Presented with a golden opportunity by the annual RYA Dinghy Show moving online, the Kippford based Solway Yacht Club is delighted to be launching its own stand on 27th February. Held for many years as the popular pre-season warm up event at Alexandra Palace in London, it has effectively been out of reach to sailors from Dumfries and Galloway, the exhibition’s focus being mostly on the South of England.
Being an online event has changed all that. It is now accessible to everyone regardless of geography and Solway YC is unique, the only club North of the border, taking the opportunity to exhibit, so very much confirming SYC as one of the sport’s leading Scottish Clubs. Exhibiting presents the Club with the chance of promoting the Club, locally and further afield, both to established sailors and to others thinking about giving the sport of sailing a try, whether dinghy racing, learning to sail or just pottering about in boats. The Club now includes paddle-boarding and kayaking members as well as competitive sailors and long distance, offshore crews. The stand will be showing all the Club’s activities and members will be on hand to “chat” with visitors during the opening hours.
With Covid putting a stop to all actual Club activities, getting the team together to build the stand has generated wide support from round the Club, with one of the younger members, Nicola McColm, a second year BA (Hons) New Media Art student at University of the West of Scotland, creating the virtual stand. Many other members have come up with beautiful photos and great video clips showing, not just the sport and the Club off to great effect, but also the glorious Galloway coast, even including Solway dolphins caught on video from a member’s yacht not far away, off Hestan Island.
Attending the show is free of charge and you only have to register at www.rya.org.uk to attend. As well as several of the UK’s other leading clubs, the various types of boats and classes are exhibiting, while trade stands will be offering the latest sailing clothing and equipment. Also included are talks by leading sailors and experts. A full list of who’s there is on the RYA’s website. Hopefully there’ll be much interest in the South and West of Scotland and it will prove a great start to the season, even if getting back on the water is a little way off yet. The virtual exhibition is open over the two days of the weekend of 27th and 28th February from 10:00 to 17:00