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Royal Dart Youth Sailing Trust

The Trust aims to help young people in South Devon benefit from being able to sail or be involved with water-based sport and in particular to enable those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

Trust photo

Founded in 2016


The Royal Dart Youth Sailing Trust was set up in June 2016 as a legacy of the 150-year celebration of the club. The charity aims to help young people to benefit from being able to sail, especially those who might otherwise not have the opportunity. As well as supporting RDYC junior sailing activities, it therefore aims to make it possible for many more local youngsters to benefit from the challenge of participating in water sports on the beautiful River Dart.

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2019 Taster Weeks


Our main event for 2019 was three Schools Weeks, where we aimed to get lots more children on the water and enable them to progress through the syllabus of the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme. We again propose to use as many of our ‘home-grown’ young instructors as possible.

For the last two years, the Trust these taster weeks have helped up to 90 local year six children. Pupils from Dartmouth Academy, Kingswear, East Allington, Blackawton and Stoke Fleming primary schools have all enjoyed training on our Teras, Visions and latterly the new Quest dinghies. It was particularly pleasing that the school children were taught mainly by older teenage RYA-qualified instructors who had successfully progressed through many years in our own RDYC-based Junior Sailing programme.

This year pupils from East Allington, Galmpton, Kingswear, Stoke Fleming and Dartmouth Academy Primary attended taster days. Blackawton came for two days and were awarded with stage 1. Dartmouth Academy (secondary) include the sailing as part of their Challenge Week and 2 groups of pupils come for 2 days each working to gain stage 1.

Each a day a group of excited, anxious and wary pupils arrive to see what the day will bring. They end the day excited, wet and happy. Many have overcome fear and lack of confidence.

Below are some comments from those who came this year. A number have sent letters of thanks to their instructors. For the RDYC assistant instructors and dinghy instructors the initiative provided by the YST enables them to put their skills to better use, learning not only to be better sailors but how to impart their knowledge to others. A win win.

In addition the YST has this year supported 3 youngsters through the RDYC junior Sailing programme and they all achieved their stage 1 at the last day of the 2019 programme on July 20th. The Trust will continue to support them to instructor level. Working with the schools who came this year the plan is to support a similar number in the coming years. The aim being to give youngsters who would not otherwise have the opportunity the chance to learn a new sport and with it new skills, meeting new friends and opening new doors for their future.

RDYST Dinghy Fleet


In addition to supporting dinghy sailing training for juniors, the Trust also seeks to ensure that there is a suitable and sea-worthy fleet of dinghies to deliver the courses. It first had to buy a Topper and two new Teras. Then the obsolete fleet of six Visions had to be replaced last year. Most recently the Trust has bought a Seascape keel boat to help bridge the transition of the oldest teenagers through to yacht racing.

Raising Funds


The Trust has no regular source of income other than fund raising. Whilst a Sport England grant and sponsorship by Rockfish restaurant last year were very important, so too were Gift-Aided donations from individual RDYC members and the fantastically well-supported auction of promises.

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