As the May Bank Holiday approaches, watersports clubs and training centres from Donegal to Cork and Dublin to Galway have joined forces to offer a unique host of free activities for children, teenagers and adults alike.
Sail Spree – an initiative developed by the ISA three years ago to encourage people of all ages out on to the water – will run from the 3rd to the 5th of May in over 25 venues around the country. On offer will be various free taster sessions in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.
Many clubs will also provide plenty of entertainment back on dry land with BBQs, demonstrations and talks across a range of different topics. There, you'll get to meet club members and find out how easy it really is for you, and your family and friends to get involved in watersports.
Commenting on the event ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon stated “We want local communities to come together over the bank holiday, have fun, and discover why tens of thousands of people in Ireland are already avid sailors. Our coastline and lakes are envied across the world and provide us with unlimited capabilities for recreation. We hope that opening our doors for Sail Spree will encourage more people to try something new and exciting that’s available right on their doorstep”.
While pre-booking is not essential for all of the venues it is advised to contact your chosen club to avoid disappointment. For more information about Sail Spree events in your area go to the Sail Spree website www.sailspree.ie
Leinster will be alive with Sail Spree events happening in counties Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford and Westmeath. In Dublin, clubs on either side of the Liffey will have their doors open to the public to enable water lovers of all ages to try a new sport. Participants will be able to have a go at sailing either big or small boats in Howth, Sutton, Poolbeg and Dun Laoghaire. Or why not see the city from a completely different perspective and take a sail, kayak or powerboat on the River Liffey with Adventure Training Ireland. Sailing lessons will be available along the coast in Greystones, Wicklow, Courtown and Wexford or further inland on Blessington Lake or on Lough Ree in Athlone.
Moving south in to Munster and why not visit one of the many clubs and training centres in Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Limerick for your free adventure on the water. Join Heir Island Sailing School on their traditional lobster boat, sail up the Shannon Esturary with Foynes Yacht Club or if windsurfing is more your thing then get down to the stunning Oysterhaven Bay just outside Kinsale.
Connaught has a number of clubs and schools joining in with the Sail Spree celebrations. Galway Bay will be abuzz with activity with a full sailing schedule as well as face painting, a BBQ and live music. While both Bellacragher Bay Boat Club in Achill and Mayo Sailing Club in Westport will host their Sail Spree events encouraging locals to get out on the water and enjoy a taste of what life is like as a sailor.
Not forgetting our most northern clubs in Donegal, Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School and Moville Boat Club will both be offering lots of free on the water activities for all ages.
Pre-booking is not essential for all of the venues but it is advised to contact your chosen club to avoid disappointment on the day. For more information about Sail Spree events in your area go to the Sail Spree website www.sailspree.ie