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Displaying items by tag: RYA Scotland

Brian Pahlmann joins the team at RYA Scotland as the regional development officer (RDO) for the North of Scotland and the Islands.

Hailing from the United States and with a strong background in community sports and active lifestyles, Pahlmann is a relative newcomer to boating in Scottish waters.

But the association says: “We welcome [his] input in expanding the reach of RYA Scotland to help foster the people, places and communities in the north of Scotland to benefit fully from rewarding and safe boating activities.”

The RDO role is “integral to help growing and supporting the boating communities at a local, regional and national level to ensure that we are working collaboratively to develop the people, pathways and opportunities to be involved within boating activities and sports”.

RYA Scotland says this regional approach has had success in both the east and west regions and it is looking forward to building a stronger connection with affiliates in the north and the islands.

Commenting on his new role, Pahlmann said: “I’m really looking forward to the role and while I feel relatively new to sports development, my background in physical therapy and sports medicine in the States led me to work with sports clubs and see the impact sport can have on everyday lives.

“I had a great experience working in Aberdeenshire and I want to have a bigger impact, which I hope to have with this role with RYA Scotland.

“The thing that took me was when I came to Scotland and got involved in sport clubs. For me it was all about impact. When someone I respected asked me to become chair of ClubSport Abereen, and with my time with Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club (AAAC) I thought this is a way I could expand the impact I can have.

“Working in sports science I could help individuals or small group at a time, whereas with AAAC we had 350 members and then through ClubSport we had nearly 20,000 members. Creating and understanding that wider impact drew me to this role.

“I’ve been on a few lakes and rivers, but have no major boating experience. My work is about helping people and gathering new experiences and memories. In fact, I was very late to the water, actually learning to swim in my thirties, as my family in Illinois never really liked the water.

“I figured out I could actually swim, but needed to work on my breathing so joined a masters swimming class before going on and starting to compete in triathlons. Looking forward to learning the ropes, alongside helping support organisations to grow the impact they can have on their local communities.”

RYA Scotland development manager Liza Linton said: “We are very pleased to have Brian join us to help develop sailing and boating in the North and Islands of Scotland. His experience and passion of working within a sports development and club environment are well suited to the task ahead to provide support to organisations within the North of Scotland.

“He also brings some great volunteer experience of working within local sports councils and energising clubs across the sports under his chairmanship of ClubSport Aberdeen.”

Pahlmann and his fellow RDOs Georgia Moran and Laura Cowan are planning to be out and about over the summer meeting clubs and centres across Scotland. If you are having an event or training or a social gathering you would like them to know about, get in touch at [email protected]

Published in Scottish Waters
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As part of the RYA Regional Junior Championships, RYA Scotland hosted Scottish youth and junior sailors at Largs Sailing Club in testing conditions this past weekend of 18-19 June.

High west and northwest winds dominated the weekend, with volunteers and officials managing to make the most of conditions that kept most classes ashore on Saturday.
The Toppers managed to get out on Sunday for four races, with Dalgety Bay’s Ben Homer gaining three bullets to win the overall Topper prize, with local Largs sailors Finley Briggs and Ruairi Herrington finishing second and third respectively. 

The 29er and 420 fleets joined them later in the day for some close racing. A great performance from Morven Wood and Oliver Bull took them to the lead in the 29ers, and in the 420s Anna Miller and Tess Crooks sped into first.
After a tough set of races afloat on Saturday, the Optimists braved the breeze again to finish up their series. Finlay Davidson, also of Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, held on to win overall with four points ahead of Helensburgh’s Andrew Perratt and Lyall Webster from Aberdeen & Stonehaven who both were on nine points. 

Over on the Bravo course, the windsurfers on the iQFOiL and Techno were flying in the strong breeze through the assembled classic Fife Boat fleet on both days. 
The iQs got in eight tight races over the weekend at their first competition in Scotland and the five boards battled it out across the two days.

Loch Insh’s Kai Beattie held onto the lead overnight and went on to clinch first place at the end of Sunday. The Technos had the bigger fleet and managed to get five races in, with Kyle Clark got a win in all five to win overall.

Full results are available HERE.

Published in Scottish Waters

RYA Scotland are looking to identify a team of young sailors from Scotland to go to the British Keelboat League Championship Finals in Southampton in September 2022.

An online information session on Tuesday 24 May at 7pm will set out the opportunity that will see the selected team having all their expenses to attend the finals met by the event sponsors, A-plan insurance.

“Our intention is to encourage clubs with existing keelboat activity to engage and develop their own team of young keelboat sailors who will go forward from the club to attend a Scottish training and finals weekend – to be run at Port Edgar Yacht Club on 3 / 4 September 2022,” RYA Scotland says, explaining that the concept is similar to the Scottish Club Trophy.

The purpose is to support clubs in developing new interest in keelboat sailing in their younger club members, develop teamwork principles in young sailors and provide an entirely different boating experience for the target age range for whom dinghy sailing is the predominant expectation.

Clubs can organise their training arrangement any way that works at the club to train or select a team. The choice of keelboat does not mater but we suggest it should be below 25ft and run with a maximum crew of five. The Scottish training and finals weekend will be in the 707 one design class.

Basic pre-requisites:

  • Teams being entered for the Scottish final should consist of 4 or 5 sailors aged from 16 - 25 (inclusive) with a maximum of three male sailors
  • The team should be able to sail a triangular course and handle a standard spinnaker as a minimum capability
  • Team members should be members of the RYA, either as an individual or under a family membership
  • The winning team must be available to attend the British Keelboat League Championship Finals at Royal Southern YC in Southampton, 30 September to 1 October 2022

Interested clubs in Scotland can reserve their place in the information session by emailing [email protected] or alternately call James Allan (CEO at RYA Scotland) on 07824 887247 or Kevin Aitken (RYA Scotland Board Member) on 07778 788855 to discuss the opportunity.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Daniel Smith (39) and his partner Becky Jeffery (29) were set to be married this Friday the 3rd of July, the day travel restrictions are to be eased and overnight accommodation is allowed in Scotland in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daniel Smith, an RYA Examiner, Trainer and former skipper in The Clipper Round the World Race started his own RYA Training Centre to provide practical skills as part of the RYA Yachtmaster scheme, but like the wedding plans, this had to be put on hold as activities ceased.

The couple are looking forward to the opportunity to cast off again and restart their business and personal plans to explore Scotland’s coasts. They also provide some appropriate advice to those thinking of heading afloat over the coming months.

“The weather forecast looks terrible for the 3rd of July so we maybe in luck.” comments Becky on the significance of the date. “We have done a few short days sails together locally and having the freedom in the water has been lovely. We have been a lot more cautious than maybe we would have been in the past and staying within our safety limits as much as possible. Thinking twice and making sure we are comfortable. What we’re really looking forward to is heading away overnight which we will now be able to do from Friday.”

“Growing up I was taught how to sail in a dinghy with my family in Northern Ireland. I liked the idea of doing the Clipper Race and that’s where I met Daniel. It is nice to be able to go sailing with someone that you completely trust and has been there and done that and I know will keep me safe and make the right decisions.”

Daniel has had significant experience afloat both as an instructor and as a skipper in the Clipper Round The World Race in 2015/16, with leg wins including the famous Sydney Hobart Race before becoming the depute race director. His inspiration lies in showing others ropes and is why he set up an RYA Training Centre.

“We got the boat at the end of last year and spent the winter preparing to start up as an RYA Training centre. Really the idea aims to teach people to sail, as this is a passion of mine, passing on the knowledge and skills to look after yourself, your boat and sail the best you can.”

Dan continues, “The way I learnt was through the RYA Scheme and it set up good standards around planning and making sure we are keeping an eye on things and we have practiced safety drills, like dealing with someone falling overboard and we are capable of getting back ashore safely if something does go wrong.”

Becky added. “So much of the RYA courses are all about the preparation before you go out sailing and that’s always in the back of both of our minds before we go afloat. Have we done the checklists? Is the boat working properly? Have we got all the equipment we need and that is part of what the RYA installs almost subconsciously at this stage and this increases your confidence when you go afloat and makes the day much happier. It’s a bad day if your engine breaks down and we’ve managed to avoid that through the checks we perform before we head out.”

As the couple plan, revise and re-plan their honeymoon they are keen to ensure they are considerate of the places they plan to go to. Becky continues:.

“I come from Northern Ireland and I have been really looking forward to see some of the islands, but we’re also well aware about how nervous people will be about us arriving on their doorstep in the current climate. They don’t know who we are and they don’t know where we’ve been. What we want to do is make sure they are as comfortable as possible and to check ahead to see that ports and harbours are happy to have us if we plan to go there. We want to buy local and spend our money on the islands in the safest way possible. Make people feel comfortable with our arrival and not to be nervous.”

James Allan, CEO of RYA Scotland added :

“Our guiding principles throughout the pandemic have been about being considerate of others and being conservative in the risks when we go afloat. Dan and Becky’s story illustrates their approach in these current times and how RYA Training has shaped the skills and habits around planning ahead and the importance of safety while afloat.”

“While the weather, equipment and skills may determine where Dan and Becky go on their honeymoon, the choice of destination is particularly important with many of coastal and island communities opening up for the first time.”

“We are all starting to get quite excited about getting back to our boats, boards and foils this Friday. In line with the Scottish Government’s easing of restrictions the team at RYA Scotland have been bringing together revised guidance, which covers details for facilities, marinas, clubs and training centres who enable our diverse activities, alongside general advice for those planning to head afloat, to keep them safe and the communities they visit.”

Published in Scottish Waters
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