You don't need to be a millionaire to enjoy life on the water

Torbay Weekly

Royal Torbay Yacht Club have developed a scheme that helps to make the fantastic sport of sailing an inclusive option, no matter what background you are from.

Steve Huish is Training Principal at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. He wanted to concentrate on ensuring that no-one was left out of the fun sailing in the club’s junior section, Squadron 13, which welcomes children aged 8 to 18 and boasts 50% female participation amongst members and instructors.

After watching the children move up through the ranks using club boats, he thought it was expecting too much of parents to suggest they purchase an expensive dinghy to allow the 15 to 17-year-olds to progress into club racing with a view, potentially, to sailing in national events.

Instead, he came up with a small £500 budget that could in many cases be achievable without putting too much strain on family resources, so allowing those without adequate finances to use the club boats and without putting too much pressure on the children to perform.

Steve said: “It didn’t take long to think of a boat at that price that would tick all the boxes; loads of spares, easy to store, easy to rig, a massive following, extremely competitive, not to mention raced in the Olympics! A Laser!

“Get a £500 Laser and the youngsters are off racing. Interestingly, what we have noticed is that they are racing competitively against extremely good club racers and, despite their cheaper options, they are beating them - who would have thought?!

“There is no need to spend £5,000 plus and buy a shiny new boat to get on the water. We are inclusive - old or young, experienced or a newcomer, we can all have some cheap fun on the water.”

If you want to know more about the Royal Torbay Yacht Club or would like to get the whole family involved in sailing and boating on some of the finest waters in the South-West, visit the club website or call 01803 292006 (Office open 09:00-12:00 weekdays).