Dear Members,

As we head to the Easter break, I’d like to give you an update on the Pathways Programme and our negotiations with our current contractor, Windshift.

The proposed Pathways Membership is an affordable 12-month package which includes.

  1. Club Membership
  2. RMSTA courses
  3. Casual practice
  4. Keelboat racing
  5. Race management training
  6. Boat practical
  7. Mentoring

We strongly believe the integration of the RMSTA courses into the Pathways Membership category will be the crucial change required to create an effective sailing pathway for juniors, intermediates and adults new to sailing and to increase our active sailing membership.

From my extensive discussions with other Commodores, no other local club outsources their training and most subsidise training because it is their main source of new members. The successful SYC approach – on which our Pathways model is based – offers a Season’s Pass Membership which entitles members to training programmes for 12 months resulting in 80% of graduates joining as members. By comparison only 10% of those who complete a course with the RMSTA model go on to become members of RMYS.

Our membership is one of the lowest of all the clubs at the top of the bay. This will not change unless we do something differently to recruit new members.

The RMSTA working group has now received a proposal from Windshift to operate the RMSTA for a further two years as from 1 July 2021. Discussions are still proceeding in good faith, but the proposal can only work if it is consistent with our Pathways model and it is fair to say the initial proposal does not achieve this.

The working group, which consists of myself, John Taylor, Bob Galbally, Steve Thompson and Monica Jones, is operating in the best interests of the Squadron as it continues discussions with Windshift. It is important that these discussions can proceed in a manner that achieves the best outcome for our members and the Squadron’s future.


I’ll sign off by wishing everyone a safe and restful Easter break.

Greg Marino