenhead SC).

“Qualifying for the youth world championships is an all-time dream for me,” said Sesto-Cosby. “Now is the time to build up towards it to be the best we can be to represent Great Britain.

Lucy Kenyon (Parkstone YCLucy Kenyon of Parkstone YC

“I have sailed in the venue when I qualified for my first Optimist European Championship in 2018 and I loved it. I did well there because it’s a tidal venue, very similar to Lymington. It can be very wavy too. I’m really looking forward to going back there. It will be fun in the 29er!” Lucy Kenyon (Parkstone YC - pictured above), who returns to the BYS team for a second Youth Worlds appearance, is also looking to call on previous knowledge to go one step further in 2022.

“I’m mega excited to be selected for the girls iQFOiL place for the youth worlds in The Hague. It looks like it’s going to be a great event and I’m looking forward to working hard over the next few months trying to beat last year’s fourth place.

It’ll be an awesome start to this year’s international racing season and I’m excited to kick it off with a bang.”

Making a third appearance at the Youth Worlds will be Nacra 15 helm Jasmine Williams, this time sailing with crew Sam Cox (both Restronguet SC). Charlie Dixon (Blackwater YC) takes on the boy’s iQFOiL fleet with Ellen Morley and Hazel McDonnell (both Hollowell SC) contesting the 29er girls.

Honor Proctor of Cardiff Bay YCHonor Proctor of Cardiff Bay YC

Thommie Grit (Royal Hospital School) was picked in the boy’s ILCA6 with Wales’ Honor Proctor (Cardiff Bay YC - pictured above) taking on the girls.

Proctor said: “I’m so thrilled to be selected for the Youth Worlds, it’s been a long and hard winter of training and now I’m looking forward to competing against some of the best ILCA6 youth sailors in the world.”

Megan Farrer (Emsworth SC) and Ellie Rush (Nottinghamshire County SC) were picked in the girls’ 420 class with Henry Heathcote and Hector Bennett (both Royal Lymington YC) in the boys.

Returning to take on the kite fleet is Ella Geiger, who is looking to improve on her debut sixth position last year, and Mattia Maini who make up the final spots on the BYS squad.

The squad will be coached and supported by the returning team of Olympian Kate Macgregor, current British Sailing Team iQFOiL women’s coach Sam Ross and BYS squad coach James Hadden.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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The RYA Youth Sailing National Championships returned to Pwllheli, North Wales, over the Easter break as the 2022 champions were crowned across seven youth fleets.

Last hosting the premier youth sailing regatta in 2016, Plas Heli welcomed 280 youngsters from all over the country (and from across the Irish Sea) for five days of racing from 9-15 April.

As Afloat reported earlier, there was a fine showing from Northern Ireland female sailors and there was a Republic of Ireland wild card presence in Wales too (See the full results link below)

With the 2021 Youth Nationals spread across two weekends and two venues, the 2022 edition saw all the youth fleets together in one place for the first time as the kite foilers joined the iQFOiL, 420, Nacra 15, 29er and ILCA6 in competition.

Despite contending with unstable wind and weather conditions throughout the week, everyone but the kite and board fleets came very close to completing their full schedules in tough race conditions that varied from sunny to foggy.

Although enduring a tougher week onshore, the iQFOiL and kite sailors still completed enough races to confirm their national champions.

Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “Year after year at the Youth Nationals I am amazed by the strength and resilience of our nation's young sailors.

“They have had a few tough years, as has everyone, and the start of the regatta was no different. But, yet again, they dealt with everything thrown at them with fortitude.

“There was some great racing as always and congratulations to all the winners, but as well as medals we also give out spot prizes for British Youth Sailing values and behaviours, and this was the hardest job for us.

“As regatta organisers it is fantastic to see these young sailors coming together to help each other and support each other. It’s so heartening to know the future of our sport is in such good hands.”

The Youth National Championships is the flagship event of British Youth Sailing, which aims to develop and retain the world's best young dinghy racers, windsurfers and kitefoilers.

British Youth Sailing also sets young people up for a lifetime in sailing, whether in Olympic classes, club dinghy racing or yachts, or as coaches and race officials and teaches them valuable skills and behaviours to take into their adult lives.

kite foilers joined the iQFOiL

BYS Behaviours and Values Award winners:

‘Courage and Determination’
George and Tom Blunt – 420 (male) - Whitstable YC

Endeavour Award
George Creasy – 420 (male) - West Kirby SC

Warsash Plate – Youngest Helm
Joseph Jones – 420 (male) - Burghfield SC

Harken Competition winner
Toby Smith – 29er (male) - Royal Hospital School

The winners in each class were:

420 (female)
Megan FARRER (Emsworth SC) and Ellie RUSH (Nottinghamshire County SC)

420 (male)
Henry HEATHCOTE and Hector BENNETT (both Royal Lymington YC)

420 mixed
Alice DAVIS (Draycote Water SC) and Oliver RAYNER (Yorkshire Dales SC)

29er (female)
Ellen MORLEY and Hazel MCDONNELL (both Hollowell SC)

29er (male)
Santiago SESTO-COSBY (Royal Lymington YC) and Leo WILKINSON (Maidenhead SC)

29er mixed
Annabelle VINES (Royal Lymington YC) and Raulf BERRY (Hayling Island SC)

Nacra 15
Sam STEWARD (Brading Haven YC) and Isobel SMITH (Starcross YC)

Kite foiling (female)
Francesca MAINI (BKA)

Kite foiling (male)
Adam FARRINGTON

ILCA6 (female)
Honor PROCTER

ILCA6 (male)
Tommie GRITT (Royal Hospital School)

iQFOiL (female)
Lucy KENYON (Parkstone YC)

iQFOiL (male)
Charlie DIXON (Blackwater YC)

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

420 dinghy

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Northern girls shone at the RYA Youth Nationals last week with Ellen Barbour of County Antrim Yacht Club at Whitehead and East Antrim BC at Larne making her mark in the Women’s ILCA/Laser 6 fleet with a convincing third overall.

There was a huge fleet of around 300 competitors across seven classes in this big event in Pwllheli, North Wales.

Ellen’s scores were never lower than 10 except for a UFD (a premature start) in the first race which was one of her discards, but with five first places she proved a force to be reckoned with in the 13-race event.

Ellen Barbour - 3rd in the ILCA 6 fleetEllen Barbour - 3rd in the ILCA 6 fleet

Also, up there in the top half of the 23 strong fleet was Zoe Whitford from East Antrim who had impressive scores in the top dozen except Race 7 for which she had to count 24 for a DNE (disqualification) – and she actually was the first finisher in that race.

Zoe Whitford  - 7th in the ILCA 6 fleetZoe Whitford - 7th in the ILCA 6 fleet

Eleventh in the 39 strong 29er fleet was the Royal North/Newcastle duo, Lauren McDowell and Erin McIlwaine whose best races were two fifths.

Erin McIlwaine and Lauren McDowell (pictured centre) in the 29er fleetErin McIlwaine and Lauren McDowell (pictured centre) in the 29er fleet

Tom Coulter of East Antrim finished 17th in the ILCA (Men) with a varied set of results, his best performances being a seventh, eighth and ninth in the 61-boat fleet.

Tom Coulter of East Antrim finished 17th in the ILCA (Men)Tom Coulter of East Antrim finished 17th in the ILCA (Men)

The next big event for some of the Pwllheli competitors will be the Irish Youth Sailing Nationals at Ballyholme on Belfast Lough for which Olympian Finn Lynch's top tip to competitors is to "not focus on the result but to try learn as much as possible!" And local sailor Liam Glynn who has recently retired adds that as having grown up sailing in Ballyholme, warns that the wind can often be very shifty and gusty and since it’s close to the land, it’s hard to see what’s coming down towards you. Therefore, sailors will need to react quickly and sail their own race with whatever they’ve got in front of them, not what somebody else has on the other side of the racecourse!

Published in Youth Sailing
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Ian Walker MBE will be stepping down from his position as RYA racing director this summer, the organisation has confirmed.

Walker joined the RYA in the autumn of 2017 and, in his dual role as performance director, he oversaw the British Sailing Team’s success in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics — which included Dublin sailor Saskia Tidey’s strong showing with 49erFX partner Charlotte Dobson.

The RYA says Walker has also been instrumental to the strategic planning for the Paris 2024 Olympic cycle.

During the pandemic, he was central to the development of the RYA’s COVID-19 response and enabling people back on the water as soon as possible.

Well-known for his emphasis on high performance, the former Irish Green Dragon VOR skipper has also been passionate about youth and junior sailing and has prioritised the support of clubs and volunteers.

Commenting on his time at the RYA, Walker said: “I am very grateful to the RYA for believing and trusting in me when I was fresh out of professional sailing.

“I have learnt so much over the last four years and much of that I have learnt from the incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers I have worked with. It has been a very challenging time for everyone under the backdrop of COVID-19.

“I think now is a good time for me to leave as we are in a short lull between Olympic cycles and the RYA will soon be starting the process of creating their new strategy for the next generation.

“We have a very capable and enthusiastic senior management team, and under Sara Sutcliffe’s leadership the future looks very promising for the RYA. It is a good time for me to take on a new challenge and give a chance for others to take on new responsibilities.”

RYA chief executive Sara Sutcliffe, said: “I am of course sorry to see Ian leave the RYA and wish him the very best as he embarks on new challenges. His support to me in my first few months as CEO has been outstanding and I know he will be there to offer me advice in the future.

“The leadership he has brought to the British Sailing Team and the Racing Department will leave a lasting legacy. He will be missed by all his colleagues at the RYA.”

Walker concluded: “The RYA has been part of my life since I was a youth sailor over thirty years ago. I now have a far greater understanding of the value that the RYA brings to sailing in this country and I hope I can continue to support them in the future.”

Walker will continue in his role as RYA racing director until mid-July.

Published in News Update
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The 190-strong fleet at the RYA Youth Nationals hosted by Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales this week should be a good run-up to the Irish Youth Sailing Nationals next week at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough where around 200 competitors are expected.

So far, the best performances have been delivered by Zoe Whitford of East Antrim BC in the ILCA 6 Women’s class and Ellen Barbour of County Antrim YC/EABC in the same fleet.

Lying fourth in the 23 strong fleet after six races and scoring two first places, Barbour is just one point better than Whitford at fifth so with two more days to go the contest between them is hotting up.

Sailors from East Antrim, County Antrim and Carrickfergus at the RYA Youth NationalsSailors from East Antrim, County Antrim and Carrickfergus at the RYA Youth Nationals

Making their mark in the 29er fleet are Erin McIlwaine and Lauren McDowell from Royal North and Newcastle Yacht Clubs who are seventh overall after today’s racing.

Tom Coulter (213562) at the RYA Youth Nationals in WalesTom Coulter (213562) at the RYA Youth Nationals in Wales

The best placing in the ILCA 6 (Men’s) is Tom Coulter from East Antrim BC at 14th.

Other NI competitors are Lucas Nixon (Ballyholme), Matthew McClernon (East Antrim and Carrickfergus) and Daniel Corbett (County Antrim YC). Another East Antrim competitor, Kelly Patterson had entered under GBR.

Published in Youth Sailing
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Thousands of sailing and watersports fanatics from across the UK came together at Farnborough International this past weekend (26-27 February) for the new-look RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show, presented by Suzuki.

“It was a new beginning for the show, and we were delighted to welcome over 7,000 visitors,” said RYA director of sport development Rob Clark. “After moving the event online last year, it was brilliant to be finally opening the doors for a live event in our new venue.

“The atmosphere was buzzing as visitors browsed the boats and watersports equipment, took part in the interactive sessions and got involved in the expert talk sessions.

“It was great to see people catching up with old friends and just getting excited about spending time on the water this year. Once again, we really appreciate the support from our title sponsor Suzuki.”

Featuring dinghy sailing, windsurfing, wingsurfing, foiling and paddle boarding, the show was officially opened by Olympic Gold medallists Dylan Fletcher and Eilidh McInytre.

The three stages (Suzuki Main Stage, Knowledge Zone and new Watersports Stage) attracted crowds with popular talks including British Sailing Team tactician Mark Rushall, windsurfing expert Peter Hart and record-breaking paddler Brendon Prince.

Talks with top sailing talent and more were just some of the attractions at this year’s show | Credit: RYATalks with top sailing talent and more were just some of the attractions at this year’s show | Credit: RYA

New for 2022, the show welcomed a range of watersports and was the perfect opportunity to launch the new RYA Wing Training Scheme, the latest watersports craze which uses a handheld wing to propel a board on the water

Once again, Sailors Corner was the place to be to meet sailing heroes including Sail GP’s Matt Gotrel and members of the British Sailing Team. The SailGP VR headset experience was a popular choice for all ages with visitors competing against eSailing Champion Mike O’Donovan on Virtual Regatta.

Prizes and awards were celebrated throughout the weekend as Budworth Sailing Club were crowned RYA and Yachts and Yachting Club of the Year and International Canoe, Sleeping Tiger was named winner of the Concours de’Elegance Trophy for ‘boat of the show’.

The RYA Musto Youth Awards celebrated the achievements of 10 inspirational young sailors whilst eight sailing clubs and the RYA’s OnBoard programme received a combined boost of £185,000 as part of the John Merricks Sailing Trust’s Legacy Awards.

Sustainability was high on the agenda and the 16 successful finalists of The Green Blue University Sailing Sustainability Challenge were welcomed onto the stage for the challenge’s award ceremony and prize draw.

It was also a great success for the exhibitors including boat builders, class associations, clubs and centres and retailers. Among them were representatives from GP14 Ireland, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Clark added: “Thank you to everyone who came to the show and to all our exhibitors, sponsor and media partners for making it happen. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did, and we hope to see you out on the water soon!”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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