As RYA's Push The Boat Out came to
a close yesterday many families and individuals from local communities experienced
sailing and windsurfing for the first time, with many planning to try more over
In total, 42 clubs and training centres in Scotland hosted
events from the 13th of May through to the 21st offering
free taster sessions on the water.
A wide range of participants enjoyed the chance to set
out on the waves, one of which was Gerry Green, who brought the 21st
Paisley Scout Group down to experience windsurfing at Clyde Windsurfing Club at
"I saw the event advertised and offered it to the
explorer group who have come down to have a go at windsurfing today. We have
been trying a number of activities and this has been a super experience which I
am sure some of the group will be back to get wet again!"
From the club's perspective, Iain Tait of Dalgety Bay
Sailing Club describes their event held on the Forth at the weekend.
"We had a great day with around 40 people coming to
experience fantastic Scottish weather, with a bit of rain, a bit of sun; flat
calm and lots of wind. It all showed what you can get out of sailing and all in
"Everyone had a good time with lots of questions around
how do you learn more and we have a few follow up courses planning for RYA
Level 1 and 2. We are very happy with how it has all gone."
While in East Kilbride, Callum Lieber, a dinghy instructor
at James Hamilton Heritage Park commented.
"We have had groups of families and couples head out and
get wet and they enjoyed the sun at times too. The event brought a lot of the
local community down which really showed the centre is an open, vibrant place and
to see what activities are on offer."
The PTBO flag flew across a range of centres from sea venues offering cruising on small yachts through to inland venues. At Loch Ard Sailing Club, where Double Olympic Gold Medalist
Shirley Robertson started sailing, Commodore Nigel Orr started by dispelling
the grandeur in the title and thanked the volunteers for supporting Push The
"Commodore doesn't mean I wear a fancy hat, but means I
have a lot of administration!
We have enjoyed a lot of publicity around the event, with
a number of members putting in a lot of effort, as we have increased the
overall participation at the club. We recently joined with Active Stirling in providing
taster sessions for local schools. This covers aspects from how to rig the
boats; the types of boats and equipment at the club, to going out sailing on
the Loch. It really opens up the
possibilities of what sailing has to offer."
On the Clyde, the Royal Northern
and Clyde Yacht Club took part this year and organiser Craig Macdonald said.
" We've had lots of
interest from young people wanting to find out how to get involved in our
junior training programme and courses, and from adults interested in one-design
keelboat racing at the club."
"We've held open days
before but it was great to be part in the RYA's wider PTBO scheme. It's
definitely helped to raise the profile of the club, and get more people along
to try out sailing and hopefully in to club membership."
Martin Paley, of West Lothian Sailing Club, is one of those
who started sailing through Push The Boat Out two years ago and was helping out
as a volunteer this year by taking visitors sailing on Linlithgow Loch.
"When my family came down two years ago we had a great
time and then we joined the club over the past couple of seasons. It is a
fantastic opportunity to go sailing and then the follow up tuition through the
RYA schemes has been excellent especially for the younger members."
A number of clubs combined activities with other water sports
organisations to get a real community atmosphere around the events. Nairn
Sailing Club integrated the Push the Boat Out event with the Harbour Festival
and had enormous success as Buchan Main reports:
"We've put 422 people out on boat trips today and we've
got a dozen people signed up through Push The Boat Out. Our membership is going
to increase through this event."
For many it was a thrilling experience, as David Clelland
at Castle Semple SC found out when he went on the water for the first time with
one of the club members for a blast across the Loch.
"It was great, thoroughly enjoyed it. I was out on a
basic level catamaran, which was quite fast enough for me today! Don't know
what speed we were doing but it felt like 60 mph! Very exciting and close to
the water I'll definitely be back down."
Liza Linton, RYA Scotland Development
"Clubs and centres provided unique
and different overall activities, with something for everyone at each one.
Massive thanks to all the volunteers throughout the clubs who made the events
such a success. Those who gave sailing or windsurfing a go for the first time we
hope that many plan to return to their nearest club and get involved on a
James Allen, RYA Scotland CEO said.
"Local clubs have had some great turnouts for Push The
Boat Out. I've had the privilege to be at a couple of the clubs involved
and to speak to the volunteers and the people taking part and the feedback so
far has been excellent. It's quite extraordinary how much one event can connect
the whole boating community. It is a great opportunity to promote what
boating has to offer and to attract some new participants and club members."
Scotland offers some great places
to get access to the water with over 280 affiliated clubs and training centres
across the country running RYA courses there is plenty of opportunity to get
afloat this summer.
To find out more about RYA
affiliated venues visit www.rya.org.uk/wheresmynearest/
For full details of exactly what activities
took place as part of Push The Boat Out at each participating sailing club and
centre, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/PTBO