Nationwide campaign to try sailing and windsurfing starts Saturday 13 May

This weekend local sailing and boating clubs and centres are getting ready to welcome people and get them out on the water during their open day events as part of the RYA’s Push The Boat Out campaign.

Running from 13 May to 21 May, there will be lots of chances to get on the water and try your hand at sailing and windsurfing.

More than 370 sailing venues will be opening their gates to host Push the Boat Out open days and ‘have a go’ taster sessions.

To find your nearest event and for full details of exactly what is going on and when at each participating sailing club and centre, visit www.rya.org.uk/PTBO – to search for an event where disabled people can get on the water tick the ‘Sailability’ activities box.

Alistair Dickson, RYA director of Sport Development said: ‘Sailing is such an accessible sport and many people aren’t aware of the opportunities available close to them or how affordable the sport can be.

‘Push the Boat Out is all about making that connection. With many of the events free and the rest under £10 they make a fantastic day out.’

In total, 42 venues across Scotland are hosting events from Pentland Firth Yacht Club in Scrabster to Loch Ryan Sailing Club in Stranraer; Skye Sailing Club hosts the further west open day while Rosehearty Boat Club the most easterly, Push the Boat Out is the perfect opportunity to experience boating for the first time or just to try the wide range of water based activities on offer locally.

The central belt offers lots of choice with taster sessions on the beach in Largo Bay in Firth of Forth to Prestwick on the Clyde.

Joe Swierczek of Cumbernauld Sailing Club, which is opening the clubhouse and taking people afloat over both weekends of Push The Boat Out, said; ‘Our Loch is a beautiful secret sailing location very close to Cumbernauld overlooking the Campsie Fells and we want to share that secret and magic of sailing and windsurfing with the local communities.’

RYA Push The Boat Out 2014.

RYA Push The Boat Out. Credit: Paul Wyeth/RYA

Liza Linton, RYA Scotland development manager added: ‘Push The Boat Out wouldn’t be possible without the help of the clubs and training centres all over Scotland so we are extremely pleased that so many have registered their events with us.

‘As part of a national campaign to get people out on the water and trying our sport, it is the best opportunity we have to promote the sport and hopefully attract some new members and participants.’

With the forecast looking good for the month of May, don’t miss the chance to get outside and make the most of the sunshine, although also be prepared to stay warm and dry.

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Push the Boat Out events will provide all the safety equipment you need and many have refreshments available. Just bring a towel and some old trainers you don’t mind getting wet.

RYA sport development manager Alistair Dickson said: ‘Last year more than 30,000 people discovered sailing and windsurfing for the first time through Push the Boat Out and this year with even more venues taking part we are hoping that number will be even bigger.’

Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas added: ‘Push the Boat Out is a fantastic time to get your sailing journey going, so look up your nearest event and get involved because you’ll have an amazing time.’

Last year’s nine-day national event saw over 350 sailing clubs and training centres up and down the country open their doors to welcome people with ‘have a go’ taster sessions.

Aldenham Sailing Club welcomed around 200 people throughout the day. Club spokesman Jim Strother said: ‘The organisation was superb and this was the biggest publicity event we’ve run in living memory, if not ever. Everyone I met had a story to tell and there were smiles all around.’