Happy New Year – and an exciting one it is. This will be Sail YSL’s first full year of operation – and I hope it’s nice and busy! There are a number of plans in the pipeline but 2013 starts with a bang with what is probably the biggest news of all:

RYA Training Centre

Sail YSL is now a recognised RYA Training Centre for shorebased courses. This means you can now take your RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship, Day Skipper or Yachtmaster theory certificate here in Switzerland without having to traipse all the way to the UK or elsewhere.

In case you don’t know, these theory courses are an indispensable preparation for RYA practical courses. Indeed, it is not possible to pass a Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper practical course or a Yachtmaster exam without demonstrating sound knowledge of the subjects covered in the relevant theory courses.

I believe Sail YSL is the only organisation in the Zurich area to offer these courses on a face-to-face basis, and the only organisation in Switzerland to offer face-to-face classes through the winter – which is the ideal time to take them, in time to put them into practice in the coming summer.

Courses are now in preparation and if you haven’t already subscribed to our mailing list, do so now to be one of the first to know when the dates are available and you can already register interest by dropping me a line through the contact form.

In fact, why not take a theory course and then join us on one of this summer’s skippered charters? And if you are bitten by the sailing bug and fancy taking a formal RYA practical course with a view to your own bareboat charter in the future, I can point you towards reliable contacts in the UK or Gibraltar.

Web site restructure

In light of Sail YSL’s new status, the web site has also had a reorganisation and you can find comprehensive information about the theory courses in a brand new section, which also includes the book list of useful reading. Practical activities have also been grouped into a discrete section for better clarity.

Meetup group

I’ve also set up a new Meetup group called Sailing Enthusiasts in Zurich. This is intended quite simply to allow fans of wind-powered boating to get together and share their interest over a few drinks. It doesn’t matter how much or how little experience you have, what size of boat you prefer or whether you are English or German-speaking – come along and meet like-minded people. The inaugural event will be held at Barflyz, Gotthardstrasse 21 in Zurich (just behind the Tonhalle and 5 minutes walk from Enge station) on Wednesday 16 January at 19.30. If you want to join us, it would be great if you could register your attendance via Meetup so I know how many people to warn the venue to expect.

So happy reading, and I hope to see you soon.