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Displaying items by tag: RYANI

RYA Northern Ireland has been working closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Stephen Dunne, MLA for North Down to arrange a marine flare disposal day for Northern Ireland boaters.

As previously reported on, marine flares have become increasingly difficult to dispose of in Northern Ireland in recent years, which RYANI recognises “has been a source of immense frustration for boaters”.

But soon NI boaters will have an opportunity to dispose of out-of-date flares at three locations on Saturday 15 June.

Portrush Yacht Club, Bangor Marina and Lough Erne Yacht Club will each host a drop-off point from 10am to 3pm on the day.

“We would encourage all with these marine flares which are past their best to use this opportunity to safely dispose of them and replace with more reliable flares,” said Inspector Stephen Burke of the PSNI’s Explosives Blasting Unit.

“You should never use flares that are expired or damaged. Nor should you dispose, discard or dump flares anywhere, whether at sea or on land.

“Flares are explosive devices. Anyone possessing a flare is responsible for it until it has been used or properly disposed of in the appropriate way such as at one of these disposal days.”

The PSNI also reminds NI boat owners that ‘Written Police Consent’ must be given prior to the purchase of marine distress pyrotechnics. To apply for this consent, download the application form from the RYA and send the completed application to [email protected] which is also the contact for any related queries.

The RYA website has more HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Rutland Sailing Club in England’s East Midlands was a hub of energy over the May Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May) as some 300 junior sailors — including nine from Northern Ireland — took to the water for the highly anticipated RYA Eric Twiname Junior Championships.

The event, now in its 36th edition, encourages junior sailors to race and represent their region or home country in the British Youth Sailing recognised junior classes of Optimist, Topper, RS Tera, RS Feva and Techno windsurfer.

The North region, having shared the spoils with the South West last year, won the prestigious Eric Twiname Shield outright this year, which is awarded to the overall winning region or home country.

The North region also picked up the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, with London & South East’s windsurfing talents impressing to take home the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Cup.

This year’s event introduced new formats such as short-course and long-course races that injected a fresh feel to the competition which was well received by the young racers.

“The purpose of these new-style races is to make sailing more appealing to competitors and spectators alike,” said RYA Northern Ireland performance manager Andrew Baker.

Ballyholme YC sent a contingent of nine young sailors to the 2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend Ballyholme YC sent a contingent of nine young sailors to the 2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend

“Shorter races guarantee more boat-on-boat interaction and a need for the sailors to think quickly, therefore improving their abilities.

“Mainstream sailing is moving towards shorter, more intense racing including future potential Olympic race formats. Events such as SailGP match racing and team racing series have already been running shorter races for a number of seasons.”

Among the notable additions was the RS Tera Pro class to this year’s event that increased the diversity of the racing fleet, as well as the new introduction of bibs for frontrunners which added an extra layer of competitiveness.

Sailing conditions on Saturday were optimal, providing a perfect backdrop for the juniors to battle it out. Amid the intensity of competition, juniors and parents found moments to reconnect with friends and families as well as strategising for upcoming races or simply enjoying the vibrant event atmosphere.

Sunday brought its own set of challenges, with a slightly delayed start due to the lack of wind, necessitating practice sessions led by coaches that offered valuable insights and exercises to eager participants. As the breeze picked up, racing resumed under sunny skies, albeit with tricky wind conditions. Fortunately, the originally forecasted rain held off, allowing for a full schedule of racing across three course areas.

Chris Atherton, RYA junior racing manager extended his appreciation to all involved: “A huge thanks to Rutland Sailing Club for their hospitality and for the collective effort of parents, umpires, coaches, race officers and volunteers that all pulled together and contributed to the event's success.”

Full results are available from the RYA website HERE.

The Northern Ireland squad consisted of sailors from Ballyholme Yacht Club in the Feva, ILCA and Topper classes:

RS Feva
Annabel & Emily Ridout
Sally Nixon & Jessica Dadley-Young

Hugo Boyd
Isabel Nixon
Emily Mcafee

Sophie Cairns
Polly Robinson

Published in Youth Sailing

The Northern Ireland sailing community enjoyed a celebratory evening at Riddel Hall in Belfast last Friday (19 April) as people came together for the RYA Northern Ireland Annual Awards.

The evening was “the perfect opportunity to recognise the achievements of everyone involved in Northern Irish sailing, from a grassroots level of volunteering, to elite performance level sailors who have been successful on the world stage”, RYANI said.

The awards, which are nominated by RYANI members, also took place one year on from the launch of RYANI’s five-year strategy, Navigating The Future, “and it was fantastic to see how sailing has developed in Northern Ireland over the last 12 months”.

Speaking on the evening, RYANI vice-chair Gavin Watson said: “We all think of the RYA supporting performance sailors — the RYA is much more than just performance. It’s all about the environment, the older generations that go cruising and the clubs that want to create sailing for their members that are in the community.”

The RYA website has more on the awards HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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RYA Northern Ireland has launched its Active Clubs Grants scheme, which offers funding for Northern Ireland clubs aiming to grow and retain their membership.

Priority will be given to clubs who are running programmes for women and girls, people with a disability, youth sailing and boating, and rural communities.

“The Active Clubs grants should encourage clubs to look at their membership make-up, what their club vision is and how can the grant support their clubs development plan,” coordinator Lisa McCaffrey says.

“Whether it is to increase female membership, to get their female members active with a Women on Water programme or to develop a Sailability programme within their club, the Active Clubs grant is flexible to be able to work with different clubs’ goals.”

The RYA website has more on the scheme and how to apply HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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More than 60 sailors, instructors and centre principals from across Northern Ireland gathered at Strangford Lough Yacht Club and Newtownards Sailing Club for a recent weekend of RYANI training.

The training day and windsurfing clinic allowed for all participants to develop their skills and learn about new RYA schemes. Ahead of what promises to be a busy season, it was an ideal way for members to learn how develop sailing and boating at their club.

Speaking on the training day at Strangford Lough lasyt Saturday (23 March), Bryan Monson from East Down Yacht Club said: “It was great day brushing up skills and meeting some other power boat instructors.”

Sunday (24 March) saw windsurfing and wing instructors running a clinic in Newtownards, including a chance for attendees to get out on the water and brush up on teaching skills, especially coaching on self-development.

Among the “hugely positive” feedback, Richard Robinson from County Antrim Yacht Club said: “It was a great day and a great chance to discuss some of the challenges to the development of wind and windsurfing and winging in NI.”

The RYA website has more HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Last year marked 50 years since the founding of RYA Northern Ireland, and three of those who were there at the beginning have shared their memories of how it got off the ground.

In 1973, amid the turmoil of the Troubles, Northern Ireland had no national governing body for sailing.

“The UDRA [Ulster Dinghy Racing Association] had effectively become ‘defunct’ but there was a need for the RYA to be in Northern Ireland,” Curly Morris said.

Indeed, such a body was a pre-requisite for funding under The Sports Council established by the restored devolved government, according RYANI’s first female chair Maeve Bell.

Her husband Adrian Bell noted: “If you were going to get government funding you had to have some sort of organisation which would be respected, so the current Sports Council needed to have a body. This is where the ISA couldn’t do that at that time.”

The RYA website has more on this story HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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RYA Northern Ireland’s Women On Water Festival will take place at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in Cultra on Sunday 12 May and online sign-ups are now open to women across Northern Ireland and the wider island of Ireland.

“You don’t have to have taken part in a Women On Water programme before,” RYANI club coordinator Lisa McCaffrey makes clear. “It’s just an opportunity for anyone to get out on the water and meet like-minded people who love nature and love being out on the water.”

The RYA website has more on the festival and the wider Women On Water programme HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Three-time Olympian and 2016 ILCA World Champion Alison Young will provide coaching for Northern Ireland sailors at RYA Northern Ireland’s ‘Female Focused Camp’ at Ballyholme Yacht Club on the weekend of 27-28 April.

The camp is specifically targeted for junior and youth performance pathway women and girls, who will benefit from elite-level coaching from Young as well as CPD training from Robyn Phillips of RYA Scotland, who boasts extensive coaching experience of her own.

RYANI says the camp — which will comprise the Topper, Feva, ILCA and 29er classes — is central to its five-year strategy, Navigating The Future, as well as its pilot Project Theia which includes a Women on Water development programme.

Spaces for the weekend are very limited and bookings are being taken on a first come, first served basis. For more on the coaching camp and how to take part, see the RYA website HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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RYA Northern Ireland says it has been in discussions with British Marine and other stakeholders regarding the safe disposal of out-of-date flares.

Marine flares have become increasingly difficult to dispose of in Northern Ireland in recent years, which RYANI recognises “has been a source of immense frustration for boaters”.

While facilities exist for expired flare disposal elsewhere on the island of Ireland, there are currently no such facilities in Northern Ireland.

And while marinas and chandleries in the region have been approached regarding the possibility of hosting such collection hubs, RYANI says that “none of these sites have agreed to take this on and Northern Ireland continues to have no designated facilities for the safe disposal of flares”.

It adds: “There are ongoing conversations with the wider sector to try and resolve this situation with an amnesty day also being explored.

“We will keep our members updated as soon as any development is made but reassured that the sector is working hard to find a solution here in Northern Ireland.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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Ten of Northern Ireland’s Topper and ILCA sailors travelled to Plas Heli in Pwllheli for the Celtic Cup earlier this month (3-4 February).

This annual event sees the best youth and junior sailors from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland compete for the accolade of top Celtic nation.

And this year it was Wales who claimed the crown with a narrow single-point victory — though the RYANI contingent put in a strong showing, edging the overnight leads in both classes.

The event also provided a great opportunity to solidify friendships with the other Celtic nations, which will be even more vital in light of the summer events schedule with competitions such as the ILCA 6 Youth Europeans at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

For more see the RYA website HERE.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland
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About the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Northern Ireland 

  • The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.
  • The RYA is recognised by Government, the media and opinion formers as the representative body and voice for the activities that it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 112,000 personal members.
  • The RYA has more than 1,500 affiliated clubs and classes, which represent some 350,000 boaters throughout the UK. It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK take part in boating activity annually.
  • The RYA also sets and maintains recognised standards for training for both leisure and commercial boating through a network of more than 2,400 RYA Recognised Training Centres across 58 countries. More than 250,000 people per year complete RYA training courses.
  • The RYA is responsible for one of the UK’s most successful Olympic medal-winning sports. Our coaching and development schemes actively support 800 of our country’s top sailors, from talented juniors to Olympic and World champions.
  • The RYA is committed to promoting all forms of boating and making them accessible to everyone. For more information please visit
  • The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYA NI) acts for the RYA in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Chairman of RYA NI is invited to join the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Policy Review Committee.
  • You can find the RYA Northern Ireland at Sketrick House, GE8, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH.
  • RYA NI is a company limited by guarantee – Registration number NI 51945
  • Contact RYA NI: Tel: 02891 827154 email: [email protected]