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5 reasons to visit the RYA Dinghy Show

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 14 Feb 11:21 GMT 2-3 March 2019
Dinghy Show sailors corner © Paul Wyeth

There's less than a month to go until the RYA Dinghy Show in association with Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki returns to Alexandra Palace on 02-03 March.

We spoke to some of sailing's legends, to find out what they love most about the only show in the world dedicated to dinghy sailing. Here are our top five reasons for visiting...

1. The stage talks

As well as a full line up of expert speakers and Q&A sessions with sailing greats and industry experts on the Main Stage and Knowledge Zone, the popular Sailor's Corner will be making a comeback along with the return of the Women's Sailing Hub and Class Association Stage.

Rio 2016 gold medallist, Hannah Mills commented: "My number one reason for going to the RYA Dinghy Show is all the stage talks. There's so much good stuff going on and there's so much to learn from some of the top people in our sport. Get yourself down to the stage area, check out the programme, see what you're interested in and you'll learn so much I promise!"

This year's highlights include Invictus Games sailors; Andrew 'Pav' Taylor and Sadie Melling, dinghy historian; David Henshall and the inspirational Project Scaramouche. Olympians Saskia Clark, Paul Brotherton and Simon Hiscocks will all be sharing their expertise in the Knowledge Zone, with Ian Walker set to provide a Tokyo 2020 update.

For the full line up of speakers visit

2. Meet with friends

This year the RYA will be celebrating the diversity within the sport, recognising the different 'tribes' that make up the dinghy sailing community through the show theme - #MyDinghyTribe.

So whether you're a cruiser, racer or foiler, it's the ideal opportunity to catch up with old friends and connect with fellow 'tribe'-members.

London 2012 silver medallist, Stuart Bithell said: "My reason for visiting the Dinghy Show is to catch up with old friends that you've maybe not seen for a while."

It's the perfect start to the new sailing year and best of all, your chance to immerse yourself in all things dinghy sailing! What better excuse to organise a trip with your club, sailing team or oldest sailing friends?

Double Olympic silver medallist and RYA Director of Racing, Ian Walker added: "I go to the show to meet old friends, look at the latest ideas and new boats. These days I also go because my kids want to go!"

Which brings us on to...

3. Fun for the whole family and kids go FREE

There will be plenty of family friendly and free activities to entertain and inspire you. Head to the Interactive Zone and experience the thrill of being out on the water without ever leaving dry land on the sailing simulators, trapeze rig and 360 degrees 'On the Water' virtual reality sailing experience.

The Treasure Hunt will keep younger visitors entertained as they navigate through the halls, collecting clues and treasure along the way. While over in Sailors' Corner rub shoulders with sailing's heroes, take on the 'Wattbike Challenge and test your knot tying skills.

And new for 2019 is the activity pool, where show visitors will be able to race against other 'tribe' members. See whose on-the-water skills are best by racing the fleet of model boats.

Match Racing World Champion, Olympic sailor and 2019 Dinghy Show host, Annie Lush said: "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."

4. Find out more about the newest kit and innovations

With more than 190 exhibitors including: boat builders, class associations, sailing clubs, holiday companies and retailers, the show is your chance to find out more about the latest developments in kit. With many exhibitors launching new products and initiatives, you'll be the first to know what's new for 2019.

49er Olympic sailor, Dylan Fletcher commented: "It's great to see all the latest boats on offer and all the fantastic new ideas and innovations that are out there."

With Rooster's Steve Cockerill adding: "For me it's the best opportunity to talk about the latest technical innovations, listen to talks from people that might know a little bit more than you do about the different ways of sailing your boat, and of course to check out the different classes and developments in boats. It's your chance to see what your year's going to bring."

5. The boats of course!

There will be hundreds of dinghies on display, from beautiful classics to the very latest in cutting edge design. Find out more about the different classes by visiting the class association stands, and the Class Association stage will once again feature everything you need to know about your favourite class, upcoming events and how to get involved.

The Dinghy Cruising Companion and President of the Dinghy Cruising Association, Roger Barnes commented: "There are lots of Class Associations with stands, it's brilliant to talk to them and find out more about what's on offer."

See you there!

Whatever your 'tribe', there's always something new to learn, experience and discover and there really is no better place than the RYA Dinghy Show. Whether it's the latest kit you're after, top tips from your favourite sailors to hone those skills on the water, or even to book your next family get away, we guarantee there will be something for you.


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.

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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