Kent pushes the boat out
Kent pushes the boat out

Some 20 sailing clubs and training centres across Kent welcomed visitors to ‘Push the Boat Out’ and try sailing and windsurfing for free or low cost this May.

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 Bewl Water near Royal Tunbridge Wells volunteers from Bewl Sailing Association, Bewl Midweekers, Bewl Outdoor Centre and Mariners of Bewl introduced over 160 visitors to sailing.

Richard Hayden reports:A stream of happy faces returned to shore followed by many questions about taking up or returning to the sport. The following comments received during the day say it all:

“Wonderful opportunity and everybody just so friendly and welcoming”

“We all really enjoyed our time afloat. Where can we learn more?”

“I steered the boat for most of the time. Never thought I could do this. I will be back”

“I used to sail when I lived in New York, it has been great to get back on the water with my young family and get the bug again.

Bough Beech Sailing Club near Edenbridge opened for Push the Boat Out in ominous windless drizzle, but an hour later the reservoir was looking its best in the sunshine.

Richard Meakin writes: “We had a few dozen visitors, mostly young people who had never sailed before.  All seemed to enjoy the experience, and a number plan to sign up for the club’s junior training programmes.  As ever it couldn’t have happened without many volunteers who put the event together.

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, venues will be hosting Try Sailing events across the London and South East region.

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.

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