by Emma Slater
Calling all kids in the UK - If you’re a young person who loves 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 Dinghy Show could be just the ticket.
UK’s RYA Dinghy Show
Over the weekend of 02-03 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 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.
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. There’s also a fantastic competition where you could win a whole heap of dinghy sailing goodies including:
· Star Prize - A Topper Club boat complete with 4.2m sail courtesy of Topper Sailboats
· A Dinghy Level 1 / Stage 1 course with SWAC (Southampton Water Activity Centre)
· Deck shoes from Deckshoes Unlimited
· A Gul wetsuit
· Spray top from Suntouched Sailboats
· Buoyancy Aid from Pinnell & Bax
· Azure Wear gloves
· A host of RYA dinghy books and DVDs
· A signed copy of Ben Ainslie’s Autobiography ‘Close to the Wind’
· A family membership to the RYA
· A year’s free subscription to Yachts & Yachting Magazine
· A whole selection of Rooster goods – boots, wet socks, Polypro top, Aqua Fleece and Neoprene shorts
· A £50 Voucher from the official Oakley outlet- eyewearoutlet.co.uk
But if you’ve already set your sights on Olympic gold then check out the ‘Going for Gold’ talk on the main stage. Find out what’s involved in reaching your Olympic dream, the opportunities available to you and all about RYA race training schemes with 2012 Olympic silver medallists Saskia Clark (Saturday) and Luke Patience (Sunday).
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.
Maybe you’re a bit of a super sleuth and can track down the clues in the Pirate themed Treasure Hunt. Collect the clues from around the show and you could win some amazing goodies! With the pirate theme in mind, if you come to the show in pirate fancy dress there will be a prize for the best dressed pirate at the show.
The show is also a great place to get close to some of the best sailors in the world and you might even get to have a chat with them. As well as Saskia and Luke, 2012 Paralympic Gold medallist Helena Lucas and Olympic silver medallist Stuart Bithell will be at the show, alongside other members of Skandia Team GBR and past Olympians. They’ll be hanging out around the show having a chat and signing autographs as well as taking part in some of the shows exciting talks and coaching sessions, so come along and see who you can spot!
Back by popular demand is the model boat pool. Here you can sail a remote controlled dinghy around a course and perhaps challenge friends and family to a race! Who knows you might even end up racing against an Olympic sailor! It costs just 50p for kids and £1 for adults, and all the proceeds go to RYA Sailability who offers sailing opportunities for the disabled.
And it doesn’t stop there. You can also have a go at the RYA Dinghy Show SailX Championship 2013. SailX is an amazing online virtual regatta, where you can race against sailors from all over the world. Have a go at the show and you could win yourself a wildcard entry into the Dinghy Show Championship final, or perhaps just have a race against your friends and family! Find out more about SailX at www.sailx.com/ryavolvodinghyshow
Leading up to the show don’t miss out on your chance to win an RS Tera Dinghy worth £1,735.00 with the RS Tera Design a Sail competition. We had so many amazing entries last year we had to do it again. To enter visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk click on what’s on / competition, download the entry form and get creative giving the RS Tera in the picture a snazzy new sail design. Post or email your entry back to the RYA, to arrive by 24 February, and your design will be displayed at the show with the winner being announced at the show on Sunday 03 March.
Finally if you’re an RYA Youth or Junior member you can visit the show and do all this for FREE on either day. If you’re not a member, you can still visit the show for free on Sunday or it’s just £5, if you buy your tickets before the show, on Saturday. Kids’ tickets on the door are £6.50.
To find out more about what’s on at the show, ticket prices and details of the new weekend ticket, or to book tickets online visit www.dinghyshow.org.uk or call the ticket hotline on 0844 811 0409.
Want to win tickets to the show? Then visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ryadinghyshow and take part in our ‘Guess the Dinghy’ competition. Each week we’ll post a picture of dinghy and all you have to do is correctly guess what type of dinghy it is. Each week we will randomly pick one correct answer and they will win a pair of weekend tickets to the show. Get guessing.