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5 May 2005, 11:40 am
Shoreside Visitors Encouraged To 'Try Sailing'
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Skandia Cowes Week 2005
Cowes, Isle of Wight, Great Britain

Hundreds of visitors to this year's Skandia Cowes Week from 30 July-6 August will be able to take to the water for a free sailing lesson thanks to an initiative by Skandia and the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA).
The news was announced at a Cowes Combined Clubs' press lunch at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes yesterday.

Skandia, celebrating its eleventh year as title sponsor of the event, has employed the services of the Cowes-based UKSA to provide daily 'Try Sailing' taster sessions for the full eight days of the regatta.

Anyone over eight years old will qualify for the sessions and those who sign up will be taken by RIB from Cowes Yacht Haven to the designated teaching area. This is likely to vary depending on the wind and tide conditions each day.

Each session will last for an hour and will involve the UKSA instructors in three Colgate Keelboats enabling up to fifteen people to get a taste of what it is like to sail.

'Our key objectives for our Set Sail programme are to make sailing more accessible; grow the sport's reach and enrich people's lives,' says Skandia's sponsorship manager, Tim SEWELL. 'This initiative ticks all the boxes and we're delighted that, through the UKSA, we are able to offer this fantastic opportunity to some of the many non-sailors who come along to the event.'

The sessions will run from 1030-1630 hours local time from 30 July-6 August. The UKSA will be providing RIB transport, three sail boats, safety cover, tuition, buoyancy aids and insurance, as well as RYA-qualified instructors to run the lessons. The initiative will be promoted to visitors on Cowes Parade for the duration of the event.

'We trialled this activity in Australia at Skandia Geelong Week in January and it was a big hit with visitors there,' says SEWELL. 'We hope we get a similar response from the visitors to Skandia Cowes Week and, who knows, maybe a few will get the sailing bug and become future competitors in the main event.'

Additional details about the Skandia/UKSA 'Try Sailing' initiative will shortly be posted on the Skandia Cowes Week Website.

Peta Stuart-Hunt. Image:© Polly Durrant
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