Welcome to the September RYA NorthWest newsletter. Here, you will read about RYA activities in the NW, and find out more about latest initiatives from RYA HQ. The newsletter is being sent by e mail to clubs and centres in the NW. You can forward the e mail news to your fellow committee members at your club, or even to all your membership thus giving them all the chance to get the latest news fast. Print a copy to put on your notice board to let others see the news. You can also be added to the circulation group to receive your own personal copy.

If you would like to be added to the distribution list, just contact the Regional Secretary at

This month’s highlights include;

  • NW sailor takes Junior European 470 title
  • Powerboats- Honda RIBs come to Liverpool
  • NW sailor bids for title double
  • 40th Southport 24 Hr- Bolton take second
  • Regional AGM date announced
  • Astbury take NW Team 15 interclub series 
  • Qingdao Trial event ““ GBR excel to take 8 medals
  • West Zone Club Conference
  • Volunteering- help the BBC find a Regional Hero
  • Team Racing Junior & Youth Championships
  • Cruising- red diesel latest
  • Sailability- Harken join as sponsors
  • Diary ““ major events coming soon to NW

Luke and Twig are 470 Junior European Champions
Skandia Team GBR’s Luke Patience and Chris Grube capped a superb month of sailing by adding the 470 Junior European Championship title to the bronze they took at the 470 Junior Worlds just three weeks before.

Patience, 20, from Helensburgh and 21-year-old Grube from Chester, were in second place heading into the weekend’s final medal race in Tavira, Portugal, having racked up seven top three race finishes in the 11 race series prior to the final day.

A second place for the Brits in the final double points scoring medal race clinched the overall victory, with Patience maintaining that they weren’t racing for silver or bronze – it was gold they were going for, and they got it.

“We did some great sailing and it paid off,” he said, with crew Grube adding: “It was a well challenged Championship, but we did well in the qualifying series and clawed our way to the title, point by point.”

“I am very pleased for Luke and Chris, to follow their first 470 medal at the Junior Worlds with a win at the Junior Europeans will be a great boost to their preparation for the senior 470 worlds in two weeks time,” said RYA Olympic Development Squad Manager, Barrie Edgington.

Honda Youth RIBs at Liverpool

A double Maryport celebration took place last Saturday (9 September) as Darren Little, 16, and Catherine Short, 12, both from Maryport won places at one of the most prestigious youth powerboating events in the UK – the 2006 Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship Final.
Seven local clubs were represented at last weekend’s North West final which took place at Albert Dock, Liverpool. Darren and Catherine, both representing Maryport Sea Cadet Corps, will now go onto represent the North West at this year’s National Final to be held at Southampton Boat Show.
Saturday’s course would have been a tough challenge for most adults and the competitors demonstrated impressive on the water handling skills. But it was Darren and Catherine in the 13 ““ 16 and 8 ““ 12 age groups respectively that came top of the leader board after completing the fastest laps of the course, as well as performing top boat handling skills without any mistakes including tricky manoeuvres such as man over board, reversing around a buoy and high speed boat handling.
Catherine was the only girl to compete in the competition and blew the rest of the competition away in the 8-12 age group. She posted an amazing winning time of 1.58.25 minutes, 46 seconds ahead of second place Philip Frost from Rochdale. Keith Ellison, Event Manager commented on Catherine’s win: “Catherine drove very steady throughout her timed lap. She was unbelievably focused and made no mistakes at all, which was the key to her success. The boys really went for it and although they went faster overall they didn’t work the course as well and consequently made mistakes.”
There was some tough competition in the older 13-16 age group. Darren said: “I had loads of fun out there and I can’t wait to compete in the final.”
Keith Ellison was especially pleased to see so many youngsters from the Liverpool area take part: “It’s great to see so many kids have a great time and be able to get involved in powerboating activities. The standard of boat handling goes up all the time, Catherine and Darren are certainly ones to watch out for at the final.”
The Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship forms part of the Royal Yachting Association’s new Youth Awareness Campaign to attract a new generation of children into boating.
Darren and Catherine now go on to the National Final at the Southampton Boat Show on 23 September. Along with the National title, some fantastic prizes will also be up for grabs: a 4.8m Ribcraft RIB with a Honda 50hp engine on an Indespension trailer for their club.
The Championship is sponsored by Honda, Ribcraft and Indespension Trailers.

Topper Nationals at Weymouth
Newly crowned  Topper World Champion Andrew Brown, from Budworth, set off for the Magic Marine Topper Nationals at Weymouth, where a new record of 289 sailors would be competing against Andrew and the other bookies’ favourite, 2005 National Champion Bleddyn Mon. Bleddyn was aiming to be the first Topper sailor to retain his National crown, while for Andrew, to win both World and National title in one year would be a very rare accomplishment. The main fleet of 263 boats was split up into four flights for the qualifying series. Friday, the last day of competition, was to be the day of reckoning, Bleddyn Mon needed to post a single top 5 result to retain his title from Andrew Brown. During the first beat the favourites struggled, letting the 2004 Inland Champion Tom Gillard take the bullet. However, Bleddyn made no mistake in the final race winning it comfortably to become the Magic Marine Topper National Champion 2006. Andrew Brown took second overall to continue his good form, while Tom Gillard took third.

40th Southport 24 Hour
The 40th Southport  24 Hour Race, organised by West Lancs YC, took place on the 9th/ 10th September, with an unusual SE wind, coming from  over the town. This meant a starboard reach from the start past the 2 clubs to the top end of the Lake, a tack round mark A and then a port reach past the other side of the islands to mark B and a run to mark C, taken on varying gybes. There were slight shifts, which sometimes meant that GPs and Larks could set spinnakers, and many times when they could not. These conditions were ideal for the Enterprises which performed significantly better than former years overall (and there were proportionately more of them). However Bolton SC did exceptionally well to take 2nd place overall in their GP 14.

RYA NW Regional AGM on 24 October
The AGM will be at The Mount (formerly known as Priory Wood Hotel), Orrell, Wigan, on Tuesday, 24th October at 19.30.  .
The Mount is near Junction 26 of M6 and where the M58 joins M6. Tea/coffee and sandwiches are served after the AGM and before presentations by RYA.

Guest speaker will be Edmund Whelan, the RYA Head of Legal Affairs??  And Deputy Chief Exec. He will talk about club matters, including windfarms and marina proposals.

RYA personal members, and RYA affiliated clubs and training centres are all welcome to attend. Contact Hon Regional Secretary Graham Knox to register and to obtain agenda and papers , at jgraham.knox@virgin.net .

The Committee encourages new faces to come forward and consider serving on the RYA NW Regional Committee. Nominations for election should be submitted to Hon. Secretary in advance with support from 2 clubs. Nomination forms are available from the Hon Sec. The Committee is the eyes and ears of the national body in the Region looking after Club interests  and promoting RYA objectives.

Final Team 15 event- Warriors Vanquished
A record 43 young windsurfers from five teams in the NW came to the final Team 15 interclub of the year.  West Kirby Warriors were the hosts on September 16th, and the visitors were Team Astbury, Manly Merekatz, Salford Sharks and Hollingworth Hunters. At stake was not just the event, but also the Team 15 series.
There were good entries in all five classes, from the 3.5 metres up to the Bic Techno 6.8, and the five winners came from three different teams. James Booker, 11, of the West Kirby Warriors booked a win for his team in the 3.5s, while the Hollingworth Hunters and Team Astbury weighed in with a pair of class wins each. Zone squad member Elliot Taylor,14, took the 6.8 m class for Astbury, while his fellow zone squad member Harriet Ellis, 13, took the top class, the Bic Techno 6.8 for the Hunters. There was a star performance in the competitive 5.5m class by Sarah Reynolds, 15, who prevailed despite not being a squad member. Another Hunter, Jonathan Milton, 11, took the 4.5 m class.
With three teams scoring class wins, the final result was always going to be very close, and in the end the team win went to Team Astbury, by just two points.  In the series over the year, the contest was even closer, with the two rivals, Team Astbury and West Kirby Warriors both having a pair of wins and a second place on the board. Astbury’s win in the final event broke the tie, and they surfed away from West Kirby as Team 15 interclub winners for the year. Next year is sure to be another good year for the competition, and the Squad members will all be practising their skills over the winter to prepare.
If you’d like to find out more about T15, the cool club for young windsurfers, contact NW organiser, Mike Roberts on  0161 928 4157 or by e mail   mark@aroberts56.freeserve.co.uk .

Qingdao Trial – Glory for Great Britain with eight medals
There was great relief all round when Great Britain’s sailors capped off a challenging 2006 Qingdao International Regatta with an outstanding haul of eight medals, including four golds, at this first Test Event for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Conditions had been expected to be very difficult, and they lived up to their billing. Nonetheless the GBR team showed they had the ability at this critical regatta to prosper despite those tricky conditions of light winds and significant current.

Double Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie enjoyed a dream comeback in the Finn class despite not having raced the Olympic heavyweight dinghy in a year. Gold medals also went to Paul Goodison in the Laser class, to World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks in the 49er class, and to 470 sailors Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield who, like Ainslie, have not raced their Olympic boat in 12 months.

The gold medallists were well backed up by other GBR sailors taking silvers and bronzes. Silver medals went to the Yngling trio of Helena Lucas, Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor, and to Star sailors Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell, while Penny Clark in the Laser Radial and Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (470) claimed bronze for Skandia Team GBR.

49er World Champions and Athens bronze medallists Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks set the Brits on the winning track, finishing the medal race in sixth to their French opponents’ tenth, and claimed Skandia Team GBR’s first gold of the regatta. European Champions Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes finished sixth.

When we crossed the finish line we both said “Jesus Christ, it’s been a long event!  This event’s had more days than we’ve had races! ” Draper explained. “A lot of people were worrying that it would be a Mickey Mouse venue.  I think we’re pretty happy that it’s not the case.” 

In the 470 mens class, Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield marked their comeback to the class by taking gold, while team mates Nic Asher and Elliot Willis claimed bronze. Paul Goodison showed sheer relief at winning gold in the Laser class after a week blighted by illness. 

Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell took silver in the Star class.  Helena Lucas proved herself a worthy stand-in helm for Shirley Robertson, as she steered her crew Annie Lush and Lucy Macgregor to silver in the Yngling fleet. Penny Clark took bronze in the Laser Radial. 

“I’m delighted with the team’s performance out here in Qingdao” said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.  “Our goal coming out to this Olympic Test Event was to target three medals, so to go home with eight is just fantastic.”

West Zone Club Conference
Will be at Budworth, on 21st October, from 10 am. All clubs are welcome, especially Volvo RYA Champion Clubs. Find out the latest on how the RYA can help your club, and hear the latest RYA Junior and Youth Racing news. Two delegates are invited per club, contact jenny.campbell-james@rya.org.uk .


Nominate an unsung sporting hero
Do you know someone who helps others take part in sport within your community? If so, why not nominate them for the BBC’s search for “Sports Unsung Hero of 2006”. The BBC are looking for:

– an individual who, on a voluntary basis, makes a difference to sport within your region
– they must give their time and talents to enable others to participate in sport
– this may be in helping an individual, group, team or teams
– this sport can be at any level
– they must be someone who gains no financial reward for their time and effort
– they must be aged 16 or over
The search for sport’s Unsung Hero is taking place across the United Kingdom. It will see winners initially named in the following BBC areas: Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, East, East Midlands, London, North East & Cumbria, North West, South, South East, South West, West, West Midlands, Yorkshire, East Yorkshire & Lincolnshire.
These regional Unsung Heroes will then be invited to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme on Sunday 10th December 2006 where an overall winner will be announced. For further details and to download a nomination form please visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tv_and_radio/sports_personality_of_the_year/5255842.stm. The closing date for nominations is 5 November 2006.
Here’s an opportunity to help raise the profile of sailing as a sport, as well as to salute a deserving person who is active in the sport.

West Zone
The RYA West Zone Championships held at Blithfield Sailing Club is coming up at the end of the month, and entries have just closed.
It will be a fantastic event with racing for Toppers, Optimists, Cadets, Feva’s, and Sailboards. (Mirrors go to the North Zone Champs at Derwent Reservoir)
All entrants will receive a free branded Musto Cap!
There will be a video coaching Session after racing on the Saturday with Steve Irish, Youth and Olympic Coach, as well as a Hog Roast after racing.
Windsurfers will have race coaching in the morning, with racing in the afternoon, run by North and West Zone Head Coach Ian Roberts.
The Zone Championships will be the final selection event for all the classes. Zone squad sessions, for those who gain selection, will start on 11/12 November for the Toppers, with all other dinghy classes starting the following weekend, 18/19 November. All dinghy classes, the Mirrors, Cadets, Toppers and Optimists will have six squad weekends spread through the winter, and finishing in March or April.

If you would like more information on the Zone Championships, or Zone Squads, please contact Chris Blackburn on 07909 994637.


Twiname Youth & Junior Team Racing Championships

Youth Team Racing will be at West Kirby, on October 28/29 in supplied Fireflies. Competitors must be under 19 at end Dec.

Junior Team Racing will be at Spinnaker, on November 4/5 in supplied Fevas. Competitors must be under 16 at end Dec.

Closing date for entries is 20th October.

Entries/ details from jessica.mapplebeck@rya.org.uk , or tel 02380 604167.


RYA Girls Training Weekend

Are you an up and coming girl sailor? Would you like some extra training from top coaches? The first ever RYA all girl training weekend could be just the thing for you.  On the 21st & 22nd October 2006 at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, the venue of the 2012 Olympics, the RYA  will host the first invitational girls training weekend for all of the pathway recognised junior classes.
Full details in last month’s newsletter, or access further info on RYA website.  Sailors should be under 15 years on 31st December 2006, and all must be female, if you normally have a male crew, please team up with a female crew for the weekend.

Red Diesel
In August, the RYA met with officials from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to discuss the latest position on the red diesel derogation. The RYA is pleased to note that despite the Commission’s discouraging initial response, UK Ministers continue to believe that there is a strong enough case to support the renewal of this derogation. We also believe that Governments in other Member States with similar derogations will similarly be pressing for renewal. The RYA will continue to work with Government officials to ensure the UK’s arguments are as strong as is possible. We understand the Commission has set a deadline in mid October for receipt of all applications for renewal so time is of the essence, but it is not an unrealistic target.
The RYA is also aware that there has been some questioning by Member States over handling procedures by the Commission for renewal of derogations. We expect that this dispute will soon be resolved, but the lateness of the action by the Commission may in itself be a possible ground for extension of the derogation.
It is possible that the Commission may grant a temporary extension for a short period to allow the Commission time to consider the applications from Member States. The RYA believes that a temporary extension may well lead to further uncertainty and is best avoided, but we should prepare ourselves for such a possibility.


Racing Conference in London, 9 December
The RYA’s Racing Conference for 2006 will take place on Saturday, 9 December at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London.
The annual Racing Conference brings together chairmen and secretaries of clubs and class associations with RYA Racing Division’s specialist groups and members, and is an opportunity for those involved in sail racing to impact the future direction of RYA racing policy. The Conference will involve a review of each of the racing specialist groups, discussions on the racing objectives for 2007, and plenary sessions on the strategic areas of racing activity, and will end with dinner for delegates at the Spaghetti House in Knightsbridge.
Entry numbers are limited ““ full details will be available on the RYA website, or from Sarah Fisher sarah.fisher@rya.org.uk from the end of September.


Harken UK gets onboard with RYA Sailability

RYA Sailability has been made the chosen charity for leading manufacturer of sailboat hardware and accessories, Harken UK.  To celebrate the new partnership, Lymington-based Harken has held a party for 150 clients and friends, raising £500 for the charity.

Harken’s MD, Andy Ash-Vie, said, “The very fittest able-bodied racers in the world use Harken because it works and makes sailing easier. They don’t have to fight with the boat ““ they race the opposition. Some older boats used for disabled sailing do not have the same equipment and its time they did! I look forward to working with RYA Sailability on many future projects to “˜Give the Gift of sailing’.”

Sailability’s manager, Debbie Blachford, said, “Corporate support for RYA Sailability, not only financially, but also through donations of products, equipment, and time, is helping us to transform thousands of lives.”

The NW’s Sailability contact is Ian Shirra, on 01706 377815 .   

NW Sailors at World Blind Sailing Championships

Ian Shirra is currently competing at the World Blind Sailing Championships, at Newport, Rhode Island. Ian is competing in the B3 category, while his successor as manager of the Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre, Gary Butler is also there, competing in the B2 category. The event is run by the New York Yacht Club, famed as holders of the America’s Cup for so long.

Training dates for diary

The NW Training Forum will meet on 28th September.

There will be a Regional Race Management Conference in January.

There will also be a Regional Race Officer Course on 24/25 November at Carsington.
RYA launches two new titles in September

The RYA launched a new and exciting children’s book at the 2006 Southampton Boat on 16th September. The book will  help to attract a new generation of children into boating today.

 Go Cruising: A practical introduction to yachts and motor cruisers

 made it’s first public appearance at the RYA’s annual children’s party and proved a hit with children and adults alike. 

Following the hugely successful Go Sailing and Go Sailing Activity Book, Go Cruising is the third book in the RYA’s hit children’s series. Beautifully illustrated by celebrated author and artist Claudia Myatt, the book gives 7 ““ 12 year olds  the chance to have fun learning about cruising – a side of sailing that is gaining in popularity.

Go Cruising’s easy to read storyboard format makes learning about sailing fun and interesting for children. Each chapter is fully illustrated. Chapters include: What is Cruising; Welcome Aboard!; Set Sail!; Take the Helm!; All At Sea; Sea Sense; Land Ho! and How Do I Choose A Boat.
Safety is a key aspect of any type of boating, whether for children or for adults, and Safety is the sole topic in the other new RYA book in September, the
 RYA Safety Boat Handbook, by RYA, priced at £8.99.
RYA books can be ordered at most marina shops, or online from the RYA site. Remember, all RYA members gain a 10% discount on RYA books. Order at www.rya.org.uk/shop or phone the order hotline on 0845 345 0372.
There are still plenty of major regattas and conferences coming up in the North West or nearby. Here are some key dates

  • NW Training Forum, 28 September
  • RYA Zone Championships, Blithfield (West Zone) Derwent Res. (North Zone) 30 Sept/ 1 October
  • Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller, Hollingworth Lake, 7/8 October
  • Topper Nationwide, Derwent Res., 21/22 October
  • RYA West Zone Club Conference, Budworth, 21 October
  • NorthWest RYA Regional Committee AGM, Preston, 24 October
  • SB3 Inlands, Ullswater, 28/29 October
  • Twiname RYA Youth Team Racing Championship, West Kirby, 28/29 October
  • Twiname RYA Junior Team Racing Championship, Spinnaker SC, 4/5 November
  • Regional Race Officer course, Carsington, 24/25 November
  • RYA Racing Conference, Royal Thames, 9th December

If you’d like your open meeting or Championship to be publicised free of charge here, send event, location, date and a contact e mail, web address or tel no of organiser to alanhe@tiscali.co.uk .

Get in Touch, Stay in Touch
These free monthly newsletters are now sent out by e mail only. If you would like to be added to the circulation list, please send your e mail address to jgraham.knox@virgin.net .

RYA NW contacts

Chairman; Howard Reynolds Jones 0151 625 9187  h.reynoldsjones@btopenworld.com
Secretary;  Graham Knox   01706 642311  jgraham.knox@virgin.net
High Performance Manager for North and West; Chris Blackburn   07909 994637   chris.blackburn@rya.org.uk
OnBoard Development Officer;  John Smith   01706-370499(day)   johnb.smith@rochdale.gov.uk
Chairman, Training Forum; Dave Williamson   017687 72912  dave@derwentwatermarina.co.uk
Secretary, Training Forum; Judith Baldwin   01625 584442    forum@rya-northwest.org.uk
Regional Race Management Adviser;  Adrian Stoggall   01625 871579  stoggall@zetnet.co.uk
Regional Windsurf Liaison Officer;  Mike Roberts   0161 928 4157   mark@aroberts56.freeserve.co.uk
Racing Coach Tutor; Steve Dransfield   0151 625 5567
Powerboats; Richard Solomon     rmsolomon@btconnect.com
Sailability; Ian Shirra      01706 377815      ian@shirra.fsnet.co.uk
Communications;  Alan Henderson    01292 281383     alanhe@tiscali.co.uk

Web addresses for further information;
RYA NW    www.rya-northwest.org.uk        OnBoard;   www.ruob.co.uk    
RYA HQ   www.rya.org.uk  or tel   0845 345 0400       Team 15;   www.team15.org.uk
Disclaimer; this newsletter is published by RYA North West Region. Information is believed to be accurate at time of going to press, but comes from diverse sources. Neither RYA NW nor the editor can take responsibility for any errors or omissions. Opinions of contributors or interviewees are not necessarily those of RYA NW. Please check info about events etc before going.

RYA Hamble contact
General enquiries;  0845 345 0400          www.rya.org.uk