Royal Yachting Association

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Royal Yachting Association
IOC nation Great Britain & Northern Ireland (GBR)
National flag United Kingdom
Sport Sailing
Other Sports
Official website
Year of formation 1875
Former names Yacht Racing Association
International federation International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
ISAF members page
ISAF member since 1907 Founding Member
Continental association European Sailing Federation
National Olympic Committee British Olympic Committee
National Paralympic Committee British Paralympic Committee
Other affiliation(s)
  • European Boating Association
Patron  Anne, Princess Royal (GBR)
  • Stacey Clark (Chair)
Chief Executive  Sarah Treseder (GBR)
Number of staff Approx. 160
Company status Limited Company
  • Scottish [1]
  • Welsh[2]
  • Northern Ireland[3]
  • Eastern England [4]
  • North West England [5]
  • South Eastern England [6]
  • Yorkshire and Humberside[7]
  • West Midlands[8]
  • East Midlands[9]

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for certain watersports in the United Kingdom. Activities it covers include Sailing, Windsurfing, Motor cruising, Powerboating & Personal watercraft

The RYA is one of the founding members of the International Sailing Federation the World Governing Body for the sport of sailing and serves as the Member National Authority.


The Yacht Racing Association was founded in November, 1875, by Frank Willan and others.[10] Its initial purpose was to standardise the rules of measurement to different racing yachts, so that boats of different classes could compete fairly against each other. The rules governing the measurement are called the Portsmouth yardstick.

Membership at the time cost two guineas and was available to "former and present owners of racing yachts of and above 10 tonnes. Thames measurement and such other gentlemen as the committee may elect".

Though efforts for membership availability to dinghies and other small craft were made in 1888, it wasn’t until 1921 that the YRA incorporated the independent Sailing Boat Association and the Boat Racing Association into its body.

In 1953 the YRA became the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

The RYA set up the RYA Training Committee to govern its training activities in 1967. Seventy-two schools applied for RYA recognition in 1968. The British military took on board the RYA training scheme one year later, while the Yachtmaster Qualification Panel was set up in 1971. The RYA Training Scheme is currently delivered in 46 countries through a network of over 2,500 recognised training centres. The scheme offers practical training in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, yachting, motor cruising, powerboating, personal watercraft and inland waterways, as well as a range of shorebased training courses. The RYA also publishes over 200 supporting titles for its activities.

The RYA had its first involvement in the organisation of Olympic sailing in 1908 during the London Games. Racing took place off the Isle of Wight in yachts. During the 1980s the RYA became the national body for windsurfing.

Goals and policies[edit]

  • To increase participation in RYA driven activities.
  • Increase boating numbers and time spent boating.
  • To promote safety and bring the awareness to individuals and companies.
  • To represent recreational boating rights and responsibilities.
  • Establish the RYA as the upholder of boaters’ rights.
  • To work with British and international organisations.
  • To raise the standards of which their interests spread (see first paragraph), in the UK.
  • To rank high, globally, and succeed at international competitions.


  • Operations Committee (OC)
Responsible for policy and administration.
  • Honours and Awards
Considers nominations for RYA honours and awards.
  • Central Finance Committee (CFC)
Responsible for finances, financial policy, and subscriptions. Also responsible for administrative and general functions including membership services, information technology, and stock and despatch.
  • RYA Tribunal
Deals with discipline within the sport and RYA.
  • Constitution Committee
Advises RYA council on terms of reference and constitution of RYA council and RYA committees.
  • Certifying Authority Committee
Formally required under the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s of the RYA as a certification authority for small commercial vessels.
  • Cruising Committee (CC)
Responsible for policy, advice and services; relating to motor and sail cruising.
  • Legal & Government Affairs Committee (LGAC)
Manages legal issues, RYA’s views to government and public bodies, and provision of relevant information and advice to members and affiliated clubs and classes. Supporting committees/sub-committees: Planning and Environmental; Inland Navigations; Moorings and Marinas.
  • Marketing Committee (MC)
Responsible for RYA marketing activity including public relations and media relations, membership marketing, RYA publications and the RYA Dinghy Sailing Show.
  • Powerboat Racing Committee (PBRC)
Supporting committees/sub-committees: Appeals Board; Jet Sport Racing; Circuit Racing; Offshore Racing; Powerboat Records.
  • Racing Committee (RC)

Oversees RYA responsibilities for sail racing in the UK, and the management of Team GBR.

  • Sport Development Committee (SDC)
Responsible for RYA policy, advice and services relating to Sport Development issues. Main goal is to develop the RYA Sport Development strategy.
  • Technical Committee (TEC)
Responsible for RYA policy, advice and services relating to handicapping and technical issues.
  • Training Committee (TC)
Responsible for policy, advice and services relating to training and safety issues for the management of the RYA Yachtmaster scheme and further training courses/qualifications.
  • Windsurfing Committee (WC)
Responsible for RYA policy, advice and services relating to windsurfing issues.
  • Racing supporting committees/sub-committees:
Racing Review Board; International Group; Racing Rules; Race Coaching/Training; Handicap Group; Judging and Umpiring; Race Management; Match Racing; Offshore Racing; Team Racing; Single/Short-Han Sailing; Olympic Steering Group; Paralympic Steering Group; Youth Steering Group; Portsmouth Yardstick Advisory Group; RYA & RORC Sportsboat Rule Management Group.

RYA Training Programmes[edit]

RYA approved training programmes are sought after all over the world. World over (over 44 countries) there are more than 2,200 RYA recognized training centers. Some of the training programmes are:[11]

  • Sail Cruising
  • Motor Cruising
  • Navigation & Seamanship
  • Powerboat
  • and more

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Organisational sites

Famous sailors[edit]

See Category:British sailors

Olympic sailing[edit]

See Category:Olympic sailors of Great Britain

Offshore sailing[edit]

See Category:British yacht racers

Yacht clubs[edit]

See Category:Yacht clubs in the United Kingdom