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RYA Dinghy Show hailed a success as thousands of sailors defy 'Beast from the East'

by Susie Nation-Grainger, RYA 5 Mar 20:10 GMT 3-4 March 2018
RYA Dinghy Show 2018 © Paul Wyeth / RYA

Thousands of dinghy sailing enthusiasts from across the UK and even further, flocked to Alexandra Palace for the 67th RYA Dinghy Show presented by Suzuki in association with Yachts and Yachting and Gill.

"It was heart-warming to see the support that the sailing community has shown for the RYA Dinghy Show. We were delighted to welcome just under 8,000 people this year despite the wintery conditions outside." said RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson.

"The feedback we've received from visitors, exhibitors and speakers has been really positive and all weekend the atmosphere has been buzzing throughout the whole show".

Hosted for the first time this year by Rio 2016 470 champion and double Olympic medallist, Saskia Clark, and two-time 49er class Olympian, Stevie Morrison, the theme was #dinghysailingforlife celebrating a lifetime sport for all.

Expert talks on the Suzuki Main Stage and Knowledge Zone attracted large audiences with speakers including double Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper Ian Walker, foiling expert Alan Hillman and Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas.

Visitors also enjoyed the brand new stages, the Class Association Stage and the Women's Sailing Hub as well as getting close to members of the British Sailing Team including Olympic Gold Medallists Giles Scott and Hannah Mills in 'Sailor's Corner'.

The show also celebrated 100 years of Ian Proctor with a historical exhibition showcasing some of his earliest designs including the Gull, Minisail, Osprey and the Wayfarer.

Throughout the weekend many prizes and awards were presented. Nottinghamshire County Sailing Club lifted the prestigious RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award and the Graduate 'Eclipse' was named winner of the Concours d'Elegance trophy for boat of the show.

Ten of the UK's most promising young sailors were recognised with the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards and David Ward from Essex was announced as the winner of the RYA Dinghy Show Suzuki Safety Boat competition winning a brand new Suzuki powered safety boat and trailer for his club.

It was also a success for the many exhibitors who battled their way through the snow to get to Alexandra Palace including boat builders, class associations, sailing clubs and retailers.

Julian Morgan, North London Sailing Club said: "There's been a real buzz about the show this year, the conditions getting here have inadvertently made it one of the better years – one to remember."

Rockley Watersports MD, Pip Woods said: "We had a really great show, taking more bookings than last year. The quality and quantity of visitors was great and the whole team had a brilliant day. There was a fabulous buzz to the show and we are already planning our stand for next year."

Thank you to our title sponsor Suzuki Marine and to Yachts and Yachting and Gill.

Find out more about all the events at the RYA Dinghy Show 2018 visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk

The RYA Dinghy Show 2019 will take place on 02-03 March at Alexandra Palace, London- see you there!

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