RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show expands to 171 exhibitors

2024 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2

The season-opening RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show attracted almost 9,000 visitors over two days at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre in the UK.

The show expanded to see 171 exhibitors joining the 2024 edition, with a total of 8,900 visitors arriving from across the UK and internationally.

Featuring dinghy sailing, windsurfing, wingsurfing and foiling, and paddleboarding, the annual show, which took place this year from 24 to 25 February 2024, brought together participants, clubs, training centres, Class Associations, equipment manufacturers and retailers from across the small-boat sailing and boardsports community.

“There was just an amazing atmosphere across the show weekend, with so many people discovering new kit, skills and techniques to help them progress their water-based passions, and some healthy business relationships to be had as well,” said RYA Director of sport development Rob Clark.

“The RYA organises this show to bring together the small boat sailing and watersports community, and there’s really nothing else like it in the world. We’re a community that’s so generous in sharing our time, knowledge and passion with others and that is so evident in what we saw across a fantastic weekend.”

There was standing room only at a majority of the expert talks and workshops across the show’s three stages (Main Stage, Knowledge Zone and Watersports Stage), including show favourite Mark Rushall’s talk on tactics, instructor Mia Adcock on wings and foils, and the British Sailing Squad iQFOiL women in their windfoiling workshop.

The British Sailing Team’s Sam Whaley shared his expert tips on downwind ILCA sailing, there were winging and windsurfing masterclasses from, updates on Olympic Games and America’s Cup preparations, and insights into the experiences of para sailors who showed there are no barriers to on-water adventures.

During the show weekend, the 1948 Olympic Firefly Jacaranda was the winner of the prestigious Concours d’Elegance – best boat in show – while Draycote Water Sailing Club was crowned the RYA Club of the Year supported by Gallagher.

2024 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2

Fourteen university sailing clubs were recognised for their commitment to green actions in The Green Blue’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge, while on-water achievements were marked in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series prize giving, and with Lucas Meldrum picking up his UKWA Windsports Personality of the Year trophy.

Exhibitor RS Sailing comments: “The RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show is truly unique. No other show is like it anywhere in the world. To get small boating under one roof where it’s only focused on the dinghy scene is truly special, and if you’re in that marketplace, you have to be here.”

Harken adds: “The show itself is what keeps us coming back every year – the fact that we get to interact with the end user, the general public, dinghy enthusiasts across the country and globally. It just brings us back every year. It’s a friendly show, lots of great trade as well with our friends and partners. We love to come back here every year.”

A spokesperson for Hartley Boats says: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic show. The Saturday was absolutely heavy, and on Sunday, we were also still busy going into the closing hour. As an exhibitor it’s really easy to come here, setting up and closing down is easier than ever for us. It’s been great, and we’ll be back next year.”

2024 RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 3
Draycote Water Sailing Club (DWSC) was crowned RYA Club of the Year

Draycote Water Sailing Club (DWSC) was crowned RYA Club of the Year in front of a packed audience at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, with the trophy presented by Olympic gold medallist Eilidh McIntyre.

One response to “RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show expands to 171 exhibitors”

  1. Richard Pillow says:

    It would be great if you moved to the NEC and were a part of the growing Boat Life exhibition which is over four days at a similar time of year. You would attract a wider audience because of the location in more central UK and transport links.
    I feel your show would benefit from being at least one day longer.
    Boat Life would benefit too.