FAMILIES from all over Helensburgh and Lomond and beyond recently came down to the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club to try their hand at sailing – some of them experiencing the sport for the first time.
The occasion was a “Discover Sailing” event organized by the RNCYC to coincide with the Olympic exploits of local heroes Anna Burnet, Charlotte Dobson and Luke Patience, who all learned their trades at the club.
And while it’s far too early to say if any of the club’s event attendees could be part of Team GB in the future, Vice-Commodore Linda Pender is already certain of one thing: that the day was a success.
“We had a fantastic time,” Linda told the Advertiser, “With a good, gentle breeze – just enough to heel the boats a bit to give those on board a bit of a thrill.
“We have had similar events in the past with kids in canoes and parents in bigger boats. It was not an option for us this time around for various reasons, but it was still very nice to see entire families on a boat together, and many are eager to come back for more – parents and children alike.
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“For quite a long time during the pandemic, you could only have two households on each boat and they had to distance themselves socially – and that’s something that’s really, really hard to do on most boats.
“Eventually when the rules were relaxed a bit, you could form a bubble with other households, but events like these cannot happen without a safety blanket, and that was very difficult to organize in the current climate.
“We are now looking to expand our program for next year and hope to get the wider community out on the water and try sailing – you will never know if you will love it until you try it.
“Before that we hope to have a cadet sailing regatta in early September, assuming the rules stay as they are, and maybe also a fun regatta and barbecue on Rhu Spit.
“The social side of sailing at the club is very important and it’s something we all missed because of Covid.”