Kids inspired by RYA Sail for Gold roadshows
A fantastic 1,300 people turned out to have a go at sailing and windsurfing as the RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow toured Britain last week. Eight UK venues welcomed anyone to “have a go” for free.
The chances are many had been inspired by Team GB, which ended the 2016 Olympics in Rio as the top performing sailing nation. Gold medals were taken by sailors Giles Scott (Finn) and the women’s pair Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Nick Dempsey took silver in RS:X windsurfing.
The Sail for Gold roadshow also stopped in Glasgow and was hailed a big success.
Still time to try sailing
Although the road show has now finished its tour, 18 more Try Sailing events are set to take place nationwide throughout the rest of August and September as the Olympic glow carries into the excitement of the Paralympics.
Nine-year-old Amelie tried windsurfing at the opening RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) on Sunday.
She said: “It was really so much fun. The best ever. I love dinghy sailing, too, and I’m going to get a gold in the 49er FX at the next Olympics.”
Amelie’s mum, Melissa, a local teacher, added: “I was so pleased to see so many children taking this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the mum of seven-year-old Archie Samuel, who tried sailing for the first time at Trimpley Sailing Club in Worcestershire on Monday, said the family would definitely be looking to give the sport another go. She said: “We really enjoyed our day at Trimpley. It was a lovely atmosphere and very welcoming.”
All the RYA Sail for Gold Roadshows were hosted at sailing clubs and centres with close links to the sailors competing in Rio. Many of the clubs were where the sailors had actually learned the ropes themselves as youngsters and all the events took place on their respective Medal Race days.
Celia Edgington, RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow coordinator, said: “It has just been the best week. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and with all of Team GB’s athletes in Rio really capturing the imagination of everybody back home the appetite for people to try a new sport has been huge.
“The sailing clubs and centres who hosted the roadshows have put in a huge amount of work rallying volunteers, promoting their events and getting as many people out on the water as possible and this just couldn’t have been done without them.
“They were all stunning days on the water with many people signing their families up as members and booking on to learn to sail courses on the day. We look forward to seeing even more people try sailing over the next two months, too.”