From the fine scotch mist of Saturday to the glorious sunshine of Sunday hundreds of people experienced boating across Scotland as part of Push The Boat Out.

In total, 42 clubs and training centres are hosting events with 28 venues open over the last weekend and enjoying some great turnouts. There are still plenty of opportunities to get afloat as part of Push The Boat Out which runs until the 21st of May.

 

Susan Chandler of Toward Sailing Club in Argyll and Bute noted.

“The day has gone really, really well we have had lots of people down trying out all kinds of new activities on the water. And they all seemed to enjoy themselves.”

 

“It’s a good way to participate in a community event. It means we get lots of people coming down who may not go near the sailing club. They can go on a boat or they can sit and watch others taking part. They can see it is not cliquey and the club has open activities for all ages and abilities.”

 

Susan continued, “As the commodore of a club, Push the Boat out provides a framework. You can talk about having an open day but you actually get the support in how to set it up from the registration processes and gaining members. It makes it professional and a better organised open day. Each time you run an open day, you think about what worked and what to do next year or how to make if different. But the stuff you get through from the RYA, really makes you think about; how am I going to make it safe?; how am I going to make it well organised?; how to cope with the weather conditions for the day; what time are running things from? It makes the event run smoother. To be part of a national initiative showing water sports are accessible to everyone and you can do it.”

 

Nairn Sailing Club integrated the Push the Boat Out event with the Harbour Festival and had enormous success as Buchan Main reports:

 

“We’ve put 422 people out on boat trips today and we’ve got a dozen people signed up through Push The Boat Out.  We have people turning up tomorrow to join the club with some dinghy sailors moving into the area keen to get involved. Our membership is going to increase this through this event.”

 

Local holiday makers John and Allison Nicol  participated with John commenting:

“On minute out walking the dog, then out having a sail. Thoroughly enjoyed it.”

 

In Renfrewshire, Castle Semple Sailing club welcomed David Clelland to the water for the first time with a blast on a Dart with one of their club members.

 

“It was great, thoroughly enjoyed it. I was out on a basic level catamaran, which was quite fast enough for me today! Don’t know what speed we were doing but it felt like 60 mph! Very exciting and close to the water I’ll definitely be back down.”

 

Each event is different but there is something for everyone, from families and children to young professionals, couples and retirees and anyone else who wants to give it a go with sailing being one of the most inclusive sports around.

 

James Allen, RYA Scotland CEO said, "Despite the mix of weather at the weekend, local clubs have had some great turnouts for Push The Boat Out. I’ve had the privilege to be at a couple of the clubs involved and to speak to the volunteers and the people taking part and the feedback so far has been excellent. It’s quite extraordinary how much one event can connect the whole boating community.  It is a great opportunity to promote what boating has to offer and to attract some new participants and club members."

Scotland offers some great places to get access to the water so don’t miss the chance to get outside and make the most of the weather.  Push the Boat Out events continues until the 21st of May so if you have missed the chance last weekend you can still get along and get afloat over the next week.

For full details of exactly what is on and when at each participating sailing club and centre, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/PTBO