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Festival of Sails 2017

Activities for kids plentiful at the RYA Dinghy Show

by Emma Slater on 29 Jan 2014
2013 RYA Dinghy Show © Paul Wyeth / RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
If you’re a British youngster who enjoys messing about on the water in a dinghy and want to improve your sailing skills; or perhaps you want to find out how to get started and have an exciting day out, then a trip to the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show could be just the ticket.

Over the weekend of 01-02 March everything you ever wanted to know about dinghy sailing, all the kit you’ve ever wanted to buy and all the best dinghies will be crammed into Alexandra Palace in London for the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

There are talks and demonstrations, plenty of things to buy and look at and loads of different activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Before you even get to the show you could be in with a chance of winning a fantastic prize package in the ‘RS Tera Design a Sail competition’ which includes an RS Tera dinghy worth £1,735 and in a new twist for 2014 RS Sailing will also loan a further two dinghies to the winner’s sailing club for the 2014 season (April – November). If you’re not a member of a sailing club RS Sailing will help arrange membership at your local sailing club for you and loan the dinghies to that club for the period. All you need to do is download an entry form from the RYA website here and come up with a snazzy sail design for the RS Tera in the picture and make sure you post or email your entry back to the RYA by 24 February. All entries will be displayed at the show and we will announce the winner on the main stage on Saturday 01 March; it’s that simple, so get designing!

If you’re new to sailing then pop along to the ‘Start Sailing’ coaching session where you’ll learn some of the basics before hitting the water from points of sail and wind directions to steering and understanding some of the ‘jargon’! There’s also a fantastic competition where you could win a whole heap of dinghy sailing goodies including:

• Star Prize – A Topaz Taz donated by Topper Sailboats International Ltd
• Wetsuit, Boots, Spraytop and buoyancy aid from Gul
• Start Sailing course, courtesy of SWAC
• Years free subscription to Yachts & Yachting magazine
• Sailing kit bag, sailing watch and sunglasses from Ronstan
• A pair of deck shoes from Deck Shoes Unlimited
• A year’s free junior membership to Datchet Water Sailing Club
• Family membership to the RYA and a selection of RYA Publications… and if that isn’t enough we will be adding to the prize right up until the show in March.

If however you’ve already set your sights on Olympic gold then check out the ‘Starting to Race’ talk on the main stage packed with loads of great racing tips and advice or pop along to the RYA Youth stand to find out more about the RYA Youth Programme and how you can get involved in racing and developing your skills. You can also have a go on the RYA Volvo Sail for Gold virtual sailing simulator; get your hands on the tiller and race against your friends.


Talking of Olympic Gold keep your eyes peeled for some of the British Sailing Team sailors campaigning for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, who will be visiting the RYA Youth Stand and hanging out around the show throughout the weekend. It’s the perfect place to ask them your burning questions, get an autograph or simply say hi; so come along and see who you can spot!

If you’re a whizz at building things then the Holt Blow Boat Challenge would be a perfect choice for you. Here you can design and build your own boat out of paper and straws before racing it along a narrow, water filled pipe against other challengers. It’s wicked fun and very exciting. Perhaps you could challenge mum or dad to a race or see if you can get to the top of the leader board? It costs just £1.00 with the money going to the John Merricks Sailing trust. You might prefer to hang-out on the RYA Magic Marine Trapeze Rig where you can pick up pointers from the experts to hone your trapezing skills, or how about having a go on the RS Sailing Simulator? The simulator is a real RS Quba dinghy to give you a life-like feel for the motion of a boat, without getting wet and its great fun.

For the super sleuths amongst you track down the clues in the ‘Bob the Buoy’ Treasure Hunt. Collect the clues from around the show and you could win some amazing goodies! RYA Junior mascot ‘Bob the Buoy’ will be at the show all weekend giving you a hand on the Treasure Hunt, see if you can spot him and give him a high five!

Finally great news, if you’re aged 16 or under then you can experience all this for FREE. To find out more about what’s on at the show, ticket prices or to book tickets online, click here or call the ticket hotline on 0844 858 9069.

Want to win tickets to the show? Then visit our Facebook Page and take part in our caption competition. Each week we’ll post a new picture for you to come up with a fun caption for and our favourite will win two tickets to the 2014 show.
RYA website

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