Push the Boat Out 2017: sailing taster sessions available from 13-21 May

Free and low-cost sessions mean the whole family can take part in Push the Boat Out
Free and low-cost sessions mean the whole family can take part in Push the Boat Out

Over 200 sailing venues have already opened their gates to welcome thousands of people for the Royal Yachting Association's annual Push the Boat Out.

The nine-day event from 13-21 May offers free or low cost sailing and windsurfing sessions to people of all ages and abilities.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to have a go at a new sport," said Rio 2016 gold medallist Saskia Clark.

You can search for your local session with a special map on the RYA website.

Clark joined visitors at the Fishers Green Sailing Club and Marconi Sailing Club, two of the clubs taking part in her home county of Essex.

"It's been fantastic to see so many people turning up and trying sailing and windsurfing, " she added. "Make sure you find an event near you, jump in a boat and give it a go!"

Sarah was one such person to do just that, having her first sailing experience at Spinnaker Sailing Club in the New Forest.

"It was brilliant!" she said. "My advice to others would be to definitely try sailing.

"It's an amazing opportunity and you don't know where it might lead once you get started - you could be a natural and fall in love with it."

More than 90,000 people have taken part since the programme's initial launch in 2013, with hundreds becoming members of sailing clubs and signing up for further courses of instruction.

Wembley Sailing Club on London's Brent Reservoir offers the dramatic backdrop of the National Stadium
Wembley Sailing Club on London's Brent Reservoir offers the dramatic backdrop of the National Stadium

To sign up for Push the Boat Out, visit the RYA website and find your nearest participating sailing club or centre.

And to find out more about getting into sailing and other watersports, check out our Get Inspired guide.