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It’s plain sailing here
If sailing and windsurfing is your thing, Yorkshire is your kind of place. Our rich variety of sailing clubs and venues combine the best facilities with the most stunning views. The great thing about sailing in this area is that you often have fantastic countryside as your backdrop.
Many of the lakes used are also set high into the hills meaning that there are plenty of windy days, really adding to the atmosphere. Add to this the friendly clubs which encourage beginners and make this a great place to take up the sport of sailing.
The quickest and easiest way to learn to sail, dinghies are small, easy to handle and generally light to launch and transport. Learn to sail on your own in a single handed dinghy or with a crew. You can potter about exploring your local stretch of water, join a sailing club full of like-minded people, or learn to race. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, expect to get wet!
You don’t need to be fantastically fit, but dinghy sailing is physical, particularly if you get into racing. If you want to try sailing for the first time, you should contact one of the clubs below and arrange some instruction. All instructors should be RYA qualified.
Sailing can be done at any time of year – all you need is enough wind to get you going. The best time to learn is spring through to autumn. Many people learn to sail through the summer months when the winds tend to be less and the water a bit warmer, but then often move on to sail in the stronger winds found at other times of year.
Find Out More
To try your hand at dinghy sailing, contact one of these clubs and venues, and go along to one of their try out sessions. There are many venues throughout Yorkshire, including:
More information on sailing can be found from RYA Yorkshire & Humberside, which includes training courses and clubs.
Welton Waters Adventure Centre (WWAC) offers a variety of land and water based activities. Situated by a lovely stretch of the Humber River, 11 miles from the centre of Hull, the water and surrounding land offer ideal facilities for individual, multi-activity and team building sessions.
Off shore sailing
For exciting off shore sailing, Runswick Bay and Filey are the places to go; everyone can be sailing the surf in no time.
Windsurfers looking to take full advantage of the exhilarating Yorkshire coastline are spoilt for choice. With lots of wide open coastal waters, regular wind and great access to some amazing beaches, particularly around the Fraisthorpe area, experienced windsurfers can be racing around the water in no time.
Windsurfing is many things to many people – escapist evenings at the local lake, summertime family fun at the beach, cruising missions to explore harbours and coastlines, weekend racing at the club, high speed thrills in stronger winds, a platform for hot-dogging and skateboard style tricks, charging around in and out of the surf at beaches around our coastline.
In 1968, there were only 12 boards in existence. Now there are millions – and the sport continues to go from strength to strength, with recent major breakthroughs in both board and sail design making it all even easier. Consequently, more and more people are discovering – or indeed rediscovering – this great outdoor activity. It’s cheap compared to other watersports, easier than ever to learn, very probably the safest of all the ‘adrenaline sports’ out there in terms of actual risk to life and limb (but still right up there in terms of yeehaaa factor!) – and above all, great fun.
Boards nowadays are much wider than their predecessors from yesteryear and consequently much more stable, while sails are also lighter and more controllable than ever. Rather than those awkward hours wobbling around on a precarious platform trying to pull the sail out of the water, the modern teaching methods see you starting off on a super-wide and stable design with which to master the basics, and then moving on to shorter, more manoeuvrable boards when you’re ready for it. A few days under the guidance of a qualified Royal Yachting Association instructor will see the complete novice progress to the point where they are happily skimming back and forth in relative control, pulling off respectable turns and remaining relatively dry.
Have a go
Windsurfing can be done at any time of year – all you need is enough wind to get you going. Obviously the best time to learn is spring through to autumn, so now is a good time to book that course. If you want to try windsurfing for the first time, contact a club and arrange some instruction. All instructors should be RYA qualified.
If you’ve got your own board, head to Lake Semerwater in the Yorkshire Dales, for one of the most stunning locations around.
If you want to learn to sail or windsurf and don’t have your own kit, contact Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.
For something a little more fast and furious, experienced kitesurfers will find some great spots with ideal wind and wave conditions.
Bridlington’s breezy beach is a favourite with kitesurfers and windsurfers too.
At Harbourside Watersports we really don’t believe that 3 hours a day is enough to learn. Harbourside Watersports are at the beach teaching you to kitesurf for as long as you have the energy, or the sun goes down!