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Sailing greats announced as RYA Dinghy Show 2019 hosts

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 5 Nov 2018 13:23 GMT 2-3 March 2019
Shirley Robertson OBE © Michael Austen

The RYA are delighted to welcome not two, but three new hosts to the RYA Dinghy Show for 2019. Double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson OBE will be joining forces with sailing presenter and journalist Matt Sheahan and Match Racing World Champion and Olympic sailor Annie Lush to host the show.

Returning to Alexandra Palace, London on the weekend of 02-03 March 2019, the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts and Yachting is the only show in the world dedicated to dinghy sailing.

Shirley and Matt will be teaming up to host expert speakers on the Main Stage and Knowledge Zone throughout the weekend in the West Hall. Shirley commented: "I have raced all kinds of boats from tiny dinghies to massive multi million pound Superyachts, but my true passion will always be firmly routed in dinghies – it's where it all begins."

Olympic sailor Shirley, was the first British woman to win two Olympic Gold medals at consecutive games, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. As well as enormous success at the Olympics, Shirley has also successfully navigated the world of bigger boat sailing, as one of the only female skippers in both the Extreme 40 series and the Super Yacht Circuit.

For the last 13 years she has hosted CNN's flagship monthly sailing show 'Mainsail', and is one of the best known faces in sailing commentary, regularly in the heart of the action for broadcasters such as BT Sport and the BBC. Looking ahead to the show, she added: "I'm thrilled to be involved in this coming Dinghy Show, especially at a time when small boat sailing has never been more exciting."

Alongside Shirley, will be Producer of the World Sailing Show, Matt Sheahan. A longstanding Dinghy Show fan, Matt is looking forward to returning to Ally Pally and commented on the welcoming nature of the show: "I've always joked about the fact that it's harder to get off a stand at the Dinghy Show than onto one. That's not always the case at many of the world's leading boat shows and it's what makes the RYA Dinghy Show stand out.

"You can't miss the buzz and the next show looks no different. It was marked in my diary months ago and now, with an exciting new role to perform, I'll have somewhere to sit as well!"

Specialising in racing and high performance sailing, Matt is a respected voice in the sailing world. Currently the Head of Performance Sailing for TV producers Sunset+Vine, he has also held former posts at various well known publications and broadcasting companies. Whether it's in front of the camera or racing his RS400 for fun, Matt can often be found out on the water and is a familiar face at sailing events all over the world.

A Dinghy Show first, this year the Great Hall will have a dedicated host for the popular Sailors' Corner, Women's Sailing Hub and Class Association stages. Ready to take them on is Olympic Match racer and founder of The Magenta Project, Annie Lush. She commented: "I'm really excited to be part of the team hosting the RYA Dinghy Show 2019, for many of us this is where it all started.

"Whether in a high performance dinghy, of which there are some amazing ones now to see (significantly faster than the ones I grew up sailing!), or simply for cruising and messing around on the water, the Dinghy Show is always a great place to see what's to come next, catch up with old friends, and of course try your hand at some games and competitions."

Annie is a four times World Champion, Olympian and round-the-world sailor having been part of the first all-female crew to win a leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2015 and competing again with Team Brunel in 2018. An inspirational speaker and advocate for creating more opportunities for women in sailing, Annie is one of the founders of The Magenta Project which aims to advance, inspire and support developing female sailors.

Yachts & Yachting will once again be returning to support the show as official media partner. The performance sailing magazine covers everything from Optimists to offshore sailing and is packed with unmissable advice from world class sailors and industry experts. Visit the team on stand C64 to pick up a special subscription deal – plus don't miss the March issue of the magazine which includes your free copy of the show guide.

This year's theme is #MyDinghyTribe – celebrating the different 'tribes' and diversity within the dinghy sailing community. With more than 150 exhibitors, including top sailing brands, class associations and sailing clubs, as well as hundreds of dinghies and free interactive activities for the whole family, there will be something at the show for dinghy sailors both old and new.

A long standing favourite with the dinghy sailing community, the RYA Dinghy Show is the perfect event to start to the season and the ideal setting to connect with your 'tribe'.

Get your tickets

Advance tickets are available at a special discount rate of £10.00 for RYA members and £12.50 for non-members. RYA clubs and large groups can also take advantage of a special discount price of £10.00 when booking six tickets or more. For those wanting a bit more of the action, discounted weekend tickets are available at £15.00 for RYA members and £18.75 for non-members. Don't forget up to four children go free with each paying adult.

You can buy tickets here or by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 858 9069.

For all the latest news and information visit or follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @dinghyshow.

Join in: #DinghyShow #MyDinghyTribe

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