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Royal Yachting Association

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Royal Yachting Association
IOC nationGreat Britain & Northern Ireland (GBR)
National flagUnited Kingdom
Other sports
Official websitewww.rya.org.uk
Year of formation1875 (1875)
Former namesYacht Racing Association
International federationWorld Sailing (World Sailing)
World Sailing members pagewww.sailing.org
World Sailing member since1907 Founding Member
Continental associationEuropean Sailing Federation
National Olympic CommitteeBritish Olympic Committee
National Paralympic CommitteeBritish Paralympic Committee
Other affiliation(s)
  • European Boating Association
PresidentThe Princess Royal
  • Chris Preston (Chair)
Chief ExecutiveSara Sutcliffe MBE
Number of staffApprox. 160
Company statusLimited Company
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Cymru Wales
  • North West
  • North East
  • Midlands
  • East
  • London & South East
  • South
  • South West
RYA ensign

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is a United Kingdom national governing body for sailing,[1] dinghy sailing, yacht and motor cruising, sail racing, RIBs and sportsboats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.[2]


The Yacht Racing Association was founded in November 1875.[3] Its initial purpose was to standardize the rules of measurement to different racing yachts so that boats of different classes could compete fairly against each other.[4] Membership at the time cost two guineas and was available to "former and present owners of racing yachts of and above 10 tons Thames measurement and such other gentlemen as the committee may elect".

In 1921 the YRA incorporated the independent Sailing Boat Association and the Boat Racing Association into its body. In 1952 the YRA became the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).[5]

The RYA remains constituted as a membership association, with a Council of elected volunteers as its supreme policy-making body. It publishes over 110 maritime titles that are regarded internationally and is translated into more than 20 foreign languages. RYA Magazine is the organisation's membership magazine.[5]

British Sailing Team[edit]

The RYA manages the British Sailing Team (BST), from which Team GB's Olympic sailing team is selected. Training and infrastructure is provided by the RYA, while central funding is through bodies such as The National Lottery. The British Sailing team is the most successful Olympic sailing team in the world, and sailing is the only sport in which Great Britain leads the on the Olympic medal table.


While the RYA Council is the RYA's senior policy-making body in boating matters, responsibility for the Association's different activities and areas of interest is delegated to a number of policy committees.

The main function of the policy committees and sub-committees is to agree and oversee the implementation of RYA policy in their respective areas. Responsibility for day-to-day management of each area rests with the RYA's professional staff, with the relevant departmental manager acting as secretary to his or her committee.

Powerboat Racing[edit]

The RYA announced in August 2018 that they would no longer act as the national authority for powerboat racing in the United Kingdom.

‘Financial, safety, and reputational challenge's were the reasons given for the decision alongside the fact that the Powerboat Racing office had only issued 92 adult and 18 junior licences in 2018.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sports | UK Sport". www.uksport.gov.uk.
  2. ^ "About the RYA | About Us | RYA - Royal Yachting Association". www.rya.org.uk.
  3. ^ YachtWorld. "The RYA". YachtWorld. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Royal Yachting Association". www.watchguard.com. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b "The RYA « YachtWorld UK". Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  6. ^ John Moore (16 August 2018). "RYA to stand down as UK National Authority for powerboat racing in 2019". Power Boat Racing World.