Emsworth Sailing Club in with a chance of being named RYA Club of the Year

Emsworth Sailing Club are celebrating after reaching the national final of the 2021 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 1:47 pm
Emsworth Sailing Club Junior members on one of their beach cleans earlier this year.

The competition recognises the outstanding achievements of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

That’s a feat made even more challenging this year with Covid-19 restrictions to contend with.

Emsworth join nine other sailing clubs from across the UK in a public vote to decide the winner.

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In addition to reaching the final, the RYA has also awarded Emsworth SC with special recognition for its sustainability achievements.

Earlier this year the club launched its Environment Plan, which has embedded environmental thinking into the club’s decision-making.

Numerous actions have been implemented to help ‘green’ the club, including fitting trigger nozzles on hoses to reduce water use and using LED lighting in the clubhouse.

The club recycles as much as possible and looks to ‘repurpose’ things like old rope that would have previously been thrown away.

The club’s Junior members have conducted litter picks and made videos on plastic pollution, whilst the sailing instructors are trained to be ‘green’ so on-the-water teaching does not disturb harbour wildlife and habitats.

Peggy Field, Emsworth’s sustainability coordinator, enthused: ‘We are incredibly excited as a club - being a finalist is a first for us and is welcome positive news at the end of a very challenging year.’

‘Whilst Covid curtailed much of our club programme, we pulled together to do what we could to support members and our local community.

During the first lockdown, we opened up our boat park, next to the coastal footpath, so local residents had space to walk.

‘Despite not being allowed on the water, our members took to virtual racing, keeping sailors of all ages engaged.

‘As soon as we could, we got back to training and racing, albeit with restrictions in place.

‘We realised how important this was to the wellbeing of our members - being back in the fold of their club.’

Peggy added: ‘We are incredibly proud to receive special recognition for all our work on sustainability.

‘All members, whether they sail, surf, swim or paddle, appreciate how amazing our very own blue - ‘Chichester Harbour’ - is. We want to make sure we look after it for the next generation of sailors.’

The RYA also recognised Cowes Sailability Club, on the Isle of Wight, with a Certificate of Commendation for the club’s ‘Ahoy There’ initiative.

That was implemented in a bid to relieve feelings of isolation and loneliness for members and volunteers during lockdown.

Volunteers telephoned any member or volunteer who requested a call to lift their spirits and help relieve feelings of isolation and loneliness. In total, the Ahoy There initiative conducted over 100 telephone calls.

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To vote for the Emsworth club, visit https://www.rya.org.uk/