HUNDREDS of people have tried sailing for the first time including at clubs in Yeadon and Denholme following the Royal Yachting Association's Push the Boat Out campaign.

Sailing clubs and watersports centres are now looking forward to a busy season after many were inspired to then sign up for training or membership packages.

Some 400 RYA affiliated clubs and centres nationwide invited visitors of all ages to try sailing and windsurfing for little or no cost in May, including more than 20 in Yorkshire.

Denholme Sailing Club, based at Doe Park Water Activities Centre, was among the venues which took part in the campaign, alongside Yeadon Sailing Club, based in Tarnfield Park.

Club member Tony Lever said the day was a great success despite the cold and blustery weather.

He said: "We managed to get everyone on the water who wanted a sail - and no capsizes thanks to our experienced members.

"We have a few new members who signed up on the day who have now completed the Start Sailing course."

Jonathan Durrans, 35, who works as a support manager for a housing charity, was among those who enjoyed his day so much that he decided to join the club, which has a fleet of beginner-friendly boats for newcomers to use.

He said: "The club was very welcoming and even though it was blowing a gale and conditions weren't favourable at all, they still managed to get me out on the water.

"I signed up for a beginner course and I'm absolutely loving it."

Durrans was looking for a new sporting passion after recovering from a mountain biking accident and has now found one in sailing.

"When you're on the water it's quite peaceful and there's something about the challenge of you versus the elements that I enjoy," he said.

"It focuses your mind and gets you away from normal day to day life. I'm keen as mustard to get racing too."

Michelle Gent, RYA programmes manager, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that so many people have been able to take this opportunity to get active on the water and involved with our sport.

"The feedback we have started to receive is really positive, with many clubs welcoming new members and visitors returning to keep sailing."

RYA Push the Boat Out has come to a close, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get out on the water this summer.

Supported by the RYA, venues across the UK will be hosting Try Sailing events and open days from June to the end of September.

Go to for more information on how to get started on the water this summer.