HUNDREDS of visitors took the chance to try sailing and speedboating for little or no cost in May, at 20 clubs and centres around Wales in this year’s RYA Push The Boat Out.

The month-long, national participation campaign - which aims to get more people on-the-water, having fun and getting active outdoors - inspired thousands of people to attend their local PTBO venue around the UK and ‘have a go’.

The RYA’s Push the Boat Out (PTBO) campaign saw four venues across North Wales offering free or low cost, sailing and windsurfing taster sessions.

Pwllheli, Colwyn Bay Watersports, Llandudno and Port Dinorwic were all involved.

Port Dinorwic offered free taster sessions in a variety of dinghies and small cruisers over two days, while at Pwllheli,

there was an opportunity to try yachts or dinghies.

Colwyn Bay Watersports offered free kayak hire, in addition to a sailing and windsurfing taster, while Llandudno held a club open day with instructor-lead dinghy sailing experiences.

“It has been great to see so many taking the opportunity to give sailing a go all round Wales,” said RYA Cymru Wales national development officer Ruth Iliffe.

“We look forward to seeing many new faces continuing at those clubs which took part, but all this would not be possible without the help of all the volunteers who shared their passion and love for sailing.”

One of the more high-profile events was taking Welsh Government deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas AM, out sailing in Cardiff Bay.

The Dwyfor Meirionnydd AM was helping to launch Adventure Smart UK, building nationally on the co-operation of adventure sports in Wales, but he enjoyed a trip round the Bay to remind him of sailing experiences from his youth.

He was one of almost 200 people who tried sailing in Cardiff Bay over the month, thanks largely to an effective social media campaign to publicise the events.

PTBO proved a real family experience for some.

RYA programmes manager Michelle Gent commented: “It’s fantastic to hear that so many people have been able to take this opportunity to get active on the water and involved with our sport.

"The feedback we have started to receive is really positive, with many clubs welcoming new members and visitors returning to keep sailing.

“Once again, we are hugely grateful to all the clubs, centres and volunteers around the UK, who have dedicated so much time and effort to make these events happen - it simply wouldn’t be possible without your support.”

Ahead of the events, RYA Cymru Wales acting chief executive Mike Butterfield said: "It is great to see so many clubs in Wales opening their doors to give people the opportunity to try sailing through the month of May.

"RYA Cymru Wales are committed to trying to expand the opportunities to take part in sailing through schemes such as Push the Boat Out and our charity All Afloat."