This year’s RYA Push the Boat Out (PTBO) saw some 400 RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres, invite visitors to try sailing and windsurfing for little or no cost in May.
The month-long, national participation campaign – which aims to get more people on-the-water, having fun and getting active outdoors – inspired thousands of people to attend their local PTBO venue and ‘have a go’.
A resounding success
Lisa Kilham, Vice Commodore at Silver Wing Sailing Club, commented: “It was great to welcome guests to our club and see their surprise at what a lovely place we have hidden away just off the M25! Getting so many people on the water was great and our team of 56 volunteers did an amazing job in making everyone welcome.”
Club Secretary, John Maher, from Brading Haven Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight, said: “We were fully booked for the event, and over 100 people joined us for taster sessions on the water and to enjoy our wonderful club house. There was a great atmosphere and several people joined the club.”
One of their new members added: “What a great day. We’ve just moved to the island and are looking forward to learning how to sail.”
Teacher, Myra Shuttleworth, was encouraged to have a go by the pupils at her school after their positive experiences at Solway Yacht Club, in Kippford. She said:
“I heard about this event last year, but was not brave enough. However, the kids at the school I now teach at encouraged me to come along, so I thought I would come and try it myself.”
“The club member who took us out was super and I learnt a lot, while having some great fun, so I hope to be back over the summer.”
Commodore, Lindsay Tosh added: “We’ve seen some good steady numbers and managed to get 115 visitors afloat. The best open day we’ve ever had, despite the chilly weather!”
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.”
Watch the video – https://youtu.be/FHuxZ5G9alI