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Virtual RYA B&G Cruising Conference reaches new latitudes

by Emma Cotton 22 Mar 16:06 GMT 21 March 2021
RYA Cruising Conference - Skip Novak and Hannah Cockle © RYA

Nearly 2,500 fellow cruising enthusiasts registered for the first virtual RYA B&G Cruising Conference, held yesterday (21 March 2021). The annual event, which has previously been held in-person, was the most accessible of its kind, with both speakers and delegates joining from across the world.

Each year, the Conference promises insightful and entertaining talks from seasoned cruisers, an abundance of informative breakout sessions, as well as reviews and advice on the latest available technology, and this year's event did not disappoint.

RYA CEO, Sarah Treseder, opened the event by thanking RYA members for their continued support and by sharing her hopes for an active and exciting cruising season in 2021: "The positive news is how many people are joining boating at the moment. The restrictions last year meant that a whole new class of 2020 rediscovered the delights of sailing and motor boating all around the UK. We're really lucky to have such a wealth of fantastic destinations in this country, whether it's beautiful anchorages, or friendly marinas, we have a huge variety of inland and coastal environments to explore."

Keynote speaker, Skip Novak, joined the event live from Cape Town, South Africa, and brought a touch of adventure with his collection of epic stories and stunning photos. He generously shared his fantastic tales and brilliantly depicted some of the trials and challenges of cruising in high altitudes, emphasising his mantra of keeping things simple and always having a back-up.

Using a balance of live and on-demand content, the speakers across the day covered a huge range of subjects, from the basics of radar, travelling post-Brexit, to the joys of inland waterways, and top tips for wild dinghy camping.

Techniques and tools for forecasting weather and safety were popular topics at the Conference, with RYA Powerboat Trainer, Rod Smith, leading an informative session on how to read weather charts. James Davies, RYA Sea Survival Trainer and Examiner, delivered a session on the variety of life-saving devices currently available and there were also tips and advice on how to use electronic navigation, from interpreting the picture on the screen, to which device to use in different situations.

Richard Falk, RYA Director of Training and Qualifications, commented: "The RYA B&G Cruising Conference is always a popular event, and we were delighted that over 2,000 guests registered to join the day's events. Each year we aim to select a range of subjects that we believe RYA members and cruisers will find to be informative, entertaining, and most importantly I think for this year, inspiring.

"We were really pleased with the mixture of sessions that we were able to offer attendees and we have received some great feedback from those at the event."

Feedback from delegates

Ian: "We are all going through unprecedented times and it is great to have the RYA team to look outside of the box to support its members in bringing this type of conference together."

Brian: "Enjoyed the morning. Will definitely be reviewing the bits I missed later. As a very new member just starting out, I must say there's a real nice feel to the RYA."

Richard: "I was able to log off and on again to listen to Skip's talk which was terrific. What you have done on a worldwide basis is very special."


Delegates registered for the Conference can re-watch all of the sessions back on-demand for the next 30 days. The exhibition area is also still accessible for attendees to download brochures and guides.

Love Boating? Then why not join the association that promotes and protects, safe, successful and rewarding British boating. Join today and support the RYA in protecting your boating rights and freedoms. Take advantage of free advice and support on all aspects of your boating, as well as enjoying a range of fantastic personal member offers. Find out more by calling 02380 604 159, email or visit

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