Saturday 18/Sunday 19 May saw a busy weekend of events take place, with hundreds of visitors attending events across the county for their first experience of sailing and windsurfing.
Blakeney Sailing Club, on the North Norfolk Coast, enjoyed two days of activities despite light winds and misty conditions. Prospective sailors were able to join in the Club’s racing, sailing with experienced helms, which was greatly enjoyed by all, some even returning on the second day for more! Jonathon, who attended the event to sail for the first time, said “Thank you for an excellent experience this morning. We both really enjoyed getting out on the water and giving sailing a go – it really has inspired us to explore options to get more involved with sailing in the future”. Meanwhile Hickling Windsurfing Club based on the Norfolk Broads had a well attended day, with the majority of attendees going on to join the club. After a session on the Club’s windsurf simulator, participants were able to get out on the water in a gentle breeze. Other Norfolk events included Norfolk Punt Club, whose Push the Boat Out day coincided with their first “Social Saturday” held on their pontoons on Barton Broad, Coldham Hall Sailing Club whose open afternoon followed their Club racing and saw them take visitors aged 11 to 80 on the water, and Whitlingham Adventure, based in Norwich.
Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre, Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club and Waveney Sailability held a successful open weekend in Nicholas Everitt Park Clive Purvis, Chief Instructor at OBWSC, said “We had the most successful event ever here at Oulton Broad and the feedback was absolutely first class…The weather improved throughout the weekend and this, coupled by superb supporting volunteers, made the entire thing worthwhile.” Other events that took place included Aldeburgh Yacht Club who saw 95 people on the water, and Pin Mill Sailing Club.
Colne Yacht Club in Brightlingsea took people out in their Club keelboats, with a number going on to join. Gunfleet Sailing Club in Clacton-On-Sea ran a Push the Boat Out event for the first time, and had a successful day taking visitors out for a sail on the sea. Other events included Maylandsea Bay Sailing Club, who enjoyed beautiful sunshine and light winds for their open day, Stour Sailing Club who took almost 100 people out on the water Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Up River Yacht Club, Wivenhoe Sailing Club and Walton & Frinton Yacht Club.
In spite of the weather, Paxton Lakes Sailing Club’s Push the Boat Out event was a success on Saturday, with around 75 people on the water, many for the first time, with several attendees signing up for membership and courses.
Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire
Rickmansworth Sailing Club had a busy event with many shore side displays and a wide variety of boats taking people out on taster sessions, whilst despite very little wind, Hertford County Yacht Club had a very good day, with over 120 visitors getting out on the water. Events also took place at Priory Sailing Club, with a Try Sailing event on Saturday, and Push the Boat Out on Sunday.
Events this weekend include:
- Ouse Amateur Sailing Club (Sun 26 May)
- Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club (Mon 27 May)
- Shotley Point Yacht Club (Sat 25/Sun 26 May)
- Alexandra Yacht Club (Sat 25/Sun 26 May)
- Brightlingsea Sailing Club (Fri 24 May)
- Marconi Sailing Club (Sat 25 May)
- Grafham Water Centre (Mon 27 May)
- Bury Lake Young Mariners (Sat 25 May)
RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent, commented: “We are delighted that for the second year running, Push the Boat Out will be returning for the whole of May. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned sailor looking for a way back in to the sport, there will be something for everyone - find out what’s going on in your local area and get involved."
The national participation campaign run by the RYA aims to make the water more accessible whatever your age, background or ability - getting more people sailing, windsurfing, having fun and getting active outdoors.
All safety equipment is provided, so just bring a pair of old trainers you don’t mind getting wet and your sense of fun. Refreshments will be also be available at many venues, with a host of shore-side activities and entertainment to enjoy too.
Last year, more than 39,000 people across the UK attended a PTBO open day, inspiring thousands of new sailors to join their local club.
Find out more about the Push the Boat Out campaign and events near you at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo.