Kickstarting the sailing season this year is the annual RYA Dinghy Show presented by Suzuki, in association with Yachts & Yachting and Gill. Taking place over the weekend of 03-04 March, Alexandra Palace, London will once again transform into a world of dinghy sailing to host the only show in the world dedicated to the sport.
Whether you want to shop for the latest kit, pick up some tips from their expert coaches or inspire your family to get on the water the show has something for everyone. This year’s theme is #sailingforlife celebrating a lifetime sport for all.
What’s new for 2018?
Saskia said: “I’m really excited to be involved in the RYA Dinghy Show alongside Stevie- I think each year, for all dinghy sailors it’s a real highlight. As well as being able to pick up everything you need to get on the water, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to catch up with all your sailing friends just before the start of the season”.
Stevie added: “It will be fantastic to return to the show as a presenter. I first came to the show with my dad, followed him around as he met lots of different people, the well-known sailors and other members of the industry, I found myself so excited by all the different boats and talk of sailing.”
Saskia and Stevie will be joining forces to host the brand new line up of expert speakers on the Suzuki Main stage and the Knowledge Zone throughout the weekend. Here are some of the highlights…
Suzuki Main Stage
If adventure cruising is your thing then Leading Seaman Phil Slade (Royal Navy) and Mark Belamarich MBE (Ministry of Defence) will inspire you to start planning your next adventure. The pair achieved a world record for the ‘Longest Distance Sailed in a Double Handed Dinghy’ in 2016 by sailing 309.25 nautical miles from Plymouth to Portsmouth via France in their Boson ‘sixteen’.
And they didn’t stop there! Hear what happened next at 11:15 on the Suzuki Main Stage both days.
Don’t miss double Olympic silver medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winning Skipper Ian Walker, the RYA’s new Director of Racing with his exclusive talk, ‘My Life in Sailing’. From competing in the Sydney Olympic Games to sailing with his family and conquering the toughest ocean yacht race, Ian will share his sailing story on the Suzuki Main Stage at 13:45 Saturday and Sunday.
Sports nutritionist Nigel Mitchell who has worked with Team Sky and the British Sailing Team will explain how nutrition can enhance your performance on the water (14:30, Suzuki Main Stage, Saturday and Sunday). He’ll be joined by Henrietta Dutton-Williamson, chef to the British Sailing Team who will be demonstrating live how to make healthy energy snacks which will help to keep you sailing all day.
The Knowledge Zone
Throughout the show, there’s a huge range of advice available to help you to improve your sailing whatever your age or experience.
Over in the interactive Knowledge Zone, Paralympic gold medalist, Helena Lucas will be talking about how to get the perfect start (11:00 both days) whilst Rooster’s Steve Cockerill will be sharing his top tips on steering to trim to help you sail faster on the race course (14:00 both days).
Back by popular demand is Mike MacNamara who will be returning to the show to talk rig tuning at 13:00 both days and the RYA’s Dave Mellor gives an insight into which hiking techniques work best and how to avoid injury (16:00).
Introducing brand new stages
As well as a brand new lineup of speakers there will also be two brand new stages.
Women's sailing is thriving in the UK like never before and for the first time at the show there’s an area dedicated solely to this. The ‘Woman’s Sailing Hub’ will showcase inspirational female sailors, the latest kit, Q & A sessions and demonstrations.
Also new for 2018 is the ‘Class Associations Stage’ located in the Great Hall where you can find out everything you need know about your favourite class including what events are coming up in the season ahead and how to get involved.
Celebrating 100 years of Proctor
Most sailors will have sailed a boat designed or influenced by Ian Proctor and this year’s RYA Dinghy Show will be marking 100 years of this legendary inventor. Don’t miss the chance to see some of his earliest designs including the Gull, Minisail, Osprey and the Wayfarer in an exclusive historical exhibition which can be found in the West Corridor.
“Ian Proctor was responsible for designing so many of the dinghies that we still sail, cruise and race today”, comments RYA Show and Promotions Manager Celia Edgington.
“We are delighted to not only showcase some of his best loved innovations but to share the insightful stories surrounding the history of his life.”
Sailing historian David Henshall will be taking us back in time with his talk ‘A life of an innovator-the Ian Proctor Centenary’ which will be on the Suzuki Main Stage at 12:45 on both days of the show.
Fun for the whole family
Once again the show is full of free activities to inspire the whole family! Experience sailing on dry land by jumping on one of the simulators or fly across the water with their 360o virtual reality sailing experience.
You can also rub shoulders with members of the British Sailing Team in the new Sailors Corner. Don’t forget that younger visitors of the show can also wiz around the show collecting stickers and clues in the RYA Dinghy Show Treasure Hunt!
Beat the queues and get your tickets
So what are you waiting for? Advance tickets are available at a special discount rate of £10.00 for RYA members and £12.50 for non-members.
RYA clubs can also take advantage of a special discount price of £10.00 when booking six tickets or more. Don’t forget up to four children go free with each paying adult!
Buy tickets at www.rya.org.uk/go/dstickets or by calling the RYA ticket hotline on 0844 858 9069