Families invited to give sailing on the Solent a try at free taster classes

Sailing in Langstone Harbour
Sailing in Langstone Harbour
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ANYONE who fancies trying out life on the water has been invited to a chance to try sailing - for free

Push the Boat Out 2018 is offering free and cheap watersports for families and individuals in the south of all abilities throughout May, including at many sailing clubs in this area.

The events, run by the Royal Yachting Association, offer a chance to try something different, usually for free, from Sunday 13 to 20 May.

Commodore Peter Warburton from the Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club said: ‘The idea is to try and get as many people on the water as possible, especially people who haven’t given sailing a go yet.

‘We live on the best sailing waters in the country, this is the perfect place to sail.

‘If you live near the coast and you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing an opportunity.

‘This is the sort of sport you can do from a young age, up until your 80s. It truly is a lifelong sport.

‘No matter how busy or stressful your job is, it all falls away when you’re sailing.’

Refreshments and all equipment required will be provided at the clubs – people need only bring a change of clothes, trainers, and a towel.

Sessions run from a minimum of half an hour but can be longer, so it is best to ask to your nearest club for details.

The RYA is the national body for all forms of recreational, competitive and professional boating.

Since it was launched in 2011, the scheme has spread nationwide with over 500 sailing and windsurfing taster sessions run last year and 31,000 people taking part.

The Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre in Portsmouth normally see between 250-300 people use these courses and aims to ‘introduce more people to sailing, get them out onto the waterfront and, if they enjoy it, make sure they know what pathways to go down to continue.’

To find out more go to www.rya.org.uk/ptbo

Some of the clubs open in this area are:

* Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre, Eastern Road, Portsmouth - Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, 10am to 4pm

* Hill Head Sailing Club - Sunday, May 20, 10am to 6.30pm

* Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club – Sunday, May 13, 9.30am to 3.30pm

* Mengeham Rythe Sailing Club, Hayling Island - Saturday, May 19, 1pm to 5.30pm

* Thorney Island Sailing Club, Sunday, May 20, 2pm to 6pm

* Tudor Sailing Club, Langstone Harbour, Saturday, May 19, 2pm to 6pm

* Cody Sailing Club, Stokes Bay, Sunday, May 20, 11am to 5.30pm