The RYA Dinghy Show is one of my [Lou’s] favourite shows of the year. Before dinghy sailing became an all year round sport the Dinghy Show marked the start of the season, and a chance to see friends you may not have seen since October.
Today things have changed a little and the show is still a time to see friends, but it also combines work both client based and some voluntary work. We have a client who exhibits at the show, Hammond Drysuits and in addition Box also continue to support Greig City Academy Scaracmouche on a voluntary basis. As a long-standing Merlin Rocket Class sailor, I also look after their social media and PR/reports for the 2019 season.
Hammond Drysuits kicked off by celebrating their 40th anniversary since Brian Hammond made his first drysuit. The stand was popular particularly because there was cake and plenty of it! One of their supported up-and-coming dinghy sailors Jack Graham Troll spent time on the stand talking to visitors about the drysuits, and undersuits and what a difference they have made for his winter training. Manufacturers can always tell people about their products, but it’s always nice for visitors to hear a real testimonial. Hammond had a great show, taking orders for new drysuits as well as repairs and selling thermals.
Box helped Hammond prepare for the show, with show guide entry, news to the media pre-show, a customer mailing pre-show, and social media updates throughout the weekend. (We also turned up with cake!)
On Sunday, five students from Grieg City Academy and Project Scaramouche were guests of the RYA and were invited onto the main stage to tell their story to visitors to the show. Shirley Robertson OBE introduced them to their attentive audience, asking them questions about the project, and how sailing is helping shape their future.
Following their appearance on the stage and talking with Ian Walker who had been listening, they headed to ‘Sailors Corner’ where they were interviewed by Annie Lush, and rising stars in the sailing world Emily Covell and Hannah Bristow. Annie, Emily and Hannah took time to share their passion with the students and they have certainly left a mark exchanging Instagram accounts and they are preparing to go sailing together later this year.
I was responsible for arranging both the main stage presentation and the appearance in Sailors Corner. I was also on hand to offer support and calm any nerves, although I think I was more nervous than them!
Sailing a Merlin Rocket is where I spend most of my weekends and summer sailing regattas, it is always a delight to offer a couple of hours to the stand and share my passion for this 70+ year old class with past, present and hopefully future sailors. Search #MerlinRocket for updates if you are a keen dinghy sailor.
Well that sums up the two action packed days combining Box clients with my voluntary role, but together it makes for a great weekend. After all it was wet and windy outside, so there was no club sailing anyway! Now it’s time to start the sailing season and hope Natasha and Chris Hammond shared some of that cake, because there’s a lot of sugar in it.