SAILING instructors have been preparing for the summer working with new boats funded by a grant.

Teesdale Sailing and Watersports Club, at Grassholme Reservoir, near Middleton in Teesdale, updated its fleet using funding from Teesdale Area Action Partnership.

Each boat needed to be unpacked and prepared ready for the junior sailing courses the club will run from early May.

Dinghy Instructor Richard Lundie said: “It is an exciting time for us at the moment. We have been unable to do any sailing instruction for over a year, and now with new boats and the prospect of a full summer of sailing we are all raring to go."

Mark Meadows, who previously ran junior sailing courses in the Midlands, moved to Barnard Castle in 2018 and is now actively involved with the junior OnBoard Club at Grassholme Reservoir.

He said: “Some of the children can be a bit nervous at first, but once they get on the water they really enjoy themselves."

The club will run six week courses for beginners and improvers on Saturdays, starting on May 8.

“These courses will be repeated over the summer so there are plenty of opportunities for youngsters to have a go at this exhilarating sport,” said Imogen Gibb, the RYA Principal at the club and course organiser.

The OnBoard Club courses cover the essentials of how to rig a boat, safety, weather, theory and of course, the best bit, the practise of sailing itself.

Teesdale SWC has a large team of instructors who instructors give their time free and the use of boats, wetsuits and buoyancy aids is free.

There is a small charge for those who want certificates and logbooks that have to be bought in from the RYA.

Whilst the youngsters are having fun the club says it has not forgotten their parents and carers as they get the opportunity to learn about sailing and go on the water as well. Sailing is a great Covid safe outdoor activity in which the whole family can participate.

“We hope that at the end of the course the children and parents will have enjoyed themselves so much that they become club members and continue to sail. We are one of the cheapest sailing clubs in the country to join,” Club Commodore Anthony Tubbs commented.

“With an adult membership starting at £96, and free junior membership and boat use, it is amazing value for money.”

Email abut the junior OnBoard Club, learning to sail or club membership.