Sailing club back on even keel after algae outbreak

OUT OF CHOPPY WATERS -- Sutton-in-Ashfield Sailing Club, based at Kings Mill Reservoir.
OUT OF CHOPPY WATERS -- Sutton-in-Ashfield Sailing Club, based at Kings Mill Reservoir.

The popular Sutton-in-Ashfield Sailing Club has vowed to make 2015 its most memorable year yet after an outbreak of blue-green algae left it on the shore for three months last summer.

The club, based at Kings Mill Reservoir, is re-launching with a bumper calendar to get sailors back on the water and make up for lost time.

It is even giving local people the chance to try sailing for free on Saturday 9th May, via its annual ‘have-a-go’ open day, which is part of the Royul Yachting Association’s (RYA) national Push The Boat Out festival.

If you already know you want to learn to sail, the club is also running two RYA Start Sailing courses, one from Monday 18th May and the second in September.

Last year, disaster struck when Ashfield District Council ordered all water-based activities on the reservoir to be suspended. “The algae had a huge impact on the club,” said Phil Dyne, the club’s commodore. “We had to cancel a large part of our summer racing series, and students on our courses couldn’t use the new skills they’d developed.”

The club’s free open day, which runs from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday 9th May, gives newcomers of all ages and abilities the perfect chance to try sailing.

All you need to get afloat are some warm clothes, soft-soled shoes and a waterproof. The club will provide everything else.

As well as sailing ‘tasters’ for complete rookies, there will be fun joyrides for the family, a dinghy-hiking competition and a demonstration of match racing.

Sailing is perceived as an expensive sport, but a family of four can be members of the Sutton club for £10.25 a month.