Shortlisted to be Britain’s Best Sailing Club Again!!

South Staffordshire Sailing Club is in the running to be named Britain’s best sailing club for the second time in eight years after being shortlisted for the 2019 RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher.

Pippa Timmins is all smiles at the Junior Championships

The Gailey Reservoir club lifted the prestigious national award in 2011, which celebrates the outstanding achievements of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into getting people on the water, and is now one of 11 finalists keeping everything crossed for when the 2019 winner is revealed at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London on Saturday 2 March.

South Staffs is also one of five finalists to have been specially-recognised for achievement in a particular area – the club claiming the accolade for ‘Embracing Modern Communications’. It’s now down to the public to decide which of the finalists will be crowned the overall RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year through an online vote, open until Monday 28 January. To cast your vote visit

Tim Coleshaw, Commodore, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. As a club we have worked consistently and incredibly hard to develop and improve our activities and facilities so we are inclusive and open to all.

“This year our free Open Day and RYA Push The Boat Out events saw 160 local people introduced to sailing, while we have been particularly successful in getting more women on the water, integrating our 80-strong junior and youth sailors into the club and supporting newcomers to develop their skills at the pace they are comfortable with, whether on a one-to-one or group basis.

“We are also working with Kids Adventurous Activities, a charity which delivers Sailability programmes and water-based learning activities for young people with special needs and behavioural difficulties, while continuing to nurture community partnerships, including with Chase Terrace Technology College, the universities of Wolverhampton and Birmingham and 9th Stafford Sea Scouts. We really feel we are going from strength-to-strength.”

Father and son Finn and Dave Morgan make the most of the summer sunshine

The ‘Embracing Modern Communications’ accolade is a nod to South Staffs’ proactive and forward thinking approach to communications and marketing. As well as launching a new mobile-friendly website, the club ensures its members feel part of a true community on and off the water by making effective use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and its weekly e-newsletter, while the juniors have their own ’TeamApp’ to keep everyone up-to-date and involved.

Almost 330 people are currently South Staffs SC members. Other notable 2018 achievements include the ongoing modernisation of the club’s facilities, with much of the work completed by volunteers saving over £30,000 in contractor costs, and achieving British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status for the quality of its junior race training, while members Mike Senior and Chris White were crowned GP14 class World Champions.

The RYA Club of the Year Award was launched by sailing’s governing body in 2007 and, for the second year, the RYA and Yachts & Yachting have joined forces to present this combined trophy. The panel of judges has included RYA CEO, Sarah Treseder, Yachts & Yachting Editor, Georgie Corlett-Pitt, the British Sailing Team’s James Peters, Ben Bennett of Gallagher and Ross Ryan from the 2018 Club of the Year, Notts County SC.

Michelle Gent, RYA Programmes Manager, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to reward clubs and their volunteers for all their hard work and it has been truly inspirational to hear about all the exciting initiatives taking place in our clubs. I really look forward to meeting all of the finalists at the RYA Dinghy Show and encourage the local public to get voting!”  

Georgie Corlett-Pitt, Yachts & Yachting Editor, added: “We are very pleased to have received such a high calibre of entries. The nominations allow us an insight into some exceptional initiatives underpinning the grassroots of our sport and we look forward to recognising and rewarding the overall winners. It’s certainly a tough competition, but now it’s over to the public to decide.”

For more information about the Club of the Year, to find out more about the finalists and to vote for your favourite club visit