The RYA’s Push the Boat Out (PTBO) campaign has already seen thousands take to the water to try sailing and windsurfing this May. But with the open days and free or low cost taster sessions set to continue for the rest of the month, there are still plenty of opportunities to find a local venue and ‘have a go’!
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.
With more than 390 venues hosting PTBO events and offering sailing and windsurfing taster sessions – along with alternative opportunities to get active on-the-water – hundreds of clubs have already hosted successful events.
Mike Steele, Event Organiser at St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing Association, said: “Everybody seems to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and spoke enthusiastically about their experience and impressions of the club. It was great to see so many people out on the water enjoying themselves”.
Llandegfedd Sailing Club PTBO Coordinator, Lynette Williams, said: “The feedback was amazing – people said they enjoyed going fast, getting wet and were interested in getting further training and joining the club. Thanks to the volunteers for making it possible.”
PTBO Coordinator at Greenwich Yacht Club, Tim Jeffrey, added: “For us it was about making people aware of the fabulous opportunity that is in the heart of London and we certainly made an impact! Overall we believe we had well over 300 visitors into the club over the weekend – a lot of people who live locally and didn’t realise what they have on the doorstep. There is follow up interest in courses and simply coming sailing – we will be working hard to translate this into membership and enthusiasm.”
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. It really is for everyone and there are plenty of brilliant events still to come.
“We’d also like to thank all the clubs and volunteers dedicating so much time and effort around the country to make these events happen.”
Try sailing in May
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.
Events are aimed at complete novices, as well as more experienced sailors, everyone is welcome. All kit and safety equipment will be provided, visitors just need to bring a pair of old trainers they don’t mind getting wet, and a sense of fun and adventure.
Find out more about the RYA Push the Boat Out campaign and events near you at www.rya.org.uk/ptbo.