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The following is a summary of the main topics of discussion or most common questions and their answers which were raised at the End of Season 11 Cluster meetings held around the Country. While it is not possible to include every point and question in this summary, a copy of the Minutes of each meeting is available from your Regional Development Officer on request. Thank you.


1. A number of regions requested information on the top tips for turning try sailing participants into members.

a. There will be a Trysailing Tool Kit which points out best examples such as the “Surf ‘n Turf” Initiative in Wexford from 2015 and examples of membership discounts and incentives offered by different clubs. This manual will be available early 2016.

The Trysailing Promotion Bursary was very welcomed at the meetings, but the allocation of spend varied from collaborative radio ad / regional paper to individual regional websites or local ads in local paper. 

a. Each Club will liaise with their RDO on the most appropriate use of funding for either a collaborative regional strategy or individual approach to promoting to their target market. The bursary is for promotion and advertising only and will compliment the Trysailing branded materials such as stickers, flags, pop ups and digital branding.

3. There are no references to private sector funding opportunities on the funding presentation page, which should be looked into.

a. Some of the Cluster Meetings had presenters who spoke about the 2016 Leader Programme, Tús, Business creation and development, encouragement of tourism and services to rural economy and population. Other regions have public meetings which club reps may attend. The 2016 Leader Programme is still at exploratory stage and if an organisation has a particular idea should liaise with their RDO for advice. All developments on the programme will be published in the ISA Newsletter.

4. ISA should consider developing participation programmes that shift the burden of cost of facilitation from the clubs e.g. approaching local councils requesting reduction in berthing, mooring, marina fees that are being charged.

a. The ISA is working with every relevant council / sport partnership who have a sailing club in their county to see what collaboration is possible in 2016. Examples of such programmes are the Trysailing Schools Initiative and the Cool Route Programme which shall be detailed more in early 2016.

ISA Sailing Passport  - Online Logbook

There were quite a number of questions throughout the Cluster Meetings related to the introduction of the new ISA Sailing Passport using the Checklick Online Logbook System, common questions are outlined below. 

1. Is there a possibility of keeping logbooks and certs for 1 more year to aid transition to paperless?

a. Yes, the plan is to keep the current paper logbooks and certs available for next year and making the Sailing Passport  online version available on request. The paper Joe Soap Progress Book with the new revised training sysllabus will also be available in Spring 2016.

2. Comment was made that more consultation on the needs and wants of centres for an online certification system would have been helpful. Concern is expressed that the ISA attempted an online system before and it failed. 

a. The Sailing Passportis a professionally created programme for purpose and has been in operation in Canada for the past three years.  2016 is an opportunity to extend the application to more Clubs and continue to review and adopt the system as necessary. The ISA will be publishing an explanatory document before Christmas in order to get feedback, and allow any queries and concerns to be considered, before publishing a roll out strategy in the new year.


1. There is a need for more trainers particularly dinghy instructor trainers?

a. There are a number of Trainers diversifying to increase the capacity to run instructor courses and the ISA will be putting a number of candidates through the next scheduled Tutor Training Course.

When will changes to Advanced SBSS Instructor qualification be implemented? Any new Advanced Instructor training going forward will be under the new scheme. 

a. The new Advanced Instructorship has been agreed by the Trainers and Training Policy Group. The first pilot course under the new system is being scheduled for early in the new year. The criteria for qualification and the transition from current qualification to the new system will be available in February 2016.

3. There were a number of discussions on coaching skills for racing in clubs and training centres.

a. There is currently a working group led by Brian McDowell looking at introducing an ISA Club/Class Coaching programme, Terms of Reference have been agreed and an interim report is due in Spring 2016. The directive is to look at a structure to identify experienced racing sailors, and give them sufficient coaching skills to deliver the programme in Clubs.

The need to have a simpler SI was discussed in many of the meetings, the struggle to find and hold onto an SI was a serious problem for some of the Clubs and any way of making it easier would be a positive development.

2015 saw 5 S.I. courses ran with good numbers and the same number is scheduled for 2016,it is hoped that the new changes will see an increase in numbers of SIs available in 2016. Eddie English and Joe Rooney are creating a report with recommendations to the Training Policy Group on increasing supply of S.I.s.


1. Is there a possibility of advertising RYA Yachtmaster Instructor Courses?

a. Currently ISA only qualified instructors are undergoing a conversion to bring them in line with the revised system and until this is completed, advertising of these courses will not be going ahead so as to not disadvantage people that are being delayed due to the conversion timing of the courses.

2. Request to make qualifications, courses, certification clearer for Yachtsmaster courses?

a. There will be an update of all the changes and developments within the cruising scheme sent out to all members in the new year.

Cruiser Racing Instructors –Something to fill the hole between being a dinghy sailor and onto instructor and then into crewing on cruisers?

a.This is currently being explored by ICRA.  

4. Update requested for the boat registration - small craft register?

a. Harry Hermon will update current developments in 2016

Cruising scheme – no consultation with cruising stakeholders, national trainers or cruising scheme deliverers. 

All cruising stakeholders were invited on a number of occasions to make submissions and attend the consultation meetings. Difficulty in coming up with one plan that suits all. Consultation groups were involved throughout. Request for factual, clear mailshot with definitive dates/timelines and details will be made early 2016.

Race Management

Request for race result programmes to be explained. This was covered as an agenda item in the Classes forum held in November and work is underway.

1. Assistance with event management needed?

a. The roll out of race official training programme was discussed at Board Level and with the Racing Policy Group – the new race management courses, resources and developments will be published and a Race Officials conference has been scheduled for 28th February 2016.

b. Gordon Davies (ISA Competitions Policy Group) informed the cluster that as an international judge there is a panel available in the Great Dublin area that are available for any event should a club or centre wish to have a judge or protest committee present. This will help to develop rules knowledge among the sailors and race officials teams but will provide experienced chairs for protest committees should the need arise.

2. Do Race Officials need to attend Safeguarding Courses?

a. It is up to each organising authority / Club Race Management Team to decide their own Policy on Best Practice for Working with Children on who should attend Safeguard courses.. A number of Youth Classes such as Optimist, Mirror and Lasers may have it in their requirements. The ISA is awaiting for official legal requirement in the Children’s First Act which is due to be commenced in Spring 2016

3. Request to develop a large Dinghy Regatta in the West such as Dinghy Fest / Dinghy West in the alternative year to the RCYC Dinghy Fest was raised?

a. The ISA put out a request for application to all Clubs to run the event in 2016, but there were no applications who fulfilled the criteria and therefore there will be no Dinghy Fest in 2016 however Galway Bay SC are planning a ‘Dinghy West’ event next year. RCYC will run Dinghy Fest 2017 and the ISA will seek applications to host Dinghy Fest 2018 in the near future.

The next schedule of Regional Cluster meetings is scheduled for end of Feb early March, dates and venues will be sent out by your RDO in the New Year. If you would like a copy of the detailed minutes of each meeting please contact your RDO directly. We would like to thank everyone for their co-operation and support with these Cluster Meetings and we look forward to an exciting 2016.

Merry Christmas

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