Thousands of people of all ages and abilities took to water across the UK during May to experience sailing and windsurfing with RYA Push the Boat Out. Nearly 400 clubs and centres across the UK opened their doors to the public, including some 52 in London and the South East Region.
Tonbridge Town Sailing Club in Kent welcomed 214 happy, excited and smiling adults and children (excluding babies and dogs!) to their Push the Boat Out day. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, and very calm conditions for the dinghy rides around their picturesque lake.
“We’ve had the most fantastic time, and just loved the sailing” said one mum, “everyone was so friendly and welcoming too”.
Keith Minster, the club’s commodore, added: “This was just one of many favourable comments and thank-yous for the free event. We are pleased to have been able to welcome so many of the local community to our club and share our love for the sport of sailing”.
The club welcomes membership enquiries to [email protected] visit www.tonbridgesailing.org
Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club in East Sussex had perfect weather making for a fantastic day. The club linked up with the local Sea Cadets who provided a valuable source of enthusiastic energy and support with activities. So many attended that the club’s small tea bar made £100 profit.
Vice commodore of the club, Philip Blurton, said: “It was a tremendous day. We managed to get 100 people on to the water and many more looked around the club and boat house. We are incredibly grateful to all our club members who helped to make it happen and to the Hastings Sea Cadets who assisted throughout the day with launching and recovering boats, visitor registration and in our tea bar; they were a credit to their leaders and parents. We are a relatively small club so all of this was a big impact.”
The weather wasn’t so kind at Tamesis Club in Teddington, London, where Carolyne
Vines reported: “ We had a great day welcoming over 70 visitors with over 50 going for a sail. The weather was wet, really wet, the wind was fairly non-existent, but it didn’t stop the smiles and sheer joy of doing something new and really exciting. We had about 15 applications for membership on the day and are expecting more. The club was buzzing and the BBQ and cakes went down very well.”
The sun broke through the cloud just in time for Rye Harbour Sailing Club (RHSC) and RHSC Sailability (offering sailing for the disabled) in East Sussex to give 48 visitors sailing taster sessions. Nathalie, who was staying in the UK but lived in Germany had never sailed before said: ”I loved it, where I live in Germany there is no water to sail on because it is high up in the mountains and this is the first time I have sailed, a wonderful experience.”
Caroline Wylson, RHSC Sailability chair, said: “The weather remained fine over both our Push the Boat Out days and people were refreshed from the bar and enjoyed the burgers and sausages from the BBQ as well as teas and coffee with delicious cakes and sandwiches. Very many thanks go to the amazing volunteers who helped and everyone who took part and made it such a great weekend.”
Jayne Hickie, commodore of SYM Sailing Club in Upminster, Essex, reported: “ We had 21 visitors turn up and try sailing in our Wayfarers. They all had a great time sailing in glorious sunshine with a nice breeze. All gave positive feedback and thanked us for a great day.”
If you missed Push the Boat Out and would like to try sailing visit http://www.rya.org.uk/wheresmynearest/Pages/Directory.aspx#list/t-1 to find your nearest club or centre.
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