The event, which was organised by Seaview Yacht Club, Brading Haven Yacht Club and the Royal Victoria
Yacht Club, was open to all the Island’s youngsters aged 8 and upwards who were
already being taught sailing through the RYA supported OnBoard programme.
The children came from clubs around the Island including the Royal
Victoria Yacht Club, Brading Haven Yacht Club and Seaview Yacht Club as well as
children from their schools programmes at Nettlestone Primary School and
Brading Primary School. They enjoyed a great
day filled with games and sessions on the water, where the youngsters got to
sail all types of boats.
The event was a great social get together for the children to see what
it was like to be part of a team. The fun and games on the water
included sailing in Dart 16 catamarans, a motor challenge in a RIB and stand up
paddle boarding. Games and races were also organised in Pico dinghies.
The day brought perfect sunshine and favourable winds. In fact
the children couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Parents and volunteers from the visiting and host clubs all pitched in
to help the day go smoothly. Peter
Holyoake, whose daughter Alice, aged 9, took part said “I never realised my
daughter could actually sail! She has taken part in the Onboard programme and I
saw her in a boat today for the first time. She had a huge grin on her face and
loved the Pico ‘start sailing’ group. Her instructor was so encouraging and the
blow-up sharks were brilliant. I don’t know how she has done it! A big thank
you to everyone.”
Rosie from Nettlestone, aged 8, was
heard to say at the end of the day “Do I have to go home now? Just one more go
on the paddle board please!! I can’t wait till Thursday to come back with my
school. It’s been so much fun with my friends.”
Michael Smith, OnBoard sponsor and
ex-Commodore at the Seaview Yacht Club, summed up the day. “What a fabulous day” he said. “Superb weather, great teamwork from the clubs
and schools involved and an amazing 15 dinghies, multihulls, RIBS and paddle
boards for the youngsters to get out on the water,” adding “Let's get a date in
the diary for 2020!”
Jon Curtis of the Seaview Yacht
Club added “What a great day. It’s so nice to have us all pulling together and
it truly felt like an Island event rather than being part of just one club.
This is exactly what OnBoard is about, getting children out enjoying the water
The Isle of Wight OnBoard Festival is one of several taking place in the
south in 2019. More information about events taking place in Southampton, Portsmouth and Chichester in the
coming months. Have a
look at our video.
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces
sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth
groups and training centres.
Being on the
water creates multiple situations where young people are challenged as they
learn this new and exciting sport. From problem solving, and decision making,
to leadership and teamwork, young OnBoarders will learn valuable life skills,
all whilst having fun and making friends on the water. OnBoard provides a safe
structure for this to happen and a great environment to help develop, stimulate
and strengthen both mind and body. The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing
for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging
their character development.
Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced more than 900,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK,
converting some 70,000 of them into regular participants. More information. For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/go/onboard.