The RYA’s Push the Boat Out (PTBO) is nearly upon us, and in May you can get out on the water and try sailing and windsurfing.

During May nine venues across London are running free or low cost try sailing taster sessions. With sailing being one of the most inclusive sports around, there are plenty of venues able to cater for people across the spectrum of abilities, disabilities and activities for people of all ages.

You can find the dates and full details of your nearest event at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo and get on board for a new adventure! If you haven’t sailed before, or would like to return to sailing, come along, and why not bring your family, friends and colleagues.

But what, you may ask, has PTBO ever done for us in London? Some of those who started or returned to sailing through PTBO tell their stories:

Lucy York of Hampton Sailing Club writes: My husband and I always wanted to make the most of the river as we live so close to the Thames. One day last Summer saw a poster advertising an Open Day at the Hampton Sailing Club and thought we would pop along.

We were just expecting to find out information and pick up a leaflet so were pleasantly surprised when we were asked to help crew a boat there and then! It was such good fun and everyone was so friendly and welcoming that we decided this would definitely be our river based activity, and we haven’t looked back!

We love being members of the club. It has been great to meet so many new people and to learn lots of new skills – the tea and cake is definitely a bonus too. We are so happy that we saw the poster and went to that open day – the best decision we could have made!

Griff Tanner of Tamesis Club tells his story: Three years ago my family and I ambled down to a PTBO event at our local club Tamesis. It was great getting on the water with my children aged 5 and 8. We learned that the club had a thriving cadet program with boats that could be borrowed, which was a real eye opener since we realised that we could start sailing without the commitment of buying a boat. We have recently bought a boat, now being confident that we will continue with regular club sailing.

Robert Blakeborough also visited PTBO at Tamesis, in his case to try a different type of sailing after 20 years in yachts. He writes: On retiring after working overseas I set up a new life in Teddington, where I knew virtually no-one. I looked at the Tamesis web site and could see there was a good social side apart from the sailing, not to mention a wonderful location by the riverside. By chance I got a flyer through the door to say Tamesis Club was doing a PTBO day and there was a BBQ to boot.

I was made most welcome, everybody was very helpful and I was taken out on the river, by the vice commodore no less, to find out what sailing a dinghy was like. I’d a most agreeable day, enjoyed a tasty BBQ and met a lot of new people very quickly.

It is now two years since those first tentative steps towards Tamesis and I’ve become part of the furniture. What I like most is, of course, the sailing, but also that I’ve been welcomed openly by the members. I feel if you don’t belong to a sailing club you’re really missing out. A summer’s day at Tamesis is out of this world. All your cares disappear and there is just you and the river and, hopefully, a gentle breeze.

If you’re looking for something completely different, whether it’s a new way to get fit outdoors, an adrenalin rush, an escape from everyday life, or simply a sociable fun activity you can enjoy with your friends and family, pop down to your nearest Push the Boat Out event and give it a go. Find your nearest event at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo