Sailing clubs across the North East region have been celebrating after successfully encouraging hundreds of visitors to Push the Boat Out!

More than 25 clubs across the region held Push the Boat Out open days throughout the month of May, inviting all-comers onto the water to try sailing or windsurfing.

Official feedback and figures will be available soon but anecdotal reports in the meantime have shown that many clubs are now looking forward to a busy season ahead.

Sam Usher, RYA North East Regional Development Officer, said:  "Throughout May there were clubs across the region pulling out all the stops to make a success of their Push the Boat Out open days. I'd just like to say a massive thank you to the hugely dedicated club members who worked so hard to share our sport and encourage people to have a go."

Many sailing clubs commented on the camaraderie which had brought members together to work as a team to ensure their events were well promoted and ran smoothly.

Those which have already signed up new members as a result include Sunderland YC, while Denholme SC in West Yorkshire, which had over 100 visitors, was so keen to engage its new members that it had 16 of them taking part in their first day of training just a week later, saying: "We have lots of work now for our Dinghy Instructors to show our new recruits how to sail."

Derwent Reservoir SC saw 190 visitors out sailing and windsurfing, welcoming 25 new families and 4 individual members. Yeadon SC was among those registering a high count on the "smileometer", and Ulley SC likewise reported an "absolutely amazing day", taking 176 visitors out on the water and telling them on Facebook: "We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, please come back and see us again and spread the word..." And adding: "To our members, you're an amazing bunch - thanks for all your hard work - it's all of you that make Ulley such an amazing place."

At Scaling Dam SC there were more than 170 visitors and the day went without a hitch thanks to the efforts of club members who, as at other clubs, were willing to take on a whole variety of roles, including promotion, car parking, meeting and greeting, catering, registration, safety boat cover, jetty crew, Sailability and youth and junior sailing, as well as experienced helms and instructors providing try sailing sessions.

"There was a real buzz about the place," noted commodore Steve Fletcher, who perhaps summed it up for many clubs when he concluded by thanking all the members who had helped to make it such a special day, saying: "Scaling seems to be blessed with those that give their time freely to ensure the future of our club."

There was plenty of fun on shore as well as on the water, as clubs went out of their way to make it a day out to remember. Ripon SC reported: "Trips round the lake under sail and power, enjoying delicious coffee and cakes, sitting enjoying the sunshine, painting and then hiding rocks, following treasure trails, doing the caption competition and sipping Prosecco or slaking thirsts with Yorkshire Ale or dreaming of new cars with the team from Mill Volvo. Nearly 300 visitors and nearly 50 new members, many of whom will be learning to sail over the coming weeks and months. A great day for the club and for everyone involved."

Pennine SC likewise couldn't thank everyone enough after members welcomed an estimated 200 visitors, including Cathie O'halloran, who commented in her Facebook review: "I have to say I am smitten and slightly kicking self for not doing this decades ago. There are lots of reasonably priced options for learning to sail and for membership fees, boat hire etc so I would highly recommend."

The feedback from visitors across the region has been equally impressive. Jacqui Thorne, who booked in her partner and son for a free try sailing session at Newbiggin by the Sea SC in Northumberland, told the club: "They had a brilliant time and are very keen to join now!!! Thank you so much for all of your help and giving the boys a new interest. Looking forward to joining and seeing you all again soon!"