If you want to get back out on the water this year or perhaps inspire your non-sailing family and friends to give sailing or windsurfing a go, then make sure you are ready for RYA Push the Boat Out.
Due to its success, PTBO returns for nine days this year from 13 – 21 May with sailing clubs and centres across the UK offering free or low cost taster sessions for all.
During the two weekends and five weekdays, PTBO 2017 promises even more activities to appeal to a wide range of people, showcasing what the sport offers, from the freedom of being on the water, to the social buzz, the thrill of racing and the fact there really is something for everyone.
It is no surprise that over the past four years over 90,000 people have experienced boating at PTBO events.
RYA Club Support Advisor Jackie Bennetts explained: “Since the beginning four years ago, Push the Boat Out has continued to grow. 2016 was a huge success, probably our biggest and best yet with thousands of people getting out on the water plus 50 MPs attending local events across the country too.
“Since then we have been busy making sure that 2017 will be even better and we are delighted to see even more venues signed up to take part than ever before, so you are bound to find a PTBO event close to you.”
Is sailing for me?
Your idea of sailing might be big, expensive yachts and a life on the ocean waves. But people regularly go down to their local sailing club, sailing small sailboats or windsurfing with friends – just loving the buzz of being on the water. You could be one of them.
As Susie Moore, RYA Regional Development Officer for the South, explained: “Whatever you think about sailing, Push the Boat Out will change your mind.
“You will be able to get out on the water with experienced sailors that you will find to be exactly like you, in a boat which is suitable for you, whatever your age, ability or experience.
“That is why sailing is one of the most inclusive sports around. You might want a leisurely sail with your family, to experience something a bit faster and adrenaline fueled or just potter about with your partner, and you can.”
“Do not worry about kit, packing a lunch or anything else; every Push the Boat Out event will provide all the equipment you need with refreshments available.
“You will also discover you do not even need a boat to learn to sail locally, as clubs and centres have ones you can use, and if you find your whole family enjoys messing about in boats so much you want to join a local club it could cost just £20 a month, or even less, for all of you.”
Susie added: “Sailing has benefitted from significant investment from the RYA and Sport England in the past four years. Many clubs now have excellent, accessible clubhouse facilities, which include comfortable lounges, up-to-date changing areas and rooms dedicated to learning to sail and knowledge improvement. You will discover all this at Push the Boat Out.”
PTBO taster sessions
No matter what your experience, if you turn up to a PTBO taster session you will sail a boat with an experienced sailor or instructor nearby. If you are a beginner you will get in the boat and they will show you the ropes and tell you what you need to get going. They make everything easy to understand and get you ready to have a go.
There is no need to worry about the equipment as everything needed is provided by the venue including a buoyancy aid or lifejacket. All you need to do is turn up with some warm clothes, a pair of old shoes and a waterproof coat in case it rains.
The campaign has backing from Rio 2016 Gold Medallist Saskia Clark who learnt to sail at her local club.
“It is fantastic to see so many people being given the opportunity to discover what the sport is all about right on their doorstep – make sure you put Push the Boat Out in the diary!”
So grab a towel and some old trainers you do not mind getting wet and sail into summer with Push the Boat Out.
Find your nearest event at www.rya.org.uk/go/PTBO.
There will be more free and low cost ‘try sailing and windsurfing’ taster sessions this summer at watersport centres across the south.
Find more opportunities to try sailing and information about how you can start your sailing adventure at www.rya.org.uk/go/startboating.