Sailing in the City

topper taz dinghy

You don't expect to see little white sails in amongst the swans, ducks and diving seagulls when you take your dog for a walk in your park. Sailing boats in a pond? Yes indeed!

Have a look at the evidence in this Picture Gallery

Sailing where?

Sailing in the City is the brainchild of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland and the project aims to provide local and accessible sailing opportunities for children between eight and 14 years of age. The RYA aims to encourage the kids to take sailing to the next level, join a club and really enjoy and get involved with the sport.

Sailing in the City classes take place on city ponds, lochs, in harbours and on lochs in country parks. Kids don't need to have had any experience of sailing, and everyone can get involved as many of the classes have little or no cost.

What type of boat?

children setting up a dinghy

The youngsters sail in the “practically indestructible” Topper Topaz Taz, a boat with a very simple rig which is easy to use and repair and is a suitable size for one adult or two kids. Learning takes place through short land-based sessions and lots of sailing and games on the water.

Who is involved?

Alex Buglass, RYA Scotland instructor

We asked one of the instructors, Alex Buglass, about the children who take part. He said “Some have parents who sail, others were just playing in the park, saw the boats and instantly wanted to get involved.”

Sailing in the City has taster events through the year and children can sign up via the RYA Scotland website.

But is it successful?

Girl holding a sail

Alex continues, “Yes, it's incredibly successful, kids totally love it! When they first arrive, they may feel a bit daunted about the boats but in no time at all they are laughing and having fun. Many of the children really get a taste for it and we encourage them to carry on.”

What do the kids say?

Three children sailing on Victoria Pond, Glasgow

Have a look through this Picture Gallery to find out what the young participants thought of their sailing lessons on Victoria Pond in Glasgow.

And what about park users?

“We get a great reaction from park users. They are generally very interested and often stop to ask what's going on and if their kids can have a go. Many of them say they remember when these ponds were boating ponds and are thrilled to see them back in use again.”

As you can see, sailors on the high seas don't have all the fun. Sailing in the city can be a real adventure too!

Page first published on Tuesday 12th August 2008
Page last updated on Thursday 16th October 2008

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