RYA Northern Ireland is celebrating the achievements of a successful year, following its AGM on Monday 28 October.
During the event, Jackie Patton was re-elected as chair and elected directors were appointed.
Susan McKnight was appointed as vice chair, David Williams as treasurer, James Ogg as chair of the Development Committee, Peter Kennedy as chair of Performance Committee, and Andy Corkill and Roy Totten were also welcomed.
Patton paid a special thanks to three board members who have stepped down: PJ Gault, Paul Bunting and Geraldine Duggan.
It was an action-packed year for the governing body, with many successes and highlights for Northern Ireland throughout 2018/19.
Newcastle Yacht Club’s Erin McIlwaine also made huge strides when she clinched first place at the Female Topper Worlds in 2018.
Meanwhile, Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, who are in the midst of their Olympic campaign, finished 17th in the 49er European Championships.
RYANI had a busy and fruitful year working with clubs to develop initiatives and membership opportunities.
The governing body was awarded an Inclusive Sport Award by Disability Sport NI, ran a successful Sea Bangor initiative, and club membership increased by 450 to 9,474 members. RYA’s membership also increased by over 6%.
Significant investment was made to allow clubs to develop their offering and to help boost sailing and boating right across Northern Ireland.
The investment paid off and through Push the Boat Out, clubs gained 90 new members. Three of the clubs were also able to run a school programme, which saw 70 young people taking to the water to try sailing and boating.
Throughout the year five new windsurf instructors were qualified, five sailing clubs were recognised as Sailability Foundation Sites and six clubs achieved Pathway Club status.
RYANI’s chief operating officer Richard Honeyford said: “It has been a very busy but extremely successful and rewarding year for RYANI. We have watched our sailors compete at a high performance level and achieve many of their goals and we have also been proud to support our clubs, helping them to find new ways to improve their offering and attract new members.
“The success of the last year will spur us on as we undertake another exciting year of sailing and boating in Northern Ireland.”