Dudley grandad urges the Black Country to 'push the boat out'

Dudley Sailing Club is one Black Country club offering you the chance to Push The Boat Out in May [credit: Thomas Billingham/K12 Media]

A Dudley grandad insists there’s a whole new world to gain as a month of free events launches across the Black Country this week, aiming to show people the joy of sailing.

Himley Hall Sailing Club’s John Priest was a complete beginner when he went along to the club's open day last year. Now, 12 months on, the 59-year-old has gained his RYA Start Sailing qualifications and thrown himself into club life, on and off the water. He and his wife are also heading off on their first sailing holiday in Scotland, something they never imagined a year ago.

Six venues are hosting Push The Boat Out events around the Black Country in May, with Himley Hall SC and Sandwell Valley SC welcoming anyone to ‘have a go’ on Saturday (12 May), while Greensforge SC, at Calf Heath, open their doors on Sunday (13 May) and Dudley SC invite you to Push The Boat Out on both Thursday 17 and Sunday 27 May.

South Staffordshire SC, at Gailey, then hold their open day on Saturday 19 May, with Aldridge SC giving you the chance to ‘try sailing’ on the Sunday (20 May). John believes you won’t regret it. John said:

“[Sailing has] given me an additional hobby to enjoy with my wife, kids and grandkids. It’s as healthy, relaxing and social as you want it to be - once you’ve been on that water, with just the birds singing, the sun shimmering and the water rippling, there’s no turning back!

"I’d seen the boats out on the lake at Himley Hall; it’s such a beautiful and peaceful place to be that my wife and I thought it would be great to find out a bit more about sailing. At the open day, we felt very welcome. There were men, women, boys and girls who were going to give it a try and it was nice to see such a wide range of ages all interested in sailing."  

All kit and safety equipment is provided and refreshments will be available. You can find all the details for your nearest event at rya.org.uk/ptbo.

Almost 400 venues across the UK are inviting people to Push The Boat Out in May. Over 22,000 people regularly go along to their local sailing club every month across the Midlands, sailing small sailboats or windsurfing.


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