By ROBYN BRISTOW
Local sailing clubs are growing fast after Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup win in Bermuda last year.
Adventurous Cantabrian’s are signing up in big numbers to enjoy the freedom and excitement of sailing, but there are not enough boats for the budding sailors.
In a bid to cater for the growing numbers, the 10 local clubs have joined forces to run a Sailing Boat Swap Meet at the Waimakariri Sailing Club on Sunday, August 26 from 11am.
Clubs are seeking sailing boats, dinghies, sailing gear, kayaks and paddle boards to buy and sell.
Volunteers will be on hand to check boats and offer advice, hopefully introducing the seller to interested buyers.
It is hoped that people with boats in their shed might consider donating them to the meet, while those wanting to sell could be introduced to a buyer.
Sam Jones, from the Waimakariri Sailing Club, says seeing more families hitting the water has been encouraging for all local clubs.
‘We are seeing kids, adults and families signing up for learn to sail programmes, and ex-sailors wanting to either get back into sailing or introduce their families to the sport they love.
“We do know that there are boats in sheds, garages and barns that are still loved but maybe not used anymore and we need to get those boats into new hands.”
Canterbury has several great sailing locations from Timaru to Akaroa, including Pigeon Bay, Lyttelton Harbour, the Christchurch Estuary and Waimakariri River.
Sam says all offer a different sailing experience, and there are several clubs sailors can choose to join to enjoy these locations.
For those wanting to learn to sail, all sailing clubs offer courses in a friendly and safe environment.
Sam says if people already have a boat, the Waimakariri Sailing Club would love to see them come along.
“We would love to see more boats on the water.
“We have sailors from aged 7 to over 80 who need some more competition, so please contact us and come for a sail.”
He says boats and gear can be registered by visiting the Learn to Sail and Coaching Canterbury page on Facebook, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to sailwaimak.org.nz.
All proceeds from any donated gear that is sold will be distributed to Canterbury sailing clubs.