The glorious sunshine over the Bank Holiday weekend proved the perfect backdrop to a fantastic Family Fun Day at Whitstable Yacht Club. Despite the awful conditions earlier in the week, the sun shone down on Whitstable and the sea proved calm and inviting for the many families attending.
The annual event, organised by members of Whitstable YC, was a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience sailing and to encourage them to take up the sport and join their local club. A number of boats were available throughout the day, with club members offering free half-hour taster sessions out at sea.
The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for such a day. Unbroken sunshine, unseasonably high temperatures (even the sea felt warm) and a gentle breeze all helped make this event a resounding success. The clubhouse and beach were busy throughout the day as families were kitted-up with their buoyancy vests and introduced to their instructors at the shoreline.
Despite living near the coast for most of my life, and having spent over a decade working as a lifeguard, I have to admit to being a complete newbie to sailing. I had, however, been really looking forward to my turn out at sea and I wasn’t to be disappointed.
I was introduced to Tom, one of the young teenage members of the club, and we waded out to his boat. Now, I’m no ‘Slim Jim’ and the the famous line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, from the film ‘Jaws’, did cross my mind when I saw what we would be sailing in, but Tom confidently assured me it would be ok.
Once aboard, we were soon heading away from shore and, as the familiar sounds of the people on the beach faded, I could immediately see the attraction of such a sport. It was so peaceful and, as we ventured further from civilisation, I was able to look back at how beautiful our Kent Coastline really is.
Tom explained that he was initially introduced to sailing as a three year old by his father and, as he’d got older, he’d taken it more seriously. As well as recreational sailing, Tom also races now, along with many other club members.
As we both steered the boat (I was in charge of the little sail) back towards the beech I could see a number of others heading out and could only hope that their experience of this fantastic sport would be a memorable as mine. They certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves as we passed them on our way back in.
I would like to thank everyone at Whitstable YC for making me feel so welcome on the day and I really hope to visit again soon. I even managed to recruit a couple of Young Reporters from the club and look forward to sharing their sailing experiences in ‘Edu-Life Kids’.
Please take a look through our gallery of the day and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.