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Strangford Lough Yacht Club and East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland have been named among the 10 finalists selected for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award for 2020.

East Antrim Boat Club is also among five of the finalists recognised for particular achievements, with the Larne Lough club acknowledged for ‘Embracing Modern Communications’.

The annual RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

Voting opens on Friday 13 December, and the award presentations and overall winner announcement will be made at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 on Saturday 29 February.

The RYA is welcoming the launch of a UK-wide disability inclusion campaign and highlighting the benefits of sailing for all participants.

The Activity Alliance’s Who Says? campaign is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport.

It was created in response to the national charity’s recent research, which explored people’s attitudes on inclusive activity and found that a lack of understanding could be creating long-lasting barriers for people with disabilities.

The findings of the research showed a general lack of awareness, inexperience and unfamiliarity with disabled people although there was a good awareness that sport should be for everyone.

Non-disabled respondents also recognised that they could benefit from taking part in inclusive activities.

However, non-disabled people were concerned about the negative impact taking part together may have on the wellbeing of disabled people.

The top three concerns were that they may patronise disabled people (53%), disabled people may get hurt (47%) or that they may say something inappropriate (37%).

The aim of Who Says? is to empower people to challenge their own and other people’s perceptions through a series of short films.

RYA safeguarding and equality manager Jackie Reid said: “The research shows that certain perceptions around disability in sport should be challenged and it is time for an awareness raising initiative like the Who Says campaign.

“At the RYA we operate on the basis that sailing and boating are open to anyone, no matter what their age or disability and our aim is to facilitate the inclusion of all sailors, whether they want to compete or just have fun on the water.”

The RYA says all of its clubs and training centres should be able to respond appropriately to an enquiry from someone with a disability, and discuss whether they are able to make reasonable adjustments to meet that individual’s needs.

Sailability is the RYA’s national programme in the UK giving people with disabilities the chance to try sailing and to take part regularly.

The British network of more than 200 RYA-approved sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for people across the whole spectrum of abilities.

RYA sailability manager Joff McGill said: “Challenging perceptions can make a real difference to whether people can get out on the water or not.

“With over 200 locations across the UK, it is easy to get on the water near you and staff and volunteers across the sailability programme are committed to open and positive conversations about what it takes to get each person sailing.

“There are so many benefits – being active, improving wellbeing, new social connections and learning new skills.”

To find out more about sailing opportunities for disabled people, or those that need specific support to get on the water, visit the RYA’s sailability programme web page.

Published in Sail
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The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks.

RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The MCA has launched this consultation following the Cheeki Rafiki trial where the judge commented that there were aspects not covered by the construction standards for small commercial vessels which should be considered best practice.

“The RYA already provides a considerable amount of safety advice that is readily accessible by the boating public and intends to submit a full response, outlining our views and the concerns of our members.

“Our response will focus on the interests of pleasure boaters with the aim of ensuring that any guidance is clear, realistic and proportionate.”

The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of lifesaving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs.

They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats.

The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:

  • Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice
  • What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment
  • If there is the right level of content in each MGN

Full details on the draft MGNS and how to give your views can be found on the UK Government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation.

The consultation closes on Thursday 18 July and the RYA encourages all UK boaters to respond.

Published in Water Safety
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#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
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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
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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
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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
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Page 1 of 4

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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