Brading Haven Yacht Club is reporting a boost to their membership following the pandemic as more people choose to spend their spare time afloat.
Total memberships at BYC are now over 1,200, including over 100 new families. The club believes their membership increase is due to several factors including year-round activity and the popularity of other water activities including kayaking and paddleboards, which has seen an uptake doubling over the past two years. Family activities of After School Sailing and OnBoard sessions for youngsters have experienced the most growth at the Club.
Polly Schafer, Rear Commodore Offshore at Brading Haven Yacht Club says:
“We consider the increase in membership and the retention of our existing members is a reflection on the spirit of the club, which offers access and inclusivity to and on the water for all ages. We also remain mindful to engage with our next generation of members and actively grow participation whenever we see an opportunity in our community. This includes After School Sailing sessions and Sailability. A fleet of Teras has also supported grassroots sailing and given many local children a chance to try sailing.
“In relation to Covid, many people changed their outlook and have been seeking the company of nature more, which at our beautiful Bembridge harbour location, full of wildlife, we can provide. In addition, our green and blue agenda is appealing to our members because of our responsible sailing approach meeting the sustainability agenda which we have been commended for.”
Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development, says:
“We know that spending time outside and on the water during the pandemic has been a source of solace for many. Sailing clubs are an affordable place to spend time with your family doing an activity that everyone can participate in.
“Results from our annual Club Membership Census are also showing more family and junior memberships which is fantastic, and we know that many venues are now offering even more activities for their members whether that’s SUPing, kayaking, swimming or windsurfing”.
Brading Haven Yacht Club will be heading to the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show at Farnborough International (26-27 February) as an RYA Club of the Year 2022 finalist. The winner will be announced on Saturday 26 February at 4pm on the Suzuki Main Stage and may be steamed live on the RYA Facebook page. In addition to reaching the final, the Club has also received special recognition in the category “Sustainability achievements.”
John Maher, Brading Haven Yacht Club Secretary, says:
“Members and staff at the Club are absolutely delighted to be a South Regional finalist and to have gained recognition in the Sustainability category.”
Article continues below this advertisement
Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.