During the RYA Push the Boat Out weekend of May 17-18, sailing clubs and centres welcomed some 24,000 visitors.
Part of National Watersports Month, the event saw 260 open days and sailing taster sessions take place across the country, inspiring over 17,000 people of all ages and abilities to take to the water.
RYA Sport Development Manager, Duncan Truswell said: 'We’re grateful to the many clubs, centres and volunteers who supported Push the Boat Out. This year 140% more clubs took part and as a result we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people attending the events and those experiencing sailing.
'Push the Boat Out is all about people connecting with their local sailing club or provider and discovering how easy it is to get involved in the sport. So far we know that clubs gained more than 1,000 personal memberships and over 500 families became members of the clubs they visited. For our clubs and the sport this is a huge success. We’re now analysing the great feedback we received from the clubs and using it to inform the planning of next year’s event in order to deliver a bigger and better opportunity for clubs to promote themselves in 2015.'
Croydon Sailing Club in South London took over 130 visitors out on the water. Janice Beaumont, Club Secretary said: 'We had an amazing turnout. Push the Boat Out is an opportunity to make the local community aware of the club’s existence as well as the fact that they can join our club to sail a dinghy within London.'
South of Birmingham, Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club welcomed over 300 people through their doors with over 250 first-timers enjoying a taster sessions. Club committee member David Coleman commented: 'For us nothing on this scale has ever been achieved before. We had 12 bookings for training courses directly from the weekend'.
Find out more information about RYA Push the Boat Out and to watch a video of the weekend visit www.rya.org.uk/go/ptbo
Listen to the RYA Push the Boat Out podcast here