Learning to Sail near Manchester

The joy of sailing

 

I’ve always fancied having a go at sailing, so when Wendy Smythe got in touch to ask if she could do a couple of guest blogs about taking to the waters, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out just how to go about it.

While a buoyancy aid might not be the best look, sailing does apparently give you killer abs! I’m in!

 

Ship Ahoy Wendy ……

Wendy Smythe

 

After our recent Olympic successes we’re all a bit excited about sailing. What a great sport and surprisingly easy to start.

It’s often thought that sailing is expensive, elitist, impossible to learn. Not at all! I sail most weekends, every Wednesday evening in the summer, even on Boxing Day and I don’t even own a boat!

 

It’s fun, gets you out in the fresh air, improves your fitness, is very sociable and it’s easy to start.

I started by taking a weekend course where they lent me all the kit. After a classroom session I had a go at helming (driving) and crewing and learnt how to sail a course. I loved it so I had a look at local places to sail. I chose Budworth Sailing Club, situated on a pretty mere near Northwich.

 

Budworth sailing

 

Budworth Sailing Club

 

I bought a wetsuit and a buoyancy aid and turned up.

It was a friendly place and it seemed that people needed crew and surprisingly were willing to let me try. I had lots of friendly advice and joined the club after a week or two. The cost was a third of my tennis club membership and seemed good value.

After a month or so I was offered a regular crewing spot with a patient boat owner who was happy to teach me.

 

Sailing

 

That was eight years ago. We have improved over the years, been on courses at other clubs, joined competitions as far away as Penzance and Ullswater and had a huge amount of fun. We’re never going to threaten Sir Ben Ainslie but we have had the satisfaction of getting better each year and we’re still learning.

 

Sailing

 

A sailing afternoon always ends in the bar so you quickly get to know people.  It’s a friendly sport where young and old mix happily. Children run about the place, babies are cuddled and cared for and there is a great camaraderie. The people I met all those years ago have become firm friends. We even go skiing together every winter.

If you fancy doing something different or have ever wondered if sailing is for you, have a look at the list of local sailing clubs below, trot down and see what’s on offer.

Like my club, many offer courses for children and adults and have boats for hire for around £10 a session. It’s a sport for young and old, you can start at any time and you don’t have to be super fit to do well.

Don’t be put off by the racing – everybody races, it’s the way to improve. Most clubs have beginner racing at certain times, just to help you to get going. It’s a fun, healthy, challenging sport, exercise for the brain as much as the body, and speaking of bodies, it does wonders for your abs!

 

Manchester

University of Manchester Sailing Club – View Club Details
Debdale Outdoor Centre – View Club Details
Sale Waterpark – View Club Details

 

Cheshire

Errwood Sailing Club – View Club Details
Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club – View Club Details
Nantwich and Border Counties Sailing Club – View Club Details
Redesmere Sailing Club – View Club Details
Winsford Flash Sailing Club – View Club Details
Budworth Sailing Club – View Club Details
Chester Sailing and Canoeing Club – View Club Details
Etherow Country Club Sailing Club – View Club Details
Fiddlers Ferry Sailing Club – View Club Details
Royal Dee Yacht Club – View Club Details
West Bank Boat Club – View Club Details
Weaver Sailing Club – View Club Details
Glossop and District Sailing Club – View Club Details

 

Lancashire

Arnside Sailing Club – View Club Details
Bolton Sailing Club – View Club Details
Dovestone Sailing Club – View Club Details
Elton Sailing Club – View Club Details
Glasson Sailing Club – View Club Details
Jumbles Sailing Club – View Club Details
Morecambe and Heysham Yacht Club – View Club Details
Ribble Cruising Club – View Club Details
Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club – View Club Details
Burwain Sailing Club – View Club Details
Delph Sailing Club – View Club Details
East Lancashire Sailing Club – View Club Details
Lancaster University Sailing Club – View Club Details
Rossendale Valley Sailing Club – View Club Details
Wardleys Marine Yacht Club – View Club Details
Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club – View Club Details Killington Sailing Association – View Club Details Wigan Sailing Club – View Club Details

 

Give it a go. What have you got to lose except your tummy?

 

Wendy x

 

Photographs Wendy Smythe

This is not a sponsored blog post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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