Notts County Sailing Club held their open day on Saturday 14th May as part of the national RYA initiative to “Push the Boat Out” and get new people experiencing the joys of sailing.
The lake near Hoveringham in Nottnghamshire attracted nearly 200 visitors who saw the Notts County Saturday Club in action with 37 junior sailors aged between 4 and 12 demonstrating that taking to the water can be real fun, especially in the sunshine and moderate breeze that propelled the Toppers and Optimist along.
During the day over 170 of the visitors went out on the water some for the very first time, sailing with a dinghy instructor or experiencing the manoeuveability of a safety rib. The visitors were able to see some high level Race Coaching for the 11 to 16 year olds , who had progressed into the Youth Race Squad. They were practising race starts and critical buoy rounding tactics.
Visitors with a good sense of balance were guided to a shore based windsurfing simulator and after initial instruction were soon on the water getting an appreciation of how the wind interacts with the sail and how balance and co-ordination are key. Whilst sailing is for all ages and abilities some visitor chose to soak up the atmosphere and beauty of the Trent Valley location and enjoy some rather delicious cakes donated by club members and sold in aid of Sail for Cancer raising over £525.80 for this charity. Notts County have specially modified dinghies for those with disabilities and this helped some who hadn’t been on the water for decades get out and experience again the thrill and adrenalin rush when a gust hits the sails and the boat leans over and the helmsman is safely seated with a big smile of their face. Finally the afternoon saw some club racing taking part where a mixture of boats compete over a prescribed course and placings are calculated based on corrected times.
Ross Ryan, the Notts County Commodore said “It was fabulous to see over 300 people utilising our great sailing facilities, this year is our 30th year on this lake and we are keen to support anyone who has an interest in sailing. Club members and our RYA Instructors are always happy to help new comers and an Open Day is a great way for all in the family just to give sailing a go and we like offering that special Notts County welcome”
In all over 300 participated as visitors, sailors, and volunteers fully entertained by the on water activity and complemented by shore based catering and the classic boat talk and chats. Many of the visitors already deciding to take things further by joining the club and starting to engage in sailing, which we think is the best family sports, for all ages.
Thanks to Kathryn & Amy Hinsliff-Smith for photos