Record Try Sailing Day at Concord & Ryde Sailing Club
On Sunday 6th November, 2011 Concord & Ryde Sailing Club (CRSC) had a record attendance at Try Sailing Day. Over 250 adults and children were taken for rides and all appeared to enjoy their experience. At times, there were 25 boats on the water in near perfect weather conditions.
Over 100 people had registered in the first hour and we were very grateful for the temporary loan of life jackets from the local Sea Scout group ”1st Yaralla.”
Chris Gildersleeve – the Club Commodore – said “Try Sailing Day is not only a chance for the public to experience the thrill of sailing and give the local residents an opportunity to engage with their local Sailing Club, it also gives the Club an opportunity to introduce and encourage new adults and children to learn more about sailing through the Club’s Learn to Sail classes.”
Each year a percentage of children and adults who have attended the Try Sailing Day become long term members of the Club. They may be new to sailing, or often have sailed before in their youth and have decided to get back into the sport. This helps the Club maintain a diverse membership base and provides it with a healthy future.
A successful Try Sailing Day does require some effort and each year the Club has around 50 members who volunteer their time and boats to ensure the day works well. There are many jobs to be done:- launching of rescue boats, rigging of sailing boats, manning the registration desk, fitting PFDs, organising the public into appropriate boats, driving the rescue boats, serving in the canteen, organising the BBQ on the day, answering questions on Learn to Sail courses and membership and then of course, at the end of the day, packing everything up .
To ensure we have a good turn out on the day, the Club sends a press release with photos to the local papers which are usually very obliging in publishing a story and photo. Our experience is that one of the most effective ways of promoting the day is through word of mouth, with Club members giving flyers to their family and friends.
On the day, members bring their boats to be sailed alongside the Club’s dinghy training boat fleet. The skippers introduce themselves to the participants and answer many questions about sailing whilst taking them for a sail. Some of the questions are classics e.g. “How does the boat move without a motor? Why don’t boats sink?”
As in previous years we have found that most of the participants are locals with 50% being under 18 years of age.
Craig Burwood, the Club President said “The Club is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers that make the day such a success. We feel the Try Sailing Day is worth the effort as it brings in new members each year.”
Try Sailing Day is a lot of fun and those clubs who do not already participate, they should be encouraged to give it a go. It’s good for sailing and good for their club.
Try Sailing Day is an initiative of the Sailing Industry Association, a sub-group of the Boating Industry Association of NSW and supported by Yachting NSW.
Concord and Ryde Sailing Club is one of the largest Dinghy Sailing clubs in Sydney and is located at Kissing Point Park, Corner of Waterview St and Yaralla Rd Putney. Each Saturday afternoon a large number of dinghies take part in racing on the Parramatta River between Ryde Bridge, Majors Bay and Brays Bay.
Several different types of dinghies take part including: Spirals, Tasars, NS14s, Herons, Sabots, Catamarans and Firebugs. The Club also has an active Cadet fleet and popular Learn to Sail program.
Sailors of all skill levels are catered for, from beginners to State & National Champions.
For more information regarding the Club please contact the Club Secretary Sandra Donovan 9816 5468 and for Learn to Sail David Loring 9636 4370