Hi, I’m Alex, I work as a Senior Activity Instructor at our Whitemoor Lakes centre, I’m the Chief Dinghy Instructor and I’ve been sailing since I was 12. One of the questions I often get asked is ‘How can I get into sailing?’. I remember finding myself in the same position 14 years ago when I was trying to join my first sailing club. Unfortunately, being a bit of a novice in this area, the nearest club I seemed to be able to find was 2 hours drive! So, I thought I’d share some helpful tips on how to get into sailing so you don’t find yourself with a 2 hour drive on your hands every week like I did!
Visit the RYA ‘Find a Club’ page. From this page you can type in your postcode and find all the active RYA clubs or centres nearby. This isn’t a complete list of all the sailing clubs out there but most sailing clubs are RYA affiliated so this is the best place to go to find a club that’s close to you.
Once you’ve found a club you’re interested in, use the contact details to get in touch and find out if they’ve got an openings or ‘come and try days’.
You may not always get a response from the clubs so sometimes the best way is to visit the club on one of the days it’s open. Use this as an opportunity to talk to some of the members or people in charge such as the Commodore or Centre Manager.
Most clubs host open days or ‘come and try days’ throughout the year where you can come and see if sailing is for you and if the club is a good fit. You can find details for when these are happening on a club’s website or social media. RYA have a list of clubs who take part in their annual Push The Boat Out Event, this normally happens in May each year, you can find out more information by visiting the RYA website.