RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017

What can you expect to find at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2017?

There is no better place to prepare for the season ahead than the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in association with Yachts and Yachting, brought to you by the RYA.

Over the weekend of 4 – 5 March, Alexandra Palace will once again be transformed into a world of dinghy sailing.

Whether you are a racer, cruiser or just getting started, you will find all you need to know, and all the kit you may need to purchase at the world’s only show dedicated exclusively to dinghy sailing.

What is in store?

Olympic and Paralympic medal winning duo Mark Covell and Helena Lucas will be 2017 show comperes

Olympic and Paralympic medal winning duo Mark Covell and Helena Lucas will be 2017 show comperes.

Mark, who originally trained as a traditional boat builder, has worked in the marine industry and campaigned boats all his adult life, winning a silver medal in the Sydney 2000 Games with Ian Walker.

After spending two years in Auckland with GBR Challenge, sailing in the America’s Cup, Mark now reports and commentates on high profile sailing events including the Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia, San Francisco and the Volvo Ocean Race.

Mark said: “I am very excited to be involved in the show. Small boat sailing is where we all start and whether you want to go on to crew super yachts, compete at the Games or race at your local sailing club, dinghy sailing can take you anywhere and that is what the show is all about.”

Helena Lucas made history claiming 2.4mR Paralympic gold at London 2012 becoming the first ever female winner of the open 2.4mR class and Britain’s first ever Paralympic sailing gold medallist. She secured her second Paralympic podium position winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

Helena said: The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show is the highlight of the dinghy sailor’s year. A chance to catch up with sailing friends, take advantage of some amazing offers and discover some new classes. I have been going since I was 12-years-old and it is a real privilege to be presenting it alongside Mark Covell.

Helena and Mark will be hosting the Suzuki Mainstage, which will welcome a fantastic range of speakers from dinghy adventurers to world class coaches. Here are some of the highlights…

RYA Suzuki Mainstage

Dinghy cruising is fast becoming increasingly popular with those who either do not want to race their dinghy or want the best of both worlds.

On the Suzuki Main Stage visitors to the show will be inspired by a record breaking Laser voyage as Gary ‘Ted’ Sargent shares his experience sailing single-handed around the coast of Ireland for his One Wild Ride charity challenge. 42 days, 1,750 kilometres, four capsizes and zero breakages after leaving Schull in West Cork, Gary sailed back into port triumphant.

There is no doubt foiling continues to capture everyone’s imagination from the 72ft America’s Cup machines hurtling round the Solent to the growth of the International Moth class, the development of foiling catamarans and everything else that is growing up around this.

Design innovators Alan Hillman and Mike Lennon will be amongst the top sailors who will share their secrets of foiling and where it is heading and how you can get started. Strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride with the Foiling into the Future talk on the Suzuki Mainstage.

Historian, and All at Sea contributor, David Henshall will be taking us back in time to discover how some of the most iconic dinghies were created with his talk on Dinghy Design Development and Clive Grant, powerboat trainer to the army, returns to the show to provide essential rescue tips for modern dinghy classes

Coaching area

There is a huge range of advice on offer throughout the show. Over in the coaching area do not miss the chance to get involved in interactive sessions that can help you improve your sailing whether you are racing or cruising. Sessions include communication and roles in the boat, sailing basics and boat fit boot camp.

We also see some familiar faces returning to the show with World Sailing International Judge Chris Watts back to help you get to grips with the new Racing Rules of Sailing that came into effect on 1 January, including the RYA’s new rules app.

Do not miss the chance to have your rig tuning questions answered by sailmaker Michael McNamara who returns with his hugely popular coaching session on how to set up your rig for various conditions using a fully-rigged RS200.

Inspire the whole family

The show is full of free activities to entertain and inspire the whole family. Younger visitors can buzz around collecting the clues and stickers in the famous Dinghy Show treasure hunt and be in for a chance to win fantastic prizes.

You can also experience the feeling of being out on the water by jumping on one of the interactive sailing simulators or put your trapezing technique under the watchful eyes of an instructor on the RYA Magic marine trapeze rig.

Get your tickets

Advance tickets are available at a special discount rate of £10 for RYA members and £12.50 for non-members. RYA affiliated clubs can also take advantage of a special ticket price of £10 when booking 10 tickets or more. Two children go free with each paying adult as well.

You can buy tickets at www.dinghyshow.org or by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 858 9069.


Download the app

Download the official RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show app to keep up-to-date with everything you need to know about the show including exhibitors, travel details, tickets and more. Available for free from the App store, Google Play, or Amazon app store.


What’s on when

Suzuki Mainstage

Time Talk
10:30 Patrol boat handling and recovery techniques.

Clive Grant- RYA Powerboat and Coach Assessor, Army Sailing Association.

Essential tips for those that volunteer for patrol boat duty at sailing clubs. This talk is aimed at increasing confidence, promoting good practice and tips on how to recover some of the more modern foiling classes

11:15 Reading the weather

Simon Rowell-British Sailing Team Meteorologist

Great tips on how to read the local weather and tides to enable you to make the most of your time on the water

12:00 Sailing a Laser round Ireland

Gary ‘Ted’ Sargent

Gary takes you through his epic charity cruise ‘One Wild Ride’ around Ireland in a Laser.

12:45 Dinghy Design Development

David Henshall, Sailing historian and author

David will be taking us back in time to discover how some of the most iconic dinghies were created.

13:30 Prize Presentations

Green Blue –University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (Saturday only)

RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards (Sunday only)

13:45 Fleet Cruising

Commodore and Vice Commodore of Cody Island Sailing Club

Find out more about cruising in a fleet which is a popular alternative to fleet racing. Dinghy cruising can be a fantastic way to build confidence whilst sailing with others in a wide variety of locations and conditions

14:30 Foiling Fundamentals

Foiling coach Alan Hillman and 2016 European Moth Champion Mike Lennon

Design innovators and top sailors Alan and Mike will be joining forces to share the secrets of foiling and where it’s heading

15:15 Land Rover BAR update

Members of Land Rover BAR join us to talk about their success in the America’s Cup World Series, developments in their academy and a preview of the final in Bermuda.

16:00 RYA Club of the Year Awards (Saturday only)
16:30 Treasure Hunt
17:00 British Sailing Team guest slot (Saturday only)


Coaching Area

Time Talk
11:00 Racing Rules

Chris Watts, World Sailing International Judge

Swot up on the new Racing Rules and how they could affect you

12:00 Rig Tuning

Michael McNamara, Managing Director of McNamara Sails

Top tips on how to set up your rig for various conditions using a fully rigged RS200

13:00 Posture and Hiking

Steve Cockerill, Rooster Sailing

Learn how to take the strain out of your back and knees whilst maximising leverage.


14:00 Sailing basics

Susie Moore, RYA Regional Development Officer

Top tips on how to get started plus a refresher for those returning to the sport

15:00 Boat fit boot camp

Sailing fitness tips

16:00 Communications and roles

Maximise communication and teamwork to get ahead on the racecourse


*Details correct at the time of going to press and maybe subject to change