by Mike Sabey
Go Sailing Day, organised by Yachting Australia, is a program to help people go sailing at clubs throughout Victoria. More than 30 Port Phillip and regional yacht clubs have enjoyed a bumper day, hosting thousands of would be Malcolm Page Olympic champions for this year’s annual community event.
St Kilda’s Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron with champion Malcolm Page (pictured on the right, kneeling) - Go Sailing Day Victoria 2011
At St Kilda’s Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, a bevy of young would be sailors visitors and members were held in absolute awe as the reigning World and Beijing Olympic 470 champion Malcolm Page handed around his Olympic gold medal and inspired young and old to get out and have some fun under sail!
Malcolm and his 470 skipper Mathew Belcher are competing this week at the ISAF World Cup at Sandringham.
He said, 'Go sailing days are the real heart and future of our sport to create new participation. As a kid I grew up on the Paramatta River in NSW and was always dreaming about going sailing,' he added.
Out on St Kilda harbour, the skippers of nine Royal Melbourne yachts were kept busy taking guests for short introductory sails and explaining the ropes.
Ashore, the Club’s Commodore Linda Goldsmith and a large bevy of supportive members welcomed and registered guests, proudly showed them around the club, provided advice on local sailing and boating opportunities, training courses, the club’s fun social scene and the tangible benefits of becoming a club member.
Around the Clubs
At Lake Eppalock, Bendigo Yacht Club were kept busy welcoming visitors from as far a field a Echuca, Kyneton and the Macedon Ranges taking them for their first inland sail.
Down at Royal Geelong YC, the staff and members in pirate gear organised a parade and were busy taking locals for rides out in power boats and yachts.
At the Albert Park Sailing Club, members were kept super busy taking guests out for a sail on the Lake amongst the swans and their new baby signets, which this Spring are in prolific numbers after a wonderful winter season.
Today’s statewide Go Sailing Day gave hundreds of would be Jessica Watsons a unique opportunity to step inside a yacht club to soak up its unique atmosphere and enjoy the experience of enjoying affordable sailing at its best.
Go Sailing website