NRV’s Reflections on the 2023 ICOYC European Conference

The “Club in the Mountains” was the host of this year’s ICOYC European Conference. Though away from the sea may be a somewhat strange location for a yacht club, the hospitality of the Gstaad Yacht Club that was extended to the delegates and partners attending the conference was just outstanding.

A total of 44 delegates accompanied by 13 partners from 27 clubs and 20 countries attended the conference.

The list of topics presented drew the interest of the delegates. They ranged from theoretical to hands-on practical evaluations, with topics including:

  • inflation
  • fundraising and sponsorship
  • maintenance of boat parks
  • media & communications
  • sustainability – evolution vs. revolution
  • preparation for emergency situations
  • CRM systems and club software
  • retaining coaches and staff

Conference presentations and documents have been published in the private password protected section of the ICOYC website.


The newest ICOYC Member Clubs, Coral Reef Yacht Club, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Salinas Yacht Club, and Monte Real Yacht Club de Baiona, presented information about themselves, as did the Cruising Yacht Club of America associated with the ICOYC.

Before the conference ended, Commodore Cedric Burgers and General Manager Jeff Merrin of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club invited the delegates to the ICOYC World Forum in Vancouver be held September 18-23, 2023. And Patrik Salén, Commodore of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, advertised the next ICOYC European Conference to be held in Stockholm in spring of next year, with the exact dates to follow in due course.

While the official conference contributions were well received by the audience, the social part left nothing to be desired. Wonderful dinners strongly underlined the GYC`s capability of being the perfect host for such an event, and featured traditional Swiss dishes at select hotspots in Gstaad – including a luncheon at the Eagle Ski Club high in the mountains, and the final dinner at the GYC Clubhouse.

On behalf of all present, ICOYC President Leif Sigmond thanked GYC Commodore Manrico Iachia and his fellow flag officers, as well as Managing Director Cindy Schönrich and the GYC staff for a well-organized and implemented conference, and expressed the hope that many of the delegates present at the conference would go on to be in attendance in Vancouver later this year.