The RYA’s national Push the Boat Out (PTBO) campaign aims to get more people on-the-water, having fun and getting active outdoors. The month of open days and ‘have a go’ taster sessions has once again seen thousands of people get afloat at their local PTBO venue.
At Horning Sailing Club, close to Norwich, visitors enjoyed powerboat trips, and taster sails, which were scored as ‘100 out of 10’ by 5-year-old Eva Knott, who came down to sail with her family. Just down the road, the Norfolk Schools Sailing Association based on Filby Broad managed to get visitors out in Force 7 winds, coming back with huge smiles despite torrential hail storms. Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, based in Wroxham, welcomed 90 visitors to the Club, who enjoyed sails in the Club keelboats and dinghies before being able to watch the racing taking place. Similarly, Hickling Broad Sailing Club saw a good turnout of families attending the event and joining the Club, taking prospective members out on the Broad in near perfect conditions. Alan Boughton from the Club said: “We had a fantastic time, lots of families turned up and went for sailing and powerboat rides on the Broad, many whom had never been to the Club before”. Snettisham Beach Sailing Club and Hunstanton Sailing Club based on the North Norfolk Coast also saw good events to introduce people to sailing.
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. 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 the Norfolk Punt Club, whose Push the Boat Out day coincided with their first “Social Saturday” and was 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, Ouse Amateur Sailing Club who held a successful open day despite adverse weather, and Whitlingham Adventure.
RYA Programmes Manager, Michelle Gent commented: “It’s fantastic to hear that so many people have been able to take this opportunity to get active on the water and involved with our sport. The feedback we have started to receive is really positive, with many clubs welcoming new members and visitors returning to keep sailing.
“Once again, we are hugely grateful to all the clubs, centres and volunteers around the UK, who have dedicated so much time and effort to make these events happen - it simply wouldn’t be possible without your support.”
Try Sailing this Summer
If you missed Push the Boat Out, it’s not too late to start your boating adventure.
Supported by the RYA, some 08 venues will be hosting Try Sailing events across the East.
For more information visit www.rya.org.uk/go/TrySailing. To find out more about how to get started on the water this summer, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/StartBoating.