Felpham Sailing Club has been recognised as a finalist in the prestigious 2020 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher.
Voting is now open for the annual award, which recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK, promoting the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.
Felpham Sailing Club, located in the village of Felpham near Bognor Regis, is one of ten finalists from across the UK selected by the RYA Awards Panel.
The club is an excellent sea sailing venue with a sandy beach. It is a small, family-oriented dinghy sailing club with a strong racing pedigree. It also caters for windsurfers, has very active training centre, a busy social programme and a commitment to contributing to village life.
The club was founded in 1958 and the current clubhouse officially opened in 1973.
In recent years the club has been extensively refurbished and this year a new balcony was added to the front of the clubhouse. In addition, the club has a fleet of 20 dinghies used for training both young sailors and adults. This year eight new RS Tera sailing dinghies have been added to the training fleet.
A recent focus on adult development and “getting more adults racing” has worked. The Rear Commodore Development created a strategy including adult race training, an adult novice and intermediate regatta, volunteer training to support racing, and joint Women on Water and Men on Boats race evenings. This strategy, and a “Cadet of the Month” award, all contributed to 20% increase in racing participation.
Joint working with the local council renovated an adjacent public toilet block and created a dry garage for two powerboats, in return for lease payments that helps maintain the toilets. Removal of a now redundant shipping container on their limited site has increased dinghy parking. With a weather eye on future roof repairs, substantial financial provisions ensure that Felpham Sailing Club is well placed to continue its growth into the future. The club’s achievements in nurturing the needs of their current membership and looking to the future has led to them being recognised for their “Innovative and Forward Thinking”.
Guy Mayger, Commodore, said “To be selected as a finalist in the RYA Club of the Year Awards is a huge achievement for Felpham Sailing Club. Having been a member myself for over 40 years I have been lucky enough to see the club develop into what it is today.”
“Being nominated for this award is testament to the huge amount of work from successive committees and our amazing members, who show a strong volunteer ethos and a willingness to help others. Whether that be the keen racers offering advice to those learning the ropes, working parties to maintain the building and club boats, to running social events and helping other groups to enjoy the chance to take to the water. The club is also well known at a regional and national level having hosted many events including the West Sussex School championship in 2019 with 120 competitors taking part and our cadet sailors winning the team prize once again and providing a great backdrop to those spectating from the prom.”
“Now we’d like to ask our local community to help us a little bit…. all the finalist clubs have now been put through to a public vote so this is where we need you to give us a little extra push towards the finish line and vote for Felpham. Please visit http://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/felpham-sailing-club/ and vote for your local club!”
“We’re delighted to be able to announce this year’s finalists.” said RYA Programmes Manager Michelle Gent. “The Panel were inspired to see how much activity goes on in clubs all year round and the number of volunteers who go that extra mile to make it all happen. It’s been exciting to see the varied initiatives clubs are using to increase activity and engage their membership.”
Rob Peake, Editor of Yachts & Yachting added: “We had a tough time whittling down the high standard of entries this year to the shortlist you see here, but the tougher task is now yours! Yachts & Yachting is delighted to be supporting this competition, which recognises the hard work of club volunteers and shares best practice between clubs.”
You will have the chance to vote for the sailing club you think deserves to be crowned RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year 2020. Awards will be presented and the overall winner will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 on Saturday 29 February. You can cast your vote at for Felpham at https://awards.yachtsandyachting.co.uk/felpham-sailing-club/ and voting closes on Monday 27 January 2020.
For more information about RYA and Yachts & Yachting visit Club of the Year Award
Felpham Sailing Club is an RYA British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, an RYA Training Centre and an RYA OnBoard Club. To find out more visit http://felphamsailingclub.co.uk