RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference-East

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RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference-East

John Starkie 2816
Yesterday I attended this Eastern Region RYA conference.
Some people assumed that I was representing the DCA;  so I kept very quiet.

Representatives from the local sailing clubs clearly didn't understand the concept of 'cruising,  not racing'.
The thought of cruising a dinghy for more than an afternoon was obviously alien to them.
They knew of no cruising dinghies other than the Wayfarer.
They tended to smile gently,  and move away.

By contrast,  the RYA is beginning to understand dinghy cruising.   Or,  at least,  pottering about with family and friends with a picnic for the day.
The RYA doesn't yet know what to do about dinghy cruising,  but it's clear in its collective mind that it must harness members.   It's the only water-borne recreation over which it doesn't yet have some degree of control.

Robbie Bell,  the Eastern Region Development Officer,  was explicit about his objectives at the conference:
it's all about recruitment.
Recruitment for the local affiliated clubs?   Yes,  but as a means of recruiting members for the RYA.

Did you read Terry Pratchet's "Small Gods"?
He described the power of a god as the number of people who believed in that god.
The more believers (members?) the more power.

The RYA is a not-so-small god;  by accumulating members it accumulates power.
It genuinely believes that it uses that power for the benefit of sailors of all kinds.   It consults with government over wind farms,  red diesel and the results of Brexit.   It negotiates over the application of SOLAS to small boats and with Trinity House on the positioning of buoys.
It has training schemes for most kinds of watercraft (except cruising dinghies!).

When,  I wonder,  will they devise training schemes for dinghy cruising folk?
Will the schemes be as badly thought-out and constructed as those for yachts?
What will the RYA do about us?  the DCA?

John Starkie
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Re: RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference-East

Steve Shone 3398
John Starkie 2816 wrote
The RYA doesn't yet know what to do about dinghy cruising,  but it's clear in its collective mind that it must harness members.   It's the only water-borne recreation over which it doesn't yet have some degree of control.
John Starkie
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this, but the concept of the RYA having 'control' over dinghy cruisers sent shudders down my spine.
I decided to cancel my membership of the RYA some time ago when they held a competition for which the prize was a case of gin. I did contact them and suggest that if they really wanted to change the commonly perceived image of 'yotties' then perhaps such a prize was not the best way to go about it. Perhaps a prize of safety equipment or clothing would have been a more responsible approach.

Steve
Steve and Eileen - ex-Dabber sailors, almost ex-Cape Cutter 19 sailors, now Lune Whammel Coastal Weekender sailors. Based in East Yorkshire and looking forward to some DCA rallies.
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Re: RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference-East

Keith Muscott 1516
Administrator
In reply to this post by John Starkie 2816
I have already thrashed out this perennial worry about the RYA attempting to exercise some semblance of influence over dinghy cruisers by drawing up courses and qualifications, with their Communications Manager, Loretta Spridgeon-Conner.

She was amused at the suggestion, which I took to mean that she thought I was being paranoid. The general tenor of her reply was that she felt the RYA had most to learn from us, not the other way around – hence the request for our involvement in their house magazine article on dinghy cruising last year, among other things.
I am well aware that there is a snake-pit of suspicion that is revealed regularly in DCA history, usually at meetings both local and general, which reveals a fear of any big institution like the RNLI or the RYA trying to get a grip on the Association. For the moment the RYA wishes only to welcome the contribution we can make (as at Alexandra Palace). If there is ever a suspicion of their aiming to formalise relations between us in such a way, believe me I will let you know immediately. Having diverted the receipt of the RYA magazine from Alan Suttie to myself, I now find that I am their DCA point of contact, receiving voting paters, etc, so I think I would get wind of their ambitions pretty early, if any ever materialise.

Keith




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Re: RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference-East

Steve Shone 3398
I am somewhat reassured by your post, Keith, though I look forward with some trepidation at you getting said wind

Steve
Steve and Eileen - ex-Dabber sailors, almost ex-Cape Cutter 19 sailors, now Lune Whammel Coastal Weekender sailors. Based in East Yorkshire and looking forward to some DCA rallies.