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Sea Sure 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Getting back OutThere this summer

by Michael Martin 23 Nov 2020 22:50 PST
Brendan and Lulu Fevola © Shaun McKenna

Last weekend AFL Legend Brendan "Fev" Fevola hit the water at Sandringham Yacht Club with his daughter as a part of Australian Sailing's OutThere Sailing 'Bring a Friend' campaign. The radio host from popular Fox FM breakfast show Fifi, Fev & Byron enjoyed a day out with his daughter Lulu sailing on a yacht, having fun on a powerboat and trying to master stand up paddle boarding.

"I don't think I've ever been sailing before but doing it with my daughter Lulu, we had a great experience," Fevola, a self-described big kid at heart, said. "Seeing the smile on her face was priceless really. I think I might have to buy a sailboat; she loved it that much. It was a special day."

"My favourite part of the day was the speedboat," Lulu said.

After months of lockdown, teenagers across the state are restless and parents are keen for screens to be put away. OutThere Sailing is a zero-commitment sailing experience for 12 to 17-year-olds and a great way to try sailing in a non-competitive social setting. All the equipment is provided by the clubs, so all participants need to do is show up on the day. Clubs offer a wide variety of activities including keelboats, dinghies, stand up paddle boards, windsurfers and powerboat adventures.

OutThere Sailing provides a social environment where teenagers can cultivate real friendships with others from their local area, whilst potentially igniting a love for sailing in the process. Socialisation and fun both on and off the water are paramount; club culture is inclusive of everyone and there is plenty for parents and teenagers to get involved with.

"We are really excited about teenagers enjoying our OutThere Sailing program this summer," Australian Sailing CEO Ben Houston said. "The program is full of variety for youths and is focussed on fun. Since we launched it two years ago it has gone from strength to strength as parents recognise the fun, social and confidence building sport sailing is."

Talking after their session the pair compared notes on the day over a steak sandwich from the club's BBQ. "Oh jeez, we learned a few things. I was worried about the boom knocking me but Harry our instructor explained it all to us. I thought it was going to be a bit scary, but it was cruisy."

"It was cruisy wasn't it?" Fevola said turning to Lulu who nodded her head with a smile. "Yeah, she loved it. She got to do actual sailing. I just thought we'd be sitting on the boat doing nothing but we actually were hands on which was great. As a parent it was good for me because I got to do it with my kid. There's not many sports you can do with the kid participating so sailing was fun."

Lulu added, "I'd love to go sailing with my friends. That's something that I really look forward to. "

Around the rest of the country, sailors are returning to the water as community sport restrictions have eased. Australian Sailing have also launched their latest campaign Welcome to Our Playground to encourage people to try the sport.

"OutThere Sailing is a great program for teenagers that have never sailed before," Fevola said. "It's great for parents to come out here and get the kids involved in such an amazing sport. My daughter loved it, so I think most kids getting out there on the water would enjoy sailing."

Bookings are now open for January and teens can bring a friend along to their first session for free at ten selected clubs across Victoria.

The OutThere Sailing program is delivered through sailing clubs across the state by Australian Sailing. For more information head to www.discoversailing.org.au/course/outtheresailing

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