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Sailing open day proves a big success

PUBLISHED: 14:42 24 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:42 24 May 2016

Beginners took to the Thames at the open day. Picture: Alex Tyrrell

Beginners took to the Thames at the open day. Picture: Alex Tyrrell

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More then 70 people were introduced to the sport last weekend

More than 70 budding sailors between the ages of two and 72 were introduced to the sport when they attended an open day at Gravesend Sailing Club last Saturday (May 21).

The event, which attracted the club’s highest turnout, saw members of the club take them for a sail up the Thames in dinghies, cruisers and rescue boats to give them a feel for sailing.

“The sun didn’t come out but the weather was just right, which made for some exciting sailing,” said membership secretary Val Green.

“The turnout was more than we were expecting - we have only had around 30 or 40 people before.

“It was an introduction to sailing, to show people the facilities the club has to offer, and there was lots of chat afterwards.

“Coffee and tea was on offer, and they could sit and talk to members.”

Sailing’s profile has risen in recent years following British success at the London Olympics in 2012, when Team GB won five medals.

Mrs Green said she hoped the event would encourage more people to take up the sport, and she was keen to stress that learning the basics doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money.

“Members are always keen to take people for a jolly sail up the river,” she said.

“At the club, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get involved.”

“If you just want to start sailing in a dinghy, it is not expensive.”

Gravesend Sailing Club hosts a range of events throughout the season, including sail training, racing, cruising in company, refresher days and kids friendly days, as well as a full social programme in the winter months.

Photos by Alex Tyrrell

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