No fewer than 11 sailing clubs and watersports centres across West Sussex will be offering free and low-cost opportunities to get out on the water and to try a new sport between May 9 and 17 as part of national RYA Push The Boat Out 2015.
It’s a nationwide festival of sailing and windsurfing introducing newcomers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the sports. And for the first time this year, Push The Boat Out will run over nine days, including two weekends, to give people even more chance to have a go.
Last year 260 clubs and centres in Britain hosted Push the Boat Out events, with 17,000 people trying sailing or windsurfing for the first time over one weekend.
Each open day and taster session will be different depending on what activities each club or centre offers, but all Push The Boat Out events are geared to appeal to the widest possible range of people, showcasing what the sports are really all about, from the freedom of being on the water to the social buzz of club life, and highlighting just how accessible sailing actually is to everyone.
The West Sussex clubs and centres already signed up to Push The Boat Out in May include Arun Yacht Club, Arun Youth Aqua Centre, Bognor YC, Bosham SC, Chichester YC, Dell Quay SC, West Wittering SC and Felpham SC. Some 35 clubs and centres across the south-east have signed up.
All you need for any of the open days or ‘have a go’ sessions are a warm clothes, soft-soled shoes and a waterproof and the centres will provide anything else you need. Booking is essential for some of the activities. Refreshments will be available.
In 2014, the nation’s sailing clubs gained more than 1,000 personal memberships through Push The Boat Out with more than 500 families also becoming members of the clubs they visited. For full details on RYA Push The Boat Out 2015, visit www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo
Chichester Yacht Club’s summer racing began over the Easter weekend with the first two races of the First Breath series.
A light easterly made setting a course challenging for race officer Ian Payne, who settled for a downwind slalom course with a return beat back up to Lake which gave the racers a good mix of sailing in variable conditions.
In the fast/modern fleet, the early running in race one was made by Andy Conway in his RS100. He went left off the start keeping him in clear air and was joined in front by Gideon and Gilly Ewers in their RS400, crossing the line in that order.
Conway saved time to take first on corrected time over Roger Clare in his Vareo with Pete and Suzy Harrison’s 2000 in third.
The medium classic fleet was a Solo benefit with Mark Harper establishing a lead by the end of the first lap which he maintained for the rest of the race, taking victory over Roger Millet and Dave Hope.
In race two, the Ewers made the early running extending their on-the-water lead throughout the four-lap race, eventually finishing several minutes clear of the next boat home, Conway’s RS100, himself well clear of the pack.
Neither did enough to save time on handicap, with the spoils going to Roger Clare followed by the Harrisons in second and another 2000, with Mike Linney and Giles Dixon aboard, next.
The order in the classic medium fleet remained the same as in race one with Harper romping home a minute-and-a-quarter ahead of Millet, with Hope in third.
First Breath Series standings after two races: Fast/modern - 1 Roger Clare (RS Vareo); 2 Andy Conway (RS100); 3 Pete & Suzy Harrison (2000). Classic medium - 1 Mark Harper (Solo); 2 Roger Millet (Solo); 3 Dave Hope (Solo).
Bosham Sailing Club welcomed in the new season on Good Friday with their annual cadet regatta.
More than 50 youngsters in 32 boats braved rather chilly conditions but with a good force-four southerly breeze, there was lots of action on the water for their first sail.
Two races were held for each of six classes, and while some came off the water rather cold, they all had a smile on their faces with the prospect of tea and lots of silverware to be won.
Winners: 420s: Charlie Knottenbelt and Ben Heber; Laser Radial: Henry Russell; Feva: Joe Stirrup and Jonny Barnes; Topper: Robert Russell
Mirror: Ed Hedgson and Joe Heber; Optimist: Patrick Mayhew.