Skye sailing club pushes the boat out for annual open day

Skye Sailing Club attracted 70 people to its annual ‘Push The Boat Out’ open day which was held in Portree last Saturday.

The day was run in conjunction with the Royal Yachting Association as part of 390 events nationwide aimed at anyone interested in getting into a boat and out on the water.

With no experience or equipment necessary, the ‘Push The Boat Out’ day is aimed at complete beginners as well as more experienced sailors looking for a way back into the sport or interested in finding out more about their local club. Families, children, partners, individuals, groups of friends _ everyone is welcome.

Speaking after the open day, Skye Sailing Club Trustee Iain Galbraith told the Free Press: “I think we had around 70 people who went out on to the water during the day – which is fantastic and is a massive improvement on the previous years.

“We had people from all over the island, and a lot of them hadn’t sailed before or had but in the dim and distant past. We are dead keen to see that convert into people take up the courses and people joining the club and getting involved.

He added: “Three-quarters of those were youngsters and the rest were adults or mums and dads. It wasn’t overly windy – just right for beginners – they got a good blast around the bay. It was a fantastic day.”

The Skye Sailing club provides an opportunity for youngsters to progress through four levels of a Royal Yachting Association course which then enables them to move on the instructor course where they can become junior instructors.

“That the means they can take people out on the water around Portree bay”, said Iain. “It gives 16 and 17-year olds the chance to work with people who are learning themselves.”

The club’s membership is approaching 80 members with numbers having been boosted by funding through the Coastal Communities Fund which helped the club the build a new boathouse and purchase dinghies and wet suits.

Skye Sailing Club was named as the Royal Yachting Association Scotland club of the year in 2016 and commended by the RYA in 2017.

Article by Adam Gordon and images by Willie Urquhart