Sailing open day sparks interest for young guests

Young sailors and their parents sailing on the lake
Young sailors and their parents sailing on the lake

Young sailors and their parents were welcomed at Arun Youth Aqua Centre, Littlehampton, to experience dinghy sailing for themselves.

The open day last Sunday was part of the Royal Yachting Association’s initiative to attract more people to join the club and enjoy boating.

Young sailors and their parents experienced dinghy sailing at Arun Youth Aqua Club

Young sailors and their parents experienced dinghy sailing at Arun Youth Aqua Club

Jan Elliman, secretary and treasurer, said younger visitors spent the day in single-handed dinghies, called oppies, in warm and sunny conditions on Mewsbrook Lake.

Older visitors went out to sea in some of the centre’s larger dinghies, including boats with room for two or three sailors, which were helmed by young instructors or assistant instructors.

The plan was to sail out to the weather station but the conditions were not favourable and staff said the fleet reached only as far as the outfall buoy.

Due to the misty conditions, they could not be seen and followed by families and friends who were watching from the beach.

Returning to the beach at Arun Youth Aqua Club

Returning to the beach at Arun Youth Aqua Club

Many of the young visitors said they now plan to join in with sailing activities and get afloat regularly.

Jan said one important development was some parents expressing an interest in getting involved and helping the centre, a volunteer-run Royal Yachting Association training centre and registered charity, so it can continue to offering such opportunities.