SAILING: Prestigious award to attract newcomers

All smiles: Welland Yacht Club's team of instructors are ready for the club's first season as an RYA Training Centre. From left - Andy Agar, Adam Wilson, Andy Prior, Will Cook and Neal Tack. Photo supplied
All smiles: Welland Yacht Club's team of instructors are ready for the club's first season as an RYA Training Centre. From left - Andy Agar, Adam Wilson, Andy Prior, Will Cook and Neal Tack. Photo supplied

ASPIRING South Holland sailors are being offered the chance to get their first taste of the sport in this Olympic year after Welland Yacht Club was granted prestigious RYA Training Centre status.

The popular club has thrived on the River Welland in Spalding for nearly 60 years with popular weekend dinghy racing, an active cruising section and busy social programme.

But Welland have taken a massive step in opening up even more opportunities for newcomers to learn the ropes, and existing sailors to develop their skills further, by becoming a RYA Training Centre for dinghy, powerboat and seamanship courses.

This means they have made a proven commitment to providing high-quality training and qualifications to people of all ages, abilities and goals, and that the club’s courses and tuition conform to the RYA’s highest standards of safety and excellence.

With London 2012 set to energise more people than ever to get involved in sport, Welland are signed up to the RYA’s nationwide Sail for Gold programme, celebrating Britain’s unmatched Olympic sailing heritage and inspiring more people to get out on the water more regularly.

As part of this initiative, Welland will be opening its doors and running special Sail for Gold Taster Days on Sunday, April 15 and Saturday, August 25.

They are also hosting an everyone-is-welcome Open Day on Sunday, May 20 (11am-3pm) so people can get real taste of what life at Welland YC offers.

The club is also launching a new a junior sailing club on Sunday mornings from April 1 to introduce anyone under-16 to sailing in fun, safe sessions.

No previous experience is needed, just a change of clothes, some waterproofs and old shoes.

Welland YC’s Vanessa Cook believes 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

She said: “Welland prides itself in being a club that welcomes individuals and families to the fun of watersports.

“In the past, we have offered informal training to our members but we felt that by becoming a recognised RYA training establishment we could fill a gap in the local community and attract new members whilst also enabling our members to learn new skills, improve and explore new opportunities without them having to travel further afield.

“Our experienced members have relished the opportunity to gain instructor qualifications to support our training activities and it is great to see so many of them now willing to give their time and commitment voluntarily, helping people learn to sail and developing as sailors.”

Visit www.wellandyachtclub.co.uk for more information about what’s going on at Welland this year.