Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show

The home of British aviation instead became the home of boats, boards, sails and wings of a different kind this past weekend (25-26 February) as thousands of water lovers took over Farnborough International for the 2023 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show presented by Suzuki.

Featuring dinghy sailing, windsurfing, wingsurfing and foiling as well as paddle boarding, the long-standing show brings together participants, clubs, training centres, class associations, equipment manufacturers and retailers from right across the small boat sailing and board sports community, all sharing their water-based passions and helping more people spend more time afloat.

This year the show welcomed 8,500 visitors, 160 exhibitors and hundreds of boats and boards with some 74 expert talks and presentations also taking place across the weekend. Visitors flocked from all over the UK as well as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA.

“I’m delighted to have welcomed so many dinghy sailing and watersports fanatics to the Show this weekend, as well as those deciding where their on water journey will take them next,” said RYA director of sport development Rob Clark. “The atmosphere was alive with passion, enthusiasm and excitement as people browsed all the latest boats, boards and equipment, soaked up expert knowledge and hit the shops for some early-season boating bargains.

“The RYA organises this show to bring together the small boat sailing and board sports community, and it was absolutely thriving this weekend,” Rob continued. “I just loved seeing people getting involved in the interactive sessions, catching up with old friends and making new ones, getting inspired to get afloat and discovering new ways to do so.

“My thanks go to our title sponsor Suzuki and all the fantastic exhibitors and speakers who helped create such a buzz. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

The show’s three stages — Suzuki Main Stage, Knowledge Zone and an expanded Watersports Stage — attracted big crowds with popular talks including ‘Out of the Shadows’ with Olympic gold medal-winning father and daughter Mike and Eilidh McIntyre, ILCA top tips with Sam Whaley and Hannah Snellgrove, and winging workshops with James Hardy and 14-year-old national champion Hugo Dobrijevic.

The RYA Interactive Zone was awash with visitors trying out the windsurfing, winging and sailing simulators, the trapeze rig and taking on some model boat racing, while the 360 VR Experience supported by RYA SafeTrx had show-goers immersed in a sea of virtual reality.

Various prestigious prizes were also awarded across the weekend, with Lymington Town Sailing Club crowned the RYA and Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year, supported by Gallagher, and the Shearwater catamaran Nebuchadnezzar picking up the Concours d’Elegance trophy for boat of the show.

A record-breaking 17 university clubs successfully completed this year’s The Green Blue University Sailing Sustainability Challenge, sponsored by Rooster, with awards presented at the show.

Hattie Rogers (22) was named the youngest ever recipient of the YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award following her win at the SailGP WASZP INSPIRE Grand Final last year, with 17-year-old British Sailing Squad iQFoil windsurfer Charlie Dixon taking home the YJA Young Sailor of the Year trophy through his victories at the International Games and the under 19 Worlds last year.

Check out the highlights from the show on Facebook and Instagram and save the date for next year: 24-25 February 2024. In the meantime, RYA members can claim an exclusive free ticket and up to two half-price tickets to the Southampton International Boat Show this September.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

The 2023 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show on the weekend of 25-26 February is set to showcase a world of on-water possibilities as the first of its guest speakers were unveiled recently.

Expert advice and motivation are to be found in every corner of the Farnborough International Conference and Exhibition Centre, with a packed schedule of talks complementing the 140-plus exhibitors at the season-opening show.

The first ever father-daughter Olympic gold-medal winners, Mike and Eilidh McIntyre, will take to the stage to reflect on their Olympic successes and how Mike’s medal hanging outside a young Eilidh’s bedroom inspired her to reach for her own place in sailing history (Saturday 25 February only). She is now striving for further glory at Paris 2024, forging a new partnership in the mixed 470 class alongside Martin Wrigley.

Farnborough International welcomed over 7,000 attendees over the weekend of 26-27 February for the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show 2022 | Credit: RYAFarnborough International welcomed over 7,000 attendees over the weekend of 26-27 February for the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show 2022 | Credit: RYA

Take a peek into the world of dinghy adventuring through the epic feats of Ken Fowler — an “average bloke” in a very small dinghy who took on a very big challenge for two causes dear to his heart. Ken will tell his story of the mission to sail 2,000km in his RS Aero around 250 islands of England and Wales, raising thousands for Cancer Research UK and Oakhaven Hospice in the process.

There are new pursuits to be discovered at the show, and RYA instructor trainer and pathway coach James Hardy will be talking all things winging, windsurfing and windfoiling alongside Peter Hart and other special guests on the Watersports Stage. Whatever your level, James’s workshops can help you find and unlock a new skill.

Attendees will hear from the fast and furious America’s Cup and SailGP racing scenes as show host Hannah Diamond will be joined by Hattie Rogers to share their Great Britain SailGP team experiences and updates on the Athena Pathway Programme, looking ahead to a ground-breaking first ever Women’s America’s Cup in 2024.

INEOS Britannia’s Matt Gotrel (Saturday only) will update on the Challenger of Record’s progress towards the 37th America’s Cup and the coming SailGP season.

Whatever your means of getting afloat, experts will be on hand with all the advice and practical tips you need to help you improve.

SUP rider Holly Bassett will explore the world of paddleboarding | Credit: RYASUP rider Holly Bassett will explore the world of paddleboarding | Credit: RYA

Strength and conditioning expert and show regular Chris Szedlak’s interactive session will help shake off any winter cobwebs and provide fitness tips to get you — and keep you — ready and raring to go this season.

SUP rider Holly Bassett will explore the world of paddleboarding and provide top tips on how to ride the waves as well as share improver techniques for all levels.

Paralympic gold medallist and RYA National Class lead Coach Helena Lucas, along with guest coaches, will head up a session for youth and junior dinghy racers on preparing for the season ahead.

The full line-up of speakers for the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show will be revealed at the end of January and will include a host of returning show favourites covering dinghy cruising, top racing tips and getting the best out of your rig set up.

Tickets are available now via the RYA website and RYA members can access a complimentary ticket worth £21 for one or both days of the event, while kids under 15 years go free!

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

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

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2023

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating