Discover sailing at club

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Mark Whiteman helps launch Anna Knight, Kate Rolf and Morgan Cobby in a Wanderer dinghy

Saturday and Sunday July 2-3 saw Rye Harbour Sailing Club host the annual ‘Discover Sailing’ event. Previously known as ‘Push the Boat Out’ it is a Royal Yachting Association sponsored initiative that encourages members of the public to try their hand at sailing.

Marketing the event is always challenging but this year, by focussing social media on Sussex and Kent, we had twenty-one who applied to sail with us, the majority of whom were looking to take up sailing and perhaps join the Club.

Bob Cooke and friends provide some colour in a Hobby 16 catamaran

Although the forecast for the weekend had predicted relatively mild winds of around 10 knots, the weather gods decided to challenge us all by increasing the wind speed.  Whilst 15 knots produces quite exciting conditions to sail in, we did want to encourage our guests to come back!  A quick re-jigging of the boat allocations ensured that we took guests out in larger boats where we could have more weight to keep things stable (not an issue for the
guest in the cruisers on Saturday).

The programme for the dinghy sailors delivered a talk about the club and safety at sea by Peter Joyce who ran the administration for both days. Guests were allocated places in Wayfarer and Wanderer dinghies whilst other club members joined in the fun. With safety cover provided by Paul Whiteman (who also helps to run the local Sea Cadets) dinghies were sailed up and down the River Rother and, on the Saturday, they managed to poke their noses out to sea.

Anna Knight with guest Kate Rolf and club member Morgan Cobby

One of the great delights in delivering this project is the number of children who come with their parents to experience sailing. Squeals of delight could be heard by those walking by the golf course or on Rye Nature Reserve. Some of the more confident children could be seen leaning out to balance the boat whilst trailing their hands in the water, smiles beaming across their faces.

Back at the club a team had opened the bar and fired up the BBQ. Rye Harbour Sailability had set up a table to inform people about their activities and club members who weren’t sailing came down to join in. Despite the winds it was reasonably sunny and there was a definite party atmosphere to the club (so welcome after the strictures of Covid). All in all, the event was judged a great success.

Though Discover Sailing is the formal annual event, those who are thinking of taking up sailing, starting again after a break or just want to know more are very welcome to visit the club. The club programme can be found at: Club Programme | Rye Harbour Sailing Club and enquiries made to RHSCMembership@gmail.com

Image Credits: Martin Bruce .

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