Take to the fresh sea air with a ‘Taste of Sailing’ course

Members of Mayo Sailing Club go yachting on Clew Bay.

Members of Mayo Sailing Club go yachting on Clew Bay.

Ever wanted to learn your starboard from your port side but didn’t have a clue where to start?

Then the latest ‘Taste of Sailing’ course for adults at the award winning Mayo Sailing Club could be just the thing.

Every year, the club offers the very popular programme to introduce a new batch of recruits to the joys of sailing.

It is certainly an interesting and stunningly scenic way to blow off some steam.

The club sails from Rosmoney Harbour, just oustide Westport, into the pristine, island dotted waters of Clew Bay.

No previous sailing experience is necessary, says the club - just enthusiasm and a desire to try something new.

What’s more, Mayo Sailing Club obviously knows what it is doing when it comes to showing newbies the ropes.

The club has just recently been recognised by the Irish Sailing Association as the Training Centre of the Year.

And sailing isn’t as exclusive or expensive as it may sometimes seem, says Alex Blackwell, master mariner with the club.

“There is a misconception that sailing is expensive and that is simply not true,” he explained.

“You don’t even need a boat. There are opportunities to get out on the club’s fleet of dinghies, crew on other people’s boats in weekly racing in Clew Bay, and cruise the islands with friends who need an extra pair of hands.

“Once you have the skills, it doesn’t have to cost you anything to get out there.”

The introductory course will provide the necessary know-how, he continued.

“This particular course is geared for adults who have never sailed or may have tried it long ago and want to find out if this activity would suit to develop further.”

Caroline Goucher took part in the Taste of Sailing course last year. She said she would highly recommend the experience to people who are looking for a new activity to try.

“The course was very informative, with hands-on experience in a safe and friendly atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone in the club is very friendly and helpful and it is a lovely way to meet people.

“It is also a great activity for stress busting while enjoying the beauty of Clew Bay.”

The course costs €150 for all four weeks. The cost of the course can then be applied towards membership of Mayo Sailing Club if participants decide to continue on to become a full member of the club.

The sessions run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, on April 2, 7, 9 and 16.

The course combines classroom instruction and on-the-water experience with seasoned skippers on their own yachts in Clew Bay.

Everyone who takes part gets to try sail handling, helming and various other tasks on board.

To sign up for a Taste of Sailing with Mayo Sailing Club, visit www.mayosailingclub.com or email [email protected].

Alternative, call the club mobile on (087 ) 1263820 and leave a message.

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