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Thursday 19 May 2016

Solent hosts training day for sailing coaches and powerboat trainers to improve skills

On Saturday 9 April, the Southampton Solent University Watersports Centre hosted the Royal Yacht Association’s (RYA) Southern Region's Instructor Training Day.

The sessions, which take place across the UK, enable sailing coaches and powerboat trainers to develop the skills and knowledge of existing RYA instructors, assistant instructors and volunteer helpers.

Over 80 delegates supported by 20 RYA coaches and trainers descended on the University's Watersports Centre at Warsash.


The day began with a joint welcome briefing from Centre Manager Toby Fletcher and RYA Regional Development Office (South), Suzie Moore, who is a Solent Alumni. There then followed an RYA Training update session from the RYA National Sailing Coach, Amanda Van Santen.

After that, the delegates broke out into smaller task specific groups, which included teaching land drills for sailing, navigation and pilotage skills, teaching in the outdoors and Plan B.

Whilst the delegates were enjoying lunch the wind picked up which allowed for some challenging conditions in the afternoon session which were predominantly water based practical sessions.

The 'navigators' from the morning went on a small journey using the new 6.8m RIB Griffin and Rebel, while the land drill groups put into practice their newly revised skills. There was even a personal watercraft group who were enjoying a spot of jet-skiing.

The Centre was asked to host the event due to its location and ease of getting people onto the water, along with the equipment and facilities that we could provide. It is also part of a process to use different venues across the region in order that as many people can attend as possible.

“We were delighted that the RYA chose Solent University to host their Southern region instructor training day. The sessions provide a great opportunity for instructors to refresh their skills and network with other trainers from across the area” Joanne Andrews, Watersports Centre Administrator

The event, which was part sponsored by Gallagher Heath Insurance, was also supported by the loan of various sailing boats from RS Sailing; Laser and Hartley Boats; UKSA; SWAC and Calshot Activities Centre. Sodexo provided lunch for all the delegates and training staff.

The feedback from delegates was excellent, with the Watersports Centre being complimented on its facilities and equipment.