Excitement is mounting at Felpham Sailing Club as members wait to find out if they are voted the RYA’s club of the year.
Sailing’s national governing body presents the annual award in recognition of clubs who excel at promoting the sport of sailing, encouraging people on to the water and making their activities varied and accessible to the community - and Felpham are on the five-strong shortlist.
The overall 2013 winner will be revealed by Skandia Team GBR’s Kate Macgregor at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London on Saturday (March 2).
Situated on the seafront at Bognor Regis, Felpham SC have an astonishing number of activities on offer with a growing youth section.
The club have a strong emphasis on getting new people into sailing through open days and activities with other local organisations.
Felpham run RYA training courses, encourage youngsters to sail through the RYA’s OnBoard scheme and run Saturday ‘taster sessions’ for complete beginners.
A Friday youth night attracts new youngsters and their families, while more experienced club members help with training.
Training is given at all levels for both sailing and powerboating. A busy programme of competitive racing and cruising is offered along with plenty of social activities and shore-based courses.
The club run a number of regattas which attract visiting sailors. Most importantly, the club’s activities have helped double the number of young and new sailors as well as attracting more women sailors. The many volunteers have also contributed to the growth of the active membership.
Commodore Paula Bentley said “We are delighted to have been nominated for the RYA’s Club of the Year. So many people at the club have worked hard to grown our membership and to give as many people as possible the chance to discover and improve their sailing and motor boating.”
Jackie Bennetts, RYA volunteer development officer and awards co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to announce Felpham SC as finalists for 2013 RYA Club of the Year.
“The award celebrates the outstanding achievements of the people who work to create vibrant clubs in the UK. Without the ongoing support and commitment from individual members, clubs would not exist and certainly would not offer the range or quality of activities which is crucial to the continued success of both clubs and our sport.”
The other four nominees are Holywood SC (Co Down), Notts County SC (Nottinghamshire), Staunton Herald SC (Derbyshire) and Papercourt SC (Surrey). The awards are supported by Gallagher Heath Insurance Services.
Chichester Yacht Club will make their annual trip to the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London, this weekend.
Club members will be on the CYC stand throughout the weekend to promote both Chichester Harbour as a sailing area and the club as a great place to sail.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Mirror dinghy, designed by Jack Holt, who was a member of Chichester Yacht Club.
There will be an exhibition of Mirror dinghies to celebrate the landmark. Many sailors had their first sailing experience in a Mirror, still sailed by many today.
It’s definitely a don’t-miss event for dinghy sailors with a number of top sailors at the show doing talks and running coaching sessions. Bringing back Olympic memories, some of the superb Team GB Olympic and Paralympic sailors will also be giving talks at the event.
It’s also an opportunity for sailors to meet up with members of other clubs from around the UK and check out the wide range of dinghies on display, and consider what they wish to sail in the coming months
In 2012 Chichester Yacht Club were shortlisted for RYA club of the year. Chichester members wish shortlisted Felpham good luck in the 2013 final.
Prospective members are welcome to visit the show or CYC for more information about sailing in the area.