Local Sailing Instructor shortlisted for award

A SAILING instructor who teaches at Stonehaven Yacht Club has been shortlisted alongside Scotland’s top sailing clubs, volunteers and instructors who have made an outstanding commitment to the sport in 2012 for the RYA Scotland’s Annual Awards.

24 year-old Robyn Phillips, who teaches at Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club, is on the shortlist for RYA Scotland Instructor of the Year, sponsored by Port Edgar.

Since Robyn took over as Head Coach and Junior Coordinator in 2011 junior sailing at the club has gone from strength to strength, culminating in a new week-long sailing summer camp and many of the juniors excelling in competitions at club sailing and away.

Not only are children at the club improving under her lesson plans, but Robyn has achieved RYA recognition for sailing teaching at the club, enabling them to award juniors the appropriate RYA certificates according to their skill.

She has forged excellent links both to RYA NESS as well as the Aberdeenshire Sailing Trust, opening avenues for cross fertilisation and more opportunities for Young sailors in Aberdeen city and shire.

Her enthusiasm is infections and all the kids and adult helpers have been thoroughly infected by this. She has worked closely with one young sailor who is strongly autistic and virtually blind, including him in the week-long summer activity. By close teaching he was able to attain RYA level 1 with a proviso given his disability.

Through her enthusiasm for sailing and ability to teach Robyn has encouraged older children to complete RYA dinghy instructors training to get involved as teachers in junior sailing. London Olympics silver medallist sailor Luke Patience will announce the awards winners at a special dinner in Largs on Saturday February 23 2013 during RYA Scotland’s Big Weekend, the annual boat show sponsored by Malin Waters that looks to bring sailors from all over Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England. The Big Weekend is open to anyone to attend - tickets are available on the door for just £5 and kids under 16 go free accompanied by an adult. With a programme of workshops and talks running all weekend over a wide variety of sailing and boating topics, there is sure to be something to interest everyone.