Sailors ahoy! All hands on deck at Push The Boat Out taster days

Light airs and a flat sea in the final day of the Autumn Series at Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club SUS-140510-222827002
Light airs and a flat sea in the final day of the Autumn Series at Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club SUS-140510-222827002

Anyone who would like to have a go at sailing has the chance to dip their toes in the water next week when three local RYA clubs open their doors.

The annual RYA’s (Royal Yachting Association) ‘Push The Boat Out’ is a nationwide festival of sailing and windsurfing introducing newcomers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the sports between May 9-17.

Three local RYA clubs will be opening their doors: Bexhill Sailing Club, Rye Harbour Sailing Club, and for the first time Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club, Marina, St Leonards, will be participating.

All that’s needed for any of the Open Days or ‘try sailing’ sessions are a warm clothes, soft soled shoes and a waterproof and the clubs/centres will provide the rest. Booking is essential for some of the activities. Refreshments will be available and a friendly smile guaranteed as BBQs and other social activities also take place to give newcomers a warm welcome.

Hastings and St Leonards SC sailing secretary Philip Blurton said they are looking forward to welcoming both adults and children (weather permitting) to ‘have a go’ at a new sport that is much more accessible than many might think. He said: “On Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10, we invite anyone who would like to try sailing to our club. There will be a mixture of boats available including Shearwater catamarans and RS Visions. The event will be a lot of fun and is open to anyone who is willing to get in a boat and have a go.

“It’s a big day for the club and we hope to entice new people to join up.”

There will be expert instructors on hand and Hastings Sea Cadets will be helping on the beach, launching and recovering the boats. Sam Rowe, RYA sailing development for the south east, said: “People think sailing is an expensive sport, but the reality is that family of four can be members of a local club for as little as £10-15 a month. Most clubs have boats you can borrow for a morning, afternoon or evening from as little as £3-5, or sometimes for free, depending on the boat and club or centre.” More details: www.rya.org.uk.