FAMILIES from across Helensburgh and Lomond and beyond descended on the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club recently to try their hand at sailing – some of them sampling the sport for the first time.

The occasion was a ‘Discover Sailing’ event held by the RNCYC to coincide with the Olympic exploits of local heroes Anna Burnet, Charlotte Dobson and Luke Patience, all of whom learned their craft at the club.

And while it’s far too early to tell whether any of those who took part in the club’s event might be part of Team GB in the future, vice-commodore Linda Pender is already certain of one thing – that the day was a success.

“We had some fantastic weather,” Linda told the Advertiser, “with a good, gentle breeze – just enough to get the boats heeling over a bit to give those on board a little bit of a thrill.

“We’ve done similar events in the past with children in dinghies and parents in larger boats. That wasn’t an option for us this time for various reasons but it was still really nice to see whole families out on a boat together, and several are keen to come back for more – the parents as well as the children.

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“For quite a long time during the pandemic you could only have two households on each boat and they had to socially distance – and that’s something that is really, really difficult to do on most boats.

“Eventually, when the rules were eased a bit, you could form a bubble with other households, but events like these can’t happen without safety cover, and that has been very difficult to organise in the current climate.

“We’re now looking to develop our programme for next year and are hoping to get the wider community out on the water and give sailing a try – you’ll never know if you might like it until you give it a go.

“Before then we’re hoping to host a cadet sailing regatta in early September, assuming the rules remain as they are, and perhaps a fun regatta and a barbecue on Rhu Spit as well.

“The social side of sailing at the club is very important and it’s something we’ve all missed as a result of Covid.”

To find out more about what’s happening at the RNCYC, check out rncyc.com or search for RNCYC on Facebook.