Sailing is a watersport and it is a great way to spend some time in the fresh air, exploring the water. Most people come across sailing for the first time on the television, such as in the Olympic Games. It was first seen in the Olympic Games in the year 1900, which makes it one of the oldest sports in the games. It wasn’t called sailing until the Sydney Games in 2000, as before then it was called yachting. It is one of the few sports where women are allowed to compete in the same classes as men. Sailing is good for both the body and mind. It helps you to strengthen the muscles in your arms, legs and your abdomen and it trains you to improve your balance and your hand-eye coordination. The sea air and fresh water are also great for your mental health, as it refreshes and clears your mind.
So, where can you go to try it out?
Here at Bewl Water you can come and sail seven days a week, in all seasons. You can apply for a membership and have the chance to enjoy the waves on the largest inland water in the South. Sailing club members also get a 40% discount on paddleboard memberships as well. We have sailors of all abilities, from those who prefer to go at a leisurely pace, all the way to experienced racers. We accept sailing dinghies and windsurfers of all classes, from Flying Fifteens to Toppers and multihulls. At Bewl Water there are regular socials and weekly races that are run in conjunction with the Bewl Sailing Association. We also offer sailing opportunities for young sailors. We have a team that aims to give children from both sailing and non-sailing families the chance to have a go at sailing and develop a love for the sport. The team involves boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15, who go on to support each other on the national circuit. They are supported by qualified and highly competent instructors and coaches.
If this sounds like something your child will be interested in, visit www.bbsc.org.uk or contact Will (07976 886687) or Richard (07710 148359)
Wilsonian Sailing Club
Wilsonian Sailing Club sails on the River Medway. The club was founded in 1959 and it is located near Rochester, on the north shore of the River Medway. It prides itself on being the largest club solely for dinghy sailors in the north of Kent. The club has the facilities to be able to sail throughout the year and in a normal season, there is a race nearly every weekend. The Wilsonian Sailing Club is an RYA recognised training centre, giving you the opportunity to learn dinghy sailing and powerboating. For adults, they run a National Dinghy Sailing Scheme, which aims to teach you everything from seamanship to performance sailing. There is then the Youth Sailing Scheme, with courses for juniors (those under 18) and youths (18-25).
Tonbridge Town Sailing Club
Tonbridge Town Sailing Club is an RYA Training Centre and offers a range of National and Youth Sailing Scheme courses, led by a fantastic and friendly team of RYA trained instructors. They are located on the idyllic Haysden, which is a man-made lake by the River Medway, just upstream of Tonbridge. They consider themselves a ‘true members club’, as they are solely run by a team of dedicated volunteers. They also run the Junior Tonbridge Sailing Club, which is available to children eight years and older. The juniors meet every Sunday afternoon for a fun afternoon of games, racing and training.
Rye Watersports is a watersports facility offering dinghy sailing, windsurfing and standup paddleboarding for children and adults alike. Located in East Sussex, in Camber Sands and Greatstone, they run courses from mid-March to October. In the Easter and summer holidays, they run activity days for children, as well as windsurfing and dinghy sailing clubs and an ‘On Board’ T15 windsurfing club. Paddleboard, windsurf, dinghy and canoes hire are available by the hour, however, if you have your own equipment, day sailors are also welcome. They also run their own cafe – The Hoolie Cafe – where all ingredients are locally sourced, including local cheeses and their own Rye Bay coffee.
Elite Sailing is a top RYA sail and motor cruising training facility at Chatham on the Medway, located less than an hour away from London. They offer both professional and leisure sailing qualifications at every level. For beginners, they run courses for sail and for power. For those interested in skipper training, they offer courses all the way from RYA Day Skipper to RYA Yachtmaster, Coastal, Offshore and Ocean. The sailing base where Elite Sailing is located also offers great routes to cruise the Thames Estuary and the East Coast of England. As you cruise up the River Medway you can take in Napoleonic forts, salt marshes and bird sanctuaries. If you really want to test your sea legs, they also offer adventure sailing cruises all around the British Isles and northwest Europe.
Downs Sailing Club
If there’s anyone who knows sailing, its the Downs Sailing Club. The club was launched all the way back in 1949, just as dinghy sailing was emerging as a sport. They are located in Deal, right on the East Kent coast. The name is taken from an anchorage known as The Downs, by Goodwin Sands, which is where ships used to take safe harbour and wait for the winds to pass before continuing on their way. The club is run by members, for members, with all the race officers and safety boats run by members on a rota. For those interested, there is training available for all of the roles. They offer RYA courses, as well as an extremely active social calendar.
Bewl Water is open every day between 8 am and 4 pm. We have a cafe, currently available for takeaway coffee, teas and pastries that are guaranteed to warm you up after your time on the water. There are also walking and cycling trails available and we are also open from Wednesday to Sunday for fishing on the reservoir.