Endurance swimmer, Ross Edgley has taken to the water once again, but this time to try sailing, as part of the RYA’s Push the Boat Out campaign. The annual nationwide initiative, which aims to get more people sailing and windsurfing, officially launched today (01 May).
Edgley made headlines last year as he churned through cold, grey waves circumnavigating the British mainland. With only goggles and a wetsuit for protection, the swimming strongman was supported throughout by ‘Hecate’, a large catamaran, skippered by Matt Knight and crewed by his seafaring family.
Ross commented: “The reality is, the ‘Great British Swim’ just couldn’t have been done without the expertise of those who know about the ocean - the tides, the wind and everything like that. It’s now five months on and I wanted to get back out on-the-water but also, I wanted to learn about sailing.”
In the run up to this year’s PTBO campaign, the swimmer cruised around the Solent on an RS CAT16 with the RYA’s Susie Moore - making the most of a light breeze and glorious sunshine down on the Isle of Wight.
He said: “I was a little bit nervous, it looks quite hard, but I enjoyed it, I really loved it. I would have liked to have gone a little bit quicker, but I’m not sure my expertise would have matched my ambitions!”
Susie commented: “We had perfect conditions for Ross to have a go at sailing, we were able to get the spinnaker up and he really got to grips with the boat.
“Throughout the month of May there will be hundreds of opportunities for people do the same thing and try sailing at their local club or training centre. Whether you’re a complete novice or just a bit out of practice, the events are open to all ages and abilities and are a brilliant opportunity to get out on-the-water and give it a try!”
More than 390 venues across the UK are offering free or low cost, sailing and windsurfing taster sessions as part of this year’s RYA Push the Boat Out.
The national participation campaign aims to get more people on-the-water, having fun and getting active outdoors. All ages and abilities are welcome, with opportunities for children, families, beginners and lapsed sailors, as well as those with disabilities or special requirements for getting out on-the-water.
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.