2018 Club of the Year Finalist




Marconi Sailing Club (MSC) has been announced as a finalist in this year’s RYA and Yachts and Yachting’s Club of the Year. An award that recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of UK sailing clubs.

MSC is one of the South East’s leading sailing clubs, and has been selected as a finalist because of its innovative approach to making sailing accessible to all – enabling its new and existing members to get on the water no matter what.

One of MSC’s top initiatives, which has led to its nomination is associated to its Keelboat fleet. In 2015, the Club recognised that an increasing number of new members wanted to learn to sail yachts and participate in racing, but the Club had insufficient boats to cope with demand. To overcome this, the Club formed the Keelboat programme – investing in a number of boats to increase capacity.

Fast forward to 2017 and the Club’s Keelboat programme has proven so popular it has seen the formation of Club Keelboat racing. This has led to the Club building a competitive team that entered the British Keelboat League (BKL) and participated in the BKL Youth Event on the Solent in October 2017.

Peter Ward, who initiated the Keelboat programme says: “The Club’s involvement in BKL has provided great opportunities for members to gain race experience and develop their skills in numerous ways, including as race officials and umpires. It has also introduced 50 non-sailing adults to big boat sailing and developed regular race crew for new members in 2017. As a result, 21 new members have joined the club from this initiative alone and now race regularly.”

Alongside the Club’s keelboat success, 2017 also saw it become an official Dinghy Training Centre. This has further boosted the Clubs ability to get people on the water – making sailing more accessible than ever before.

Michaela Dowley, Commodore of MSC commented “We are absolutely thrilled to be a finalist for the innovation category, and to be in with a chance of being crowned the RYA Club of the Year. We’ve run many initiatives over the year, but the Keelboat programme is by far one of our most successful. A few years ago, keelboat sailing was non-existent at MSC so we’ve made huge progress. We are now working towards starting our own keelboat fleet and organising a competitive league with local clubs. What is of equal importance to me is the success keelboat sailing has had with our members. Whether they are new to sailing or more experienced, it has attracted new members, created a degree of competitiveness and brought all our fleets together. It is something we are all excited about growing in the future.”

The winner of RYA Club of the Year will be announced and presented with their trophy at the RYA Dinghy Show on Saturday 03 March 2018.


OPEN DAY – To find out more about Marconi Sailing Club why not come along to our Open Day on Saturday 26th May.


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Andrew is Marconi Sailing Clubs webmaster. He sails a Tornado Sport Catamaran and Sprint 15.

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