With 2021 marked as the year of the staycation, there’s never been a better time to find your local sailing venue, get out on the water and #DiscoverSailing.
On coastline, lakes and waterways across the UK there are around 2,000 RYA affiliated clubs and centres offering opportunities for water-lovers of all ages to get afloat. Plus this summer some venues are running covid safe #DiscoverSailing sessions inviting you to come and ‘have a go’ for very little cost or FREE.
“After a long winter in lockdown we know people are keen to spend time outdoors with their friends and family whilst taking advantage of both the physical and mental health benefits associated with being on the water. In 2020 approximately 21,000 people joined their local sailing club which is fantastic considering the limitations that many venues were facing” explains Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development.
With outdoor sport now reopening, sailing clubs are welcoming their communities to get back out on the water again, with many offering activities aimed to help those who have been off the water for a while and those who may be new to the sport.
“Clubs and centres are offering their customers and members a diversity of ways to get out on the water” Rob continues. “And with activities ranging from paddleboarding and opening water swimming to windsurfing and sailing, they are becoming attractive destinations for families and people of all ages, during the week as well as at weekends”.
Sail Birmingham, an initiative by Midland SC in the heart of Birmingham, had more than 100 people on its waiting list and around three enquiries a day when lockdown three came to an end. Manager Phil Reeves explains: “We’re at Edgbaston Reservoir, which you can bike or run around, and it’s a nature reserve as well, so it’s a good place in the city to get away from it all. A lot of people are benefiting from flexible home working now and asking if they can work from here with a coffee and get out paddleboarding for a couple of hours.”
St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing in Suffolk is also expecting a busy 2021 season following increased demand in start sailing courses, kayaking and paddling. SESCA Commodore Norman Savigar said: “We’ve purchased four more kayaks, six children’s Optimists dinghies, two paddleboards and have a training programme ready for anyone who wants to learn at the club this summer. You don’t need to have your own dinghy or kayak to sail or paddle and we have a large fleet of boats available for hire for our members”.
If you’re interested in getting afloat locally this this summer, get in touch with your nearest sailing venue and find out what they have to offer by visiting www.rya.org.uk/wheresmynearest
To find a Discover Sailing taster session in your area www.rya.org.uk/discoversailing