Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYANI) News & Updates

#Sailability - Anne Taylor of Belfast Lough Sailability was one of three winners of this year’s Exceptional Contribution Awards in the RYA Sailability Annual Awards last weekend.

Held at the Sailability National Conference and Awards dinner at Wyboston Lakes on Saturday (16 February) — with more than 160 delegates representing 57 sailability sites across the UK in attendance — the awards recognised individuals and organisations whose contribution and achievements have made a real impact.

The Exceptional Contribution Awards are presented each year individuals who, over a considerable period have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to boating and getting people on the water.

Belfast Lough’s Anne Taylor said: “My son had a very serious illness and we were very lucky that he made a full recovery. He may not have and if he hadn’t, he would have needed something like sailability to keep his spirits going.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won this award, I think it’s excellent for our group, Belfast Lough, and for raising the profile of sailability in general.”

A new award this year was the #MoreThanSailing Award, recognising a new and innovative project, activity or piece of work that has enabled inactive disabled people to become more active. The first ever recipient was Jon Gamon and the SEAS Sailability group at the Conway Centres in Anglesey, North Wales.

Jon Gamon commented: “It’s great to take this award back to North Wales, setting up the SEAS Sailability group has been a real community effort, there’s been lots and lots of people involved and to be able to take this back to the Conway Centres and show everyone, they’ll all be really proud. It means such a lot, it’s amazing.”

RYA sailability manager Joff McGill added: “Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. The Sailability Annual Awards recognise the dedication, commitment and contribution of so many, but of course it’s way more than that, there are so many other people who have given so much and we’re just recognising a few of them.”

Published in News Update

Rob Taylor from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) was at UK Sailmakers Ireland loft in Crosshaven yesterday (Wednesday 23 January) for the refreshing of its In-House Certification (IHC).

UK Sailmakers in Crosshaven is the only IHC loft in Ireland – since Des McWilliam's days  – and must renew this status every four years as per World Sailing requirements.

To that end, Rob Taylor from the RYA was in Crosshaven yesterday to check over the loft’s records and measurement methods to confirm the required consistency with worldwide practice.

This ensures that if you are measured at events such as the IRC Europeans or Cork Week, the methods and results those measurers get are the same as those taken on the UK Sailmakers Ireland loft floor.

Published in UK Sailmakers Ireland

Parasailing and kiteboarding have been added to the list of events at the 2019 RYA Youth Championships to take place in Weymouth next spring.

Entries are now open for the new-look regatta from 12-19 April 2019, which also welcomes the Topper and Laser 4.7 into the fold along with the Laser Radial, 420, 29er, Nacra 15 and BIC Techno 293.

The inclusion of the RS Venture Connect, Hansa 303 and 2.4mR parasailing classes, the RYA says, “reaffirms British Youth Sailing’s commitment to their long-term future in the UK by continuing to develop a pathway.”

In addition, twin-tip kiteboarding will feature after Formula Kite’s inclusion in the list of events for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Entrants must be aged under 21 on 31 December 2019 with the exception of the 420, Topper, Twin Tip and para classes. Further details of requirements can be found in the Notice of Race.

More information can be found in the Notice of Race, while an overview of the regatta and details of discounted early bird entries can be found on the RYA website HERE.

Published in Youth Sailing

The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch (RCYC), and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have announced the launch of the Keelboat Endeavour Trophy writes Sue Pelling. 

The aim of this new event, scheduled to take place on 22-23 September 2018, is to establish the UK keelboat champions of champions’, in a similar format to the long-running and successful annual Endeavour Trophy for dinghies. 

Using up to six of the RCYC’s fleet of 707s, the Keelboat Endeavour Trophy will be run in a British Keelboat League-style knock-out format with 25 plus races over the weekend, and with RYA on-the-water umpires keeping an eye on proceedings.

The team behind the RCYC and RYA joint venture, including Edwin Buckley (RCYC Event Director), Bas Edmonds (RYA Racing Services Manager) and Jack Fenwick (RYA Keelboat Development Manager) say after three years in the planning they are thrilled to finally be able to launch the event.

Edmonds commented: “It has been a long time coming but we are now in a position to run an event that we [RYA and Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch] believe will become as significant as the dinghy Champion of Champions’ Endeavour Trophy. 

“As far as entries go, we are trying to be as inclusive as possible, particularly in the first year so classes like the J/109, J/111, Fast40s, and potentially the IRC national champion have the opportunity to come along. We also expect to see a large contingent of champions from classes like the Squibs, Flying 15s and local one-designs that run a national championship and have exceptionally high quality competition. 

“The launch of this event couldn’t have come at a better time because we are really noticing a bit of ascendancy in keelboat racing at the moment. Certainly the smaller dayboats are seeing a resurgence. 

“Overall, I think it is a really good time for keelboat sailing and I can confirm the Royal Corinthian at Burnham, and the RYA are pretty excited about having an opportunity to showcase keelboat sailing at its best.”

Buckley, who is delighted to be able to build on the success of the Endeavour, added: “This is also another step in history of the Endeavour and I know that the original founders of the dinghy event that celebrates 58 years this year, would be delighted to see the Endeavour Trophy evolve by expanding the event from dinghies to keelboats.”

A total of 24 keelboat teams are expected to contest the title, which will take place over short, windward/leeward courses on the tactical, tidal waters of the River Crouch and Roach.

The organisers of the event are keen to encourage keelboat classes to lodge an interest in putting forward class representatives from the 2018 national championships that take place throughout the summer.

Published in Racing

Britain's former Olympic sailing coach is presented with a boats.com / YJA Special Award for services to the sport.

Stephen 'Sparky' Park has been presented with a boats.com/YJA Special Award for services to the sport of sailing. The award was presented by Barry Pickthall, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association and former Chairman Bob Fisher at a lunch held at the Royal Southern YC this week

Park has been the s Olympic Team Manager for the last four Olympiads and led Britain's world-beating sailors to amass an unprecedented 23 Olympic and Paralympic medals during this period.

Olympic sailing medalists Giles Scott, Iain Percy and Paul Goodison all sent video messages from Bermuda where they are training to compete in the America's Cup starting on May 26, and Helena Lucas, who won Gold and Bronze medals under Park's management at successive Paralympic Games, was equally effusive during the lunch.

Dave Williamson, Chairman of the Royal Yachting Association sent a message of appreciation: "Sparky - what a career so far! Scots Youth Squad sailing 420s in the early '80's, Welsh Yachting and then the Royal Yachting Association, ending up as Olympic Manager during four Olympiads. There was a potential for 51 medals, so if medals are a measure of success, his Team GBR achieved a 45% rate. At the Rio Games, Team GB finished top sailing team when every crew qualified for their medal race. Very few sports coaches have achieved this measure of success.

Always focused and forthright, it has been a privilege to know Stephen and have him as a prominent member of the RYA team."

Rod Carr, the former CEO of the Royal Yachting Association, now Chairman of UK Sport, added his thoughts: "Determined, resourceful, focussed and unfazed by the vagaries of racing are my abiding memories of 'Sparky'...A great job, well executed."Park has been recruited to lead Britain's Olympic cycling team where he will introduce some of the coaching methods developed during his time in sailing.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Former Irish Green Dragon VOR skipper Ian Walker is to take up the Director of Racing position at the Royal Yachting Association this autumn, according to PBO.

The double Olympic medallist, America’s Cup sailor and Volvo Ocean Race-winning skipper will take up the baton from John Derbyshire OBE, who is set to retire later this year after 32 years’ involvement with the organisation, including 16 years in the Director of Racing role.

Walker has enjoyed an impressive and multi-faceted career in the sport, winning two Olympic silver medals (470 in 1996; Star in 2000) and coaching Shirley Robertson, Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb to Yngling gold at Athens 2004.

Among a host of inshore and offshore racing successes, Walker has been involved with two America’s Cup campaigns (GBR Challenge in 2003; +39 in 2007) and won the 2014/15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Prior to that he raced for Ireland as skipper of Ireland's Green Dragon project.

More from PBO here.

Published in News Update

John Derbyshire OBE, whose involvement with the RYA’s Racing programmes spans some 32 years as a coach, Olympic Manager and as latterly Director of Racing, is to retire from the organisation in late 2017.

Two exciting opportunities will now exist for two exceptional people to help shape the future of sail racing in the UK and the medal fortunes of the world’s leading Olympic sailing nation.

With Olympic Manager Stephen Park OBE also moving on this spring, the RYA is seeking two outstanding candidates to lead the development of racing in the UK, the World Class Programme and the British Sailing Team for the Tokyo 2020 cycle and beyond.

Derbyshire first joined the RYA as National Racing Coach in 1985 – coaching Finns, Europes and Lasers until 1996, whereupon he became Olympic Manager for the Sydney 2000 cycle. Sydney was the first Games following the introduction of National Lottery funding for sport and one which saw Britain’s biggest performance improvement at any sailing Games.

Derbyshire was also personal coach to Sir Ben Ainslie from 1994-2000, including at Sydney where Ainslie won the first of his four Olympic gold medals, and coached other notable sailors such as Shirley Robertson, Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson and Hugh Styles during his career.

Since 2001 he has been the Director of Racing, overseeing the RYA’s World Class Programme and talent pathways, as well as the broader remit of racing participation in all its forms in the UK.

Following a staffing review, the RYA will look to recruit its new Director of Racing as a first priority to enable a suitable handover period, and to allow the successful candidate to be involved with the recruitment of an Olympic Manager to succeed Park.

“It had always been my intention to retire in the early part of this cycle, and with a new Olympic Manager to recruit as well it makes logical sense for my successor to be involved in that process to ensure the best possible handover,” explained Derbyshire, who will remain full time in post until 1 September 2017.

“I feel hugely proud of what has been achieved during my time with the RYA. The sport has evolved enormously during that period and it’s been a privilege to have led a programme which has helped develop the talents of countless sailors at many levels and in so many facets of the sport, and which has been so dominant on the world stage for so many years.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been aided in that task by an immensely committed group of athletes, coaches, support staff, officials and volunteers who are so passionate about the health and continued success of the sport in this country.

“The RYA’s World Class Programme is in great shape, with a wealth of talented sailors, coaches and support staff and a favourable funding award from UK Sport to underpin our performance strategy for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”

UK Sport Director of Performance Chelsea Warr said: “John’s contribution to the success of the RYA’s World Class Programme over a long period of time has been enormous.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us working across the UK high performance system but he will leave a great legacy that will see the sport build on the strong foundations he has laid.

“I am delighted that John will remain in post until September to ensure the best possible handover that will support the new individuals coming in as they look to ensure further success in the Tokyo cycle.”

RYA CEO Sarah Treseder added: “John’s contribution both to British sailors’ medal fortunes and to the standard of UK racing both domestically and internationally cannot be understated, and his experience and insight will be greatly missed.

“I am delighted that we will continue to have the benefit of his experience during this transition period, and would like to place on record our thanks to John from the RYA and the wider sailing community for so many years of dedicated service to the sport.

“Both John and Sparky together have driven forward challenging programmes capable of delivering over successive years and cycles.

“Exciting opportunities now exist for two new individuals to take up their batons, further develop and refresh our Racing programmes and ensure this success continues in the years to come.”

Role descriptions and application details for both the Director of Racing and Olympic Performance Manager roles are available on the RYA website.

Requests for initial confidential conversations in connection with these posts should be sent to Dawn Brown: [email protected]

Published in Olympic

The boating community from around Scotland gathered on Saturday evening (28th January 2017) at the Glasgow Science Centre as RYA Scotland recognised the achievements and outstanding commitment of Scotland's volunteers, coaches, instructors, officials, clubs and performance sailors.

The theme throughout the evening returned to the boating 'family' as the support network that enables the vast range of activity represented across the ten award categories.

Among the highlights was the Performance of the Year category which was won by Daniel Smith from West Kilbride, for his result in the Clipper Round the World Race in which he led the crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew to 2nd place overall. His team won a hat trick of back to back wins in the Pacific and remained on the podium 7 times in the 14 race series.

The Performance category demonstrated the wide range of competitive sailing from ocean racing, day boat racing and Olympic sailing who all merited nominations. Luke Patience, double Olympian and Silver Medallist in the 2012 Games spoke later in the evening.

Skye Sailing Club was awarded the RYA Scotland Club of the Year award for their recent investments in the club and commitment to the local island community within the past year.

The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Billy Fortieth of Oban SC for his lifelong dedication to support both the club and the local RNLI.

The Elizabeth Mackay Award for female endeavours in sport went to Bess Homer of Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.

The entire team from Dalgety Bay Sailing Club were nominated in the Instructor of Year awards demonstrating the community within Bess's club but the award went to Team 15 Windsurfing instructor Calum Nicol.

Among the other awards in the training network Alasdair Young originally from Tarbert, Loch Fyne took the coach of the year award for his creative coaching techniques with the Class Academies and in clubs.

The RYA Scotland Official of the Year went to Tom Thurlow. Currently Tom is also an instructor on Cumbrae.

Published in News Update

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has responded to a UK Sport Funding announcement for sailing, which will underpin the sport's World Class Programme there for the 2017-2020 Olympic cycle.

As a multi medal-winning sport for the fifth consecutive Olympic Games and top nation at the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing competition, the UK sport has been granted 'Band 1' status and £26.231 million to support its performance efforts towards Tokyo 2020.

In the Rio cycle, Belfast–based Olympians in the 49er class, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, from Ballyholme Yacht Club, benefitted from RYA Northern Ireland funding as well as Sport Ireland funding from the Irish Government. The pair have now split and are both pursuing separate skiff campaigns for Tokyo.

"We're proud that sailing once again delivered against its medal targets and contributed towards a hugely successful British performance at Rio 2016 which captivated the nation and inspired a new wave of aspiring young athletes and sailors," said RYA Performance Director John Derbyshire.

With sailing not currently on the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020, the sport is not eligible to receive a World Class Programme Paralympic funding award. The RYA will, however, continue to invest strategically in racing at selected Sailability and regional High Performance Clubs with the aim of developing racing participation and supporting World Sailing towards having the sport reinstated for the 2024 cycle.

Published in Olympic

The RYA shares the global concern over events which transpired to prevent the Israeli team from competing at the recent Youth World Sailing Championships in Malaysia.

At the same time, it is encouraging to see the international show of support for the young athletes concerned who have missed out on the opportunity of World Championship competition for reasons outside their control.

The World Sailing constitution is unequivocal that the sport is to be open for participation by all, on equal terms, without regard for race, religion, or any other factor.

The obligation to uphold this principle applies to all Member National Authorities and is especially important in events involving future generations of sailors. Investigation

As such, the RYA asks that the investigation be swiftly and thoroughly concluded, and its findings shared transparently with the full World Sailing family.

Published in Youth Sailing
Page 1 of 3

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating