Annual event gets more children on the water

Children at the Southampton Water Activities OnBoard Festival
Children at the Southampton Water Activities OnBoard Festival
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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Children from six sailing groups took part in activities at a festival.

The groups, from Portchester Sailing Club, Emsworth Sailing Club, Hill Head Sailing Club, Princes Mead School, Hamble River Sailing Club and Hythe Sailing Club, took part in land and water challenges at Southampton Water Activities Centre OnBoard.

The children aged eight to 16 competed against each other in stand-up paddle boarding, taster sailing in a catamaran and keelboat, a sailing treasure hunt, raft building and racing, and a Total Wipeout-style assault course.

The event, organised by the Royal Yachting Association, aimed to promote grass-roots sailing and wind surfing to younger generation.

The RYA’s sailing development officer Hannah Cockle said: ‘I was so pleased with how the day worked out, despite some dodgy weather.

‘We got all 62 children who took part, on and in the water and everyone had huge smiles on their faces.

‘It’s great to see so many children in the area enjoying the sport and getting stuck in with some new challenges.’

Since it was launched more than a decade ago, the OnBoard festival has introduced sailing to more than 500,000 children.

For information about how to get involved in water sports see rya.org.uk/go/onboard.