Located around the coast and on inland waters, local sailing and boating clubs offer opportunities to get on the water for the first time with a range of sailing, cruising, racing, courses and events for all abilities. Many have boats to hire or borrow for free and are a great places to find people who may need crew. They also have youth and family weeks as well as opportunities to try other water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking.
Rob Clark, RYA Director of Sport Development explains:
“Clubs are offering their customers and members a diversity of ways to get out on the water. And with activities ranging from stand up paddleboarding and opening water swimming to windsurfing and sailing, they are becoming attractive destinations for families and people of all ages, during the week as well as at weekends.
It’s no surprise that in 2020 approximately 21,000 people joined their local sailing club. Every club is different, so ask and compare to find what best suits your lifestyle and social expectations”.
Mum of two Pippa Hales did just this, having seized the opportunity to get back into sailing at Hunts Sailing Club in St Ives through an open day a few years ago – her whole family have not looked back since.
“Since that day in May about four years ago, the boys have both completed stage 4, but my husband and I have got involved too. I have shifted my work days around so I can sail regularly with the Women on The Water group run by the club on a Tuesday – this has been great for building confidence, skills and friendships and also building family involvement too.
“Having initially been a bit scared of sailing, I now sail more than the other members of the family. In the future, I would love to get my Assistant Instructor and Dinghy Instructor qualifications so I can give back to the Club what they have given to us as a family.”
You can find your nearest sailing club on the RYA website.