RYA appoints new directors

Portrait pictures of the two new RYA directors.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has announced the appointment of two new directors. This autumn, Nick Scott will take up the position of director of racing, while Mark Robinson MBE assumes a new role as performance director following the British Sailing Team’s success at Tokyo 2020.

As director of racing, Scott will oversee the development of sail racing within the UK, including determining and developing the strategy of youth, junior, keelboat, and coach development programmes.

Becoming involved in performance sport as an athlete on the Sailing World Class Programme, Scott is a former Olympic development squad sailor and RYA Scotland high performance manager. He returns to the RYA following two Olympic cycles with the English Institute of Sport, first at British Triathlon and latterly at British Rowing.

As a former sailing coach, Scott brings experience in leading performance planning, sports science, and innovation strategies in the pursuit of Olympic and Paralympic medals.

Commenting on his appointment, Scott says: “I can’t wait to get started in this role. It’s an exciting time for sailing in the UK and I look forward to bringing my experiences from other sports and working with the sailing community to continue to create great experiences of racing and develop the sailing superstars of the future.”

Formerly the RYA Olympic manager, Robinson will focus on leading the team responsible for executing the Paris 2024 strategy and building towards LA 2028.

Robinson has over 35 years’ experience in sailing as a competitor, coach, and national team manager. He led Australia’s Paralympic sailors to the top of the medal table at Rio 2016, and at Tokyo 2020 delivered the most successful Olympics for British sailors since Beijing 2008.

Topping the Tokyo sailing medal table, with three golds, one silver and one bronze, confirmed the British Sailing Team as the most successful national Olympic sailing team of all time,” says Robinson. “It’s a true privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the team into Paris 2024 and beyond.”

The Tokyo 2020 British Sailing Sailing. Image courtesy of Nick Dempsey, RYA.

Sara Sutcliffe MBE, chief executive of the RYA, comments: “We’re delighted to be announcing these key appointments. Success breeds success and the RYA has been able to establish one of the best sport development programmes in the world, with a clear and direct link between Olympic success and the clubs and schools at the grassroots of sailing.

“I’m confident that Nick’s appointment, alongside Mark Robinson’s new role as performance director, will see our sport go from strength to strength, while at the same time inspiring future participants, volunteers, coaches and champions to ensure a thriving UK club racing scene.”

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