Itchenor SC decided that despite being busy with 800 class races and over 4,500 individual boat starts this year that the club needed to focus not only on member retention but the next generation of sailors and where they are coming from.

Itchenor SC launched its 2000 Dinghy Sailing Experience last year, allowing members to hire club-owned 2000 class dinghies for the first time and receive all the support required to enjoy a day on the water. The Club invested in three brand new 2000 dinghies that can be booked by its members on a whole or half day basis from Wednesday to Sunday throughout the season. Ideal for beginners, family sailing and training, the new fleet has given more people the opportunity to get out on the water without having to own a boat whether new to sailing or to brush up on their skills, before investing in a boat of their own.

As of September 2018 the Club’s 2000 dinghies were hired on over 100 occasions in their first year, which has covered operating costs including depreciation. This promising response has fulfilled the Club’s expectations and means that if this level of interest continues then at the end of two years the Club can replace these trial dinghies with two new boats. Not only this, twelve new applications for membership arose following the launch of the 2000 Experience.

The initiative was also supported by a streamlined membership application process, online booking and payment and reduced rates for families. The opportunity to receive some free training has also been an attractive part of the proposition.

The Club is continuing to look at developing the offering and ensure it remains an exciting, competitive option. Find out more about Pay and Play at Itchenor.