Dell Quay SC awarded
In his acceptance speech, at the end of an evening which saw thirty six junior members take part in activities ranging from race training in Toppers and RS Fevas to initial training in Optimists and power boat training in the clubs' new rib, the Commodore, John Mortimer, praised the efforts of the large number of volunteers within the club for their work with the junior members and contribution to the club gaining RYA Volvo Champion Club status. He paid particular thanks to, Chris Chrystall, Jon Denyer and Sarah Eggleton. James Tilley, the RYA’s Youth Racing Operations Officer added his praise for the club's work with juniors declaring that “Dell Quay was shining brightly on the RYA radar”.
Topper Class Captain and club VCC representative, Chris Chrystall said of the Club's new status: “This accreditation will permit us to enhance the training and experiences we can provide to our young sailors – both through direct training to the sailors themselves and, critically, to the wide variety of volunteer helpers who the Club is reliant on to enable the programmes to happen. Our goal is to ensure we can engage and retain our youngsters' enthusiasm for the sport of sailing, adding to the Clubs’ vitality, maximizing the opportunities for the youngsters as well as retaining their loyalty to the sport in future years”.
Dell Quay sailing club provides a comprehensive programme of events and courses to encourage its members to improve their knowledge and skills. There are nearly 300 dinghies and more than 80 cruisers in the club, which has a membership of 750 people. Sailing events run from early spring to mid-winter, with racing for adults and juniors, a junior training week, the Women on the Water (WOW) group and cruiser rallies both within the harbour and the Solent and across the channel to Brittany.
The comprehensive dinghy racing programme includes a variety of class and handicap series, Open meetings in the adopted classes, an annual Regatta and an open Frostbite series. The club actively promotes class racing in Laser 2000s, Lasers and Solos and for Juniors, Toppers. There is also a growing Optimist group.
Now that Dell Quay Sailing Club has achieved VCC status, the sailors will see increased levels of development advice and professional coaching including support from the Royal Yachting Association, (RYA).
Volvo Champion clubs, such as Dell Quay, help facilitate the progression of their young sailors into regional competition and subsequently into RYA squad programmes, which feed directly into the GBR National Junior Squads. From here, sailors can progress into the RYA Youth and Olympic Programmes and Dell Quay Sailing Club can now offer the springboard to progress in this direction. In this regard it is a proven pathway, almost all of Skandia Team GBR's sailors have emanated from a club which provided well organised and structured race training.
Alison Murphy from Cambridge Garage who presented the award alongside James Tilley, said: “We are delighted to be presenting this award in recognition of the great work that Dell Quay Sailing Club has done to help young sailors to develop their racing skills. Following the success of British sailors at the Beijing Olympics last summer, and with the 2012 Olympics fast approaching, we may well be training future Olympians here in West Sussex”.
The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme recognises sailing clubs with a commitment to youth sailing and race coaching in the UK. It aims to encourage young sailors and windsurfers at grassroots level to stay in the sport and learn to compete, while encouraging clubs to introduce youngsters to the sport and help develop their skills. The key challenge for the programme is to encourage more young people to start participating in sailing and then progress with their racing careers.