The waters between Brighton and Eastbourne were filled with red white and blue bunting and Union Jack Flags as boats from Premier Brighton Marina and Premier Sovereign Harbour Marina came out in force last Saturday (21 July) to celebrate the RYA's Push the Boat Out Day.
The event was just one of hundreds taking place all around the country as boaters of all ages and abilities took to the water to showcase the sport to the nation and show their support for our Olympic and Paralympic sailors prior to the London 2012 Games.
Berth holders from both the marinas, along with members of the Brighton Yacht Club and Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club took part a combined cruise to Beachy Head as well as a parade of sail and power along the Eastbourne Seafront.
With the first sunny weather in what seemed like weeks, and a gentle easterly breeze, the cruise was a great success.
Later on the crews and their families enjoyed a barbecue and dinner at the Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club.
The event was combined with an RYA Active Marina Day, which meant that the berth holders were also able to receive advice and some top tips on improving their boating skills as well as being provided with the opportunity to expand their cruising horizons with other like-minded boaters.
Wise words came from TV personality and author Tom Cunliffe, who went from boat to boat in a RIB, and training was provided by Sea Training Sussex (STS).
Tim Harry from STS said "It was great to be involved. It was a good day."
RYA Yachting Development Officer Guy Malpas said: "It was a superb day and great to have company on the water from so many boats. Many of the participants commented on what a fun and well organised day it was. They really enjoyed themselves.
"Seeing all the boats together in the lock covered in flags and bunting was a fantastic sight. Tom Cunliffe had us in stitches with his stories and there was a great end to a great day."
The Eastbourne boats came up to Brighton to start the rally, and the Brighton boats headed back home from Eastbourne on the Sunday. As part of the RYA's Active Marina programme, Brighton Marina is planning some further events.
On 04 August there will be a Ladies Day Onboard Training Day, and on 07 August a Cruise in Company. Push the Boat Out day is part of the RYA's Sail for Gold initiative which aims to bring the excitement London 2012 Sailing Events as close to home as possible for everyone know matter where they live.
The RYA Active Marina Programme aims to encourage boat owners to get more out of life with their boats by gaining the confidence and skills to leave their berths and get out on the water more often.
For more information about the RYA Active Marina Programme visit www.rya.org.uk/go/activemarina
To sign up to become and Active Marina email firstname.lastname@example.org