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Sailors across the globe tune into virtual RYA Dinghy Show

by Susie Nation-Grainer 1 Mar 23:36 PST 27-28 February 2021
Team GB sailors at the virtual RYA Dinghy Show © RYA

Thousands of sailors from across the globe tuned in for the 2021 RYA Dinghy Show presented by Suzuki which was held this weekend (27-28 February) virtually for the very first time.

If you have registered for the show, you can now watch all the talks back on demand.

RYA Director of Sport Development Rob Clark said "We're delighted that over 8,000 people registered for the show with more than 12,000 logins in total throughout the weekend. It was fantastic to see such great engagement with both the speakers and exhibitors and for the Dinghy Show content to be accessible to so many sailors all over the world. There is definitely a real buzz to get back on the water when we are able to!"

Professional sailor and speaker Hannah Diamond hosted two virtual stages with hundreds tuning in to listen to expert speakers including cruising expert Roger Barnes, Team GB athletes, meteorologist Simon Rowell and Olympic coach Mark Rushall.

Just over 100 exhibitors including boat builders, sailing clubs, class associations, holiday companies and the biggest names in marine retail filled the two virtual exhibition halls connecting with visitors and offering everything you need to get afloat.

Despite being a virtual event, many prizes and awards were celebrated throughout the weekend. Port Donorwic Sailing Club/ Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli were crowned RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year and the Solo Nimz was named winner of the 2021 Concours s'Elegance for boat of the show.

Bath University and Portsmouth University achieved the Gold Award in the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge and it was a win for the south as Mike O'Donovan, representing the Stokes Bay Sailing Club, sailed his way to the top of the leader board claiming the title of RYA eSailing Winter Club Championship champion.

The new RYA Dinghy Cruising Trails were also officially launched encouraging sailors to discover their sense of adventure and enter a competition to design their own cruising trail!

What the visitors said:

Ben Spencer: "Thanks must go to the RYA for delivering a first-class virtual Dinghy Show. The talks were really interesting, and we managed to pick up some real bargains in the exhibitor halls. We're already looking forward to next year's event!"

Zoe Rider "The kids and myself have absolutely loved it. We took part in the "Kids Take Over" section and they had a blast running around the house, trying to find items and spelling out the word with the items. The website is easy to navigate, the chat feature is simple and I like that everyone is named with their stand, so I know who I am interacting with."

What the exhibitors said:

Lynn Billowes at RS Sailing: "We are blown away by how busy the show is, it's great to speak to all our amazing customers and to hear that everyone is really excited for the upcoming season! Thanks to everyone who has been on our stand so far."

Nigel Butler, Commodore at Blackwater Sailing Club: "Our club was delighted to have this opportunity to showcase our club at the show. We, like many clubs have done well retaining existing members but struggled to attract new ones and this is a great opportunity to chat with potential new members".

Watch on demand

Those who have registered can still access the virtual RYA Dinghy Show and watch all the talks on demand for the next 30 days. Although they are no longer staffed, the exhibitor stands will also be open so you can download brochures and watch videos and contact the exhibitors directly by email.

Rob concludes: "Thank you to our sponsors Suzuki and Yachts & Yachting and to all the exhibitors for supporting the virtual show. Don't forget to tune back in and catch up with any of the talks or stands you may have missed!".

The 2022 RYA Dinghy Show will be held at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre on the weekend 26-27 February.

For all the latest news and information visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ryadinghyshow or on Twitter @dinghyshow. Join in: #DinghyShow.

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