22nd January 2016
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) South West returned to South Devon College on Saturday 16 January, utilising the exceptional facilities to host yet another successful conference.
The RYA South West Conference was well attended, with over 100 members travelling from across the region, as all 7 counties were represented on the day. The event was hosted at the University Centre at South Devon College’s Paignton Campus, and featured a packed agenda full of guest speakers and specialist workshops.
College staff and students were on hand to ensure the conference ran smoothly, including some of the College’s own industry experts from the Noss Marine Academy. Lecturer Dave Peart joined Vaughan Marsh and Andy Brown to deliver a workshop on navigation, whilst the College’s Marine Training Officer, Paul Singer, spoke about buying and selling, drawing upon his own experience as Director and Senior Partner at Yachting Brokers Ltd.
David Wells, Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering, also delivered an eye-opening on-board cooking demonstration that was very well-received. He showed how inventive and high quality dishes can be prepared using just the one or two gas burners that are typically found on most yachts and motor boats. To the surprise of the crowd, David was able to produce a fantastic king prawn couscous and kedgeree dish in less than 20 minutes.
David Wells’ on-board cooking demonstration at the RYA SW Cruising Conference
Other workshops included sessions focusing on essential engine maintenance, sailcloth materials and trimming and fishing from your boat. The guest speaker was Robin Elsey, who described his offshore short-handed sailing, including the fantastic 1st Rookie position he achieved in the 2015 Solitaire du Figaro, which is widely considered the world championship for single-handed yachtsmen and women. Torquay harbour was the penultimate leg in the 2015 race, which was an incredible success and a huge boost for the local area.
Section Head of Marine at South Devon College, Adrian Bevin, said “We were delighted to be able to host the RYA South West again, and pleased to see the conference was an unprecedented success. As part of our marine training and preparation for our learners, it’s important that we work closely with organisations such as the RYA and British Marine, and it’s our strong relationships with these bodies that ensure our students are ready to work in today’s industry when they complete their studies with us.”
Andy Wright, Programme Co-ordinator for Marine courses at the College, has also been announced as the South West representative on the National RYA Coastal Navigation Panel. The panel meets twice a year and is responsible for developing policy and strategy in relation to proposed and existing legislation that could impact recreational boating or navigational safety in the UK. Andy is also a Yacht Master Instructor Trainer (YMIT), which is the highest appointment in the RYA and by invitation only. There are just 21 RYA YMITs in the world, highlighting Andy’s expertise and the wealth of experience amongst the teaching staff at the College’s Noss Marine Academy.
Andy Wright, YMIT and newly appointed National RYA Coastal Navigational Panel member
To find out more about the marine courses at South Devon College, visit sdc.careers/marine or join us at the next Open Event on 23rd February 2016, from 5pm to 8pm at the Paignton Campus on Long Road, TQ4 7EJ.