Ten sailing clubs and organisations across the Portsmouth area opened their doors for a day over the last two weekends (13-14 and 20-21 May) to invite the public to have a go at sailing, many for the very first time, and experience the thrill of being on the water.   

Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and other on the water activities were enjoyed by dozens of families and adults at free taster sessions at venues including Hill Head, SC, Lee on the Solent SC, Mengeham Rythe SC, Portchester SC, Portsmouth Watersports Centre, Locks SC, Thorney Island SC, Tudor SC, Portsmouth Sail Training Trust and Bacchus Yachting & Sea School.  

The clubs reported a great turn out with people of all ages and abilities jumping at the opportunity to get out on the water and discover a new sport.   

Visitors to Bacchus Yachting tried out their three sailing yachts and a RIB in 2-hour group sessions, sailing in Portsmouth Harbour.  Gemma Wheelhouse, Principal of Bacchus, said "The newcomers had such a brilliant time. They all want to try to do some more sailing."   

Meanwhile at Lee on the Solent SC, Rear Commodore of Sailing Mark Robinson, reported, "We had 51 visitors including quite a few families coming along and despite a brisk wind, guests were given a ride out in the club's Quest dinghies. Each had a 30 minute experience with the instructors and experienced crews."  

He added "After the event several parents were keen to bring their children to try the club's youth sailing program 'Gybe Club' the following Saturday. Others, who didn't get on the water are coming back again hoping for calmer conditions.  Push the Boat out Day also resulted in 14 new members joining the club."   

"The smell of bacon in the morning and burgers on our BBQ in the afternoon was appreciated by all involved!"   

Find out more about Push the Boat Out Day, which is an annual event.Find out more