Our fourth and most successful Push The Boat Out event at Up River Yacht Club to date:
- Record number of visitors
- Record numbers went sailing
- Record number sign up for membership on the day
- Record number express a strong interest in joining
Though the day was cloudy and grey, even starting with a little drizzle, this didn’t stop a steady stream of visitors arriving at Up River Yacht Club. A big queue of people waiting to go sailing soon built up.
With 9 boats taking 15 minute sessions, the day was truly hectic with a fantastic slip way crew getting people safely in and out of dinghies in quite challenging conditions. It was breezy, with several of our helms working hard to keep their boats upright! This meant only a limited number of visitors could try helming during brief periods when the wind speed allowed. Although, with winds gusting up to 17 knots, it did make for some very brisk sailing which delighted many of our more exuberant visitors.
Getting the right people in the right boats was a closely coordinated effort from the booking team, bouyancy aid station, slipway ‘runner’ and slipway co-ordinator who made this possible. Bearing in mind the relentless pace meant a boat was landing its passengers, then getting the right people aboard and settled in place, and then leaving again before the next dinghy returned, every two and a half minutes or so… it was pretty full on!
Our club ambassadors worked as greeters, circulated and spend time helping guests and especially making people feel welcome. We can report that we were given some fantastic feed back.
Shore side, we had a steady stream of customers at the bar, a busy kitchen café selling drinks and cakes with a BBQ keeping visitors and ‘the troops’ fed all afternoon
This event also allowed the club to engage with the local community. Just one example; a lady who arrived with the younger members of her family. She had always lived near the river, but had never been in a boat before. Finally plucking up courage to go, having spent all afternoon thinking about it, took to the water in one of the last sails of the day. Upon returning she told me she really enjoyed it ,even though terrified throughout! Walking ashore dry, and with a beaming smile to the rapturous applause of her family, the lady in question repeated she had an excellent day and was so pleased she took the opportunity to go sailing with Up River YC.
From a club viewpoint, the huge turn out of members to spread the workload was outstanding. Even the post event take-down and clear-up was done with a smile. The post event debrief was made even better by the news that Dave Willsmore and Alan Parker on the membership desk had had a very good day, both signing up new memberships and from folk who expressed a keen interest.