It always pays to get to the ‘sails’ early; that’s the recommendation of the Isle of Man Yacht Club in Port St Mary.
The club is holding a ‘Try a Sail’ open day on Sunday June 8th and organiser Michael Wilson says: ‘We’re starting at 10am and I’d urge anyone interested to arrive as close as possible to that time, so we can make arrangements with the skippers to take any would-be sailors out on either yachts or large stable sailing dinghies. That way we can offer them a taste of just how great a leisure pursuit sailing can be and give them a whole different view of some of the island’s fantastic coastline.
‘We held a similar event last year and response was really encouraging, with people discovering how friendly the club is and that sailing has something to offer all ages and abilities. Whether it’s leisure cruising or racing opportunities the club has the solution and, importantly, a team of experienced crew members who can provide expert training and guidance.
‘The idea of the open day is also to dispel any misconceptions about sailing being a sport solely for the privileged few. This is far from the case; it’s very relaxed at the club and members are always keen to share with as many other people as possible the pleasure of sailing. There’s no need to turn up in full sailing gear – just sensible outdoor clothing and footwear will be fine. Visitors are welcome not only to come and watch from the club house but also to join members for a barbecue in the afternoon and sample first-hand the club’s hospitality.’
Sarah Watterson went to the club’s open day last year…and she hasn’t looked back since. Looking forward to this year’s event she said: ‘What struck me immediately was just how friendly and helpful every one was from the very first moment. The people down on the quay were so welcoming and that really made all the difference. I’m Manx-born and come from a family with nautical links so was looking for a sport that wasn’t about cycling or running. The club and sailing fitted the bill perfectly.
‘For me it’s all about the people I’ve met and, of course, the sailing which I absolutely love. We have such a laugh and the club also has a great social side.
‘I’m a real water baby; rough seas don’t bother me and I enjoy being part of a crew. I’ve also had the opportunity to see the Isle of Man from a very different vantage point, so all in all I’m having a whale of a time.’
Follow in Sarah’s wake: ‘Try a Sail’ on Sunday June 8th at the Isle of Man Yacht Club, Port St Mary. Please aim to arrive as close to the 10am start time as possible to make all necessary arrangements with skippers and crew.