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Ullswater Sailing School is part of

Learn to sail with us on beautiful Ullswater. Ullswater Sailing School, which is part of Ullswater Yacht Club, runs a full range of courses to suit all ages and experiences -  whether you are a complete novice or an accomplished sailor who wishes to polish your skills. We have a superb fleet of boats (16) to suit all ages and experience levels including Toppers, Picos, Comets, Fevas, Bahias and Laser Stratos. Our programme runs from May until October with something available most weeks. There are great clubhouse facilities, including changing rooms, and ample parking. Please contact our Sailing Development Officer to book your course or learn more about the courses and experiences available. Powerboat experiences and training are available too.

Are you a pupil, parent, teacher or governor at a local school? Do you think pupils at your school would be interested in sailing at UYC, during the day as a school activity, and/or on a weekday evening? If so we’d like to talk to you. Ullswater Sailing School is delighted to be part  of the RYA's OnBoard programme which aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing in the UK over a ten year period. We can tailor a sailing experience to the needs of your school or group, all run by fully qualified instructors, just get in touch...

To find out more, contact our Sailing Development Officer on 07900855812, email sdo@ullswateryachtclub.org


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 Another proud day for UYC - we are officially one of the top five RYA clubs in the country. We have been shortlisted for the RYA’s Club of the Year Award as the winner of the ‘Increasing Participation’ category. The overall winner from the five finalists will be announced at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, March 4. Sailing Secretary Julie Archer put in all the hard work on the club submission and found out this week we had got through to the final five. 

The awards are split into five categories: Innovation, Inclusivity, Facility Development. Increasing Participation and Communications. The RYA Honours and Awards Panel has selected five finalist clubs, one from each of the categories. The ‘Increasing Participation’ category acknowledges a club that has delivered the most impactful participation project, the outcomes of which are attracting and retaining new participants and growing their membership.

Commodore Peter Lewis said: “This is a real honour for our club and an acknowledgement of all the work our volunteers have put into attracting newcomers to sailing. We are very proud to be part of the RYA and delighted to receive an award for our efforts to increase participation in sailing and grow our membership.” 

Julie’s winning submission highlights the efforts that have gone on over the past year into getting newcomers to sailing on the water and encouraging new members to join the club including:

Penrith Show:  200 people (68 families) to the stand, to try shore sailing, find out about the club and give their contact details.
I amTeam GB Da
y, pictured left: In August in celebration of the Rio Olympics we delivered 507 half hour taster sessions. Over 1000 people visited the site; one family joined on the day and approximately 70 people signed up to the Go Sailing project. 

Go Sailing sessions for adults: Started in September 2016, by the end of week one it was fully booked and at the end of the first 8 scheduled sessions 54 people had attended once, 34 people have completed 6 x 2 hour sessions and the next six sessions for 2017 are almost fully booked.

Also featured is the work of our Sailing Development Officer to recruit new participants and deliver RYA courses and tasters using our volunteers. This role has enabled us to deliver a further 82 taster sessions; RYA Level 1 & 2 courses to 37 non-members; we have run a series of summer clubs Big Splash and Little Splash to get children on the water having fun (70% of children attended this were new to sailing), and a Friday night Sailing Youth Club for local children.

The awards ceremony is at 4pm on Saturday, March 4 at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace and we hope as many members as possible will be there to cheer on the club. (Sue Giles 3.2.17)


The Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards

Ullswater Sailing School Principal and longstanding Ullswater Yacht Club member David Clarke, 55, has been honoured in the nationwide nautical initiative, The Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards.

David, a qualified Royal Yachting Association senior instructor and coach, was nominated for his outstanding service to sailing - setting up Ullswater Sailing School which since inception has trained more than 1,200 people.The school provides a tailored sailing experience from qualified instructors to schools and groups.   

To reward his enthusiasm and dedication, Old Pulteney has presented David with a Maritime Heroes Awards certificate and bottle of its award-winning 12-year-old Single Malt.

David will now be one of the thirty shortlisted sailing stars going through to the competition finals and if successful he will win £2,000, a commemorative trophy and a bottle of Old Pulteney 21-Year-Old.


Go Sailing picture album

See an album of pictures by Paul O'Hara from one of our September Go Sailing sessions on the Ullswater Yacht Club website. This is the link:


Dozens of wannabe sailors Go Sailing 

Instructor Anne Noble,left, explains rigging a Laser Bahia at Ullswater Yacht Club watched by Go Sailing participants

Dozens of wannabe adult dinghy sailors have taken up Ullswater Yacht Club’s offer to ‘Go Sailing’ at special discounted Saturday morning learn-to-sail sessions at the club. The sessions are part of UYC’s Go Sailing Project for anyone over 14 who wants to find out what it is like to sail on Ullswater. The project, funded by UYC and Sport England and run by the club’s Ullswater Sailing School, is being held on Saturdays, 10am-noon, in September and October costing just £10 per person with instruction, kit, and boats all included.

“Ullswater Sailing School is always very busy running sessions for children but we are very keen to offer the chance to sail on our beautiful lake to adults as well. Why should the kids have all the fun?” said Sailing School principal David Clarke. “The success of the project, with more than 50 people taking part already, shows that adults are just as keen to learn,” he added. “And there’s the benefit of a discount in membership fees for Go Sailing participants if they decide to join the club.”

He said that the sessions for this year are full and bookings are now being taken for the start of the sailing season next year.  The same cut-price Saturday morning sessions will be held in 2017 from April until August. See story below for details - Sue Giles (27.9.16)


The day the world came to sail with us

Hundreds of visitors helped Ullswater Yacht Club celebrate Team GB’s Olympic success in Rio as part of the nation’s biggest ever sports day on Saturday, August 27. At the club’s I Am Team GB Day, they had a go at a range of different sports on and off the water and got to meet Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Philip Hindes as well as two young sailors who are tipped for Olympic success in Tokyo in 2020, Anna Carpenter and Jack Wetherell.

The I Am Team GB Day was promoted by ITV and the National Lottery as a celebration of the Olympics and to encourage everyone in the country to take part in a sporting activity. Sports clubs all over the country ran free taster activities and ITV channels were turned off for an hour from 9.30am to encourage everyone to get off the sofa. The UYC day was the Flagship event for the North-west and the only sailing venue in the country and the club was thrilled to be able to celebrate Team GB as the top sailing country.

The club’s Ullswater Sailing School ran free sailing taster sessions and instructors were kept busy all day taking visitors out for a sail in the club’s fleet of training boats. In the bright sunshine, the wannabe sailors just kept on coming and by the end of the day a total of 490 people had been out sailing. Also 17 visitors with limited mobility were taken for a sail in two special Royal Yachting Association Sailability boats.

“The response was amazing. We think that this is a record in this country for the number of people taken out for taster sailing sessions in one day,” said David Clarke, who is Ullswater Sailing School Principal. “Our instructors and their helpers were terrific and just kept on going.” He said he was proud that all the instructors and their helpers, pictured above,  were ‘home grown’. They are all club members and most of them learned to sail at the club as children and have gone on to get RYA qualifications and are now totally committed to passing their love of sailing on Ullswater to others. The fleet of 17 boats being used for the sessions were all from Ullswater Sailing School, an RYA Training Centre and part of the OnBoard Scheme, which was set up just over three years ago.

And he was full of praise for the two members of the British Sailing Team, 470 sailor Anna Carpenter and Laser sailor Jack Wetherell who came to support the event and helped by helming boats for taster session visitors as well as taking gold medal cyclist Philip Hindes out for a sail.

Also on offer on the water was SUP (stand up paddleboarding) with Ullswater Paddleboarding, a canoe polo demonstration and taster sessions from the Penrith Canoe Polo Club and a foiling catamaran from Outlaw Sailing. On land, British Canoeing’s high-tech ergo canoe paddling machine attracted lots of attention and touch rugby taster sessions and challenge games were run by Cumbria Rugby Union.

Many visitors spent the whole day at the club enjoying the sun in their free I Am Team GB T-shirts. They sampled the delicious home made cakes baked by the club’s own ‘Mary Berry’ Lilian Adams and her team, had their pictures taken with modest Philip Hindes who has two gold medals for the cycling team sprint (one from London 2012 as well) and visited the RNLI stall set up by the Penrith Ladies Lifeboat Guild. They also had the chance to watch UYC sailors in action in a series of races.

Ullswater Yacht Club Commodore Peter Lewis said that he was delighted with the turn-out. “It was great to see so many visitors at the club and so many taking the opportunity to see what it is like to sail on our lake. We hope that they will come back and learn to sail here.” He added: “We couldn’t have done it without the help of the dozens of club members who volunteered their time to make it all run smoothly. Our thanks go to all of them for making the event such a success.” He added that the success of the event was even more remarkable because the club was severely affected by the December 2015 floods in which the level of the lake rose by nine feet. The UYC clubhouse was badly damaged and unusable and only re-opened in June after being restored by a team of volunteer club members.

Ullswater Sailing School is currently running special offers on ’learn to sail’ sessions, see the story below. (Sue Giles 31.8.16)


GO SAILING - Special Learn to Sail sessions for adults

Why should the kids have all the fun? 

If you have ever fancied the idea of sailing, now could be the time to give it a go. Learn to sail under the friendly expert guidance of a qualified Royal Yachting Association sailing instructor from Ullswater Sailing School. Ullswater Sailing School runs a range of RYA courses with something for everyone – all ages and all levels of ability. Now our Go Sailing Project is offering special sessions for anyone over 14 who wants to find out what it is like to sail on our beautiful lake.


* Thirty-minute Go Sailing free taster sessions

* Go Sailing Project Learn to Sail sessions: 

10am – noon, selected Saturdays  April to August 2017.  Cost of session £10 per person, instruction, kit, boats all included. This is funded by UYC and Sport England. The offer is specific and if participants cannot make the project days/ times we may be able to offer an alternative but they will not be part of the project and so will cost more.  Following this, if Go Sailing participants would like to join as members they will have 50% of the cost of up to 6 sessions deducted from their membership (Up to a maximum of £30). 

* RYA Level 1 & 2 Courses

* PLEASE NOTE: This offer has been so popular that sessions for 2016 are now fully booked. Please contact us if you are interested in next year's sessions. It is essential to pre-book, contact tel 07900 855 812, sdo@ullswateryachtclub.org


Blue and yellow at Penrith Show

Our blue and yellow themed stand at Penrith Show on July 23 attracted loads of interest and everywhere you looked were children with our yellow balloons. The weather stayed fine and we were able to leave the Bahia and Pico sails up all day, you could see the Bahia sail from all over the showground. A great attraction was getting the children to climb in the boats and pretend they were sailing while their parents took photographs. The instructors really did us proud. (Sue Giles 26.7.16)


New Youth Club success

Ullswater Sailing School's new venture for 9-16-year olds - a Friday night Youth Club, held its first session on Friday, July 22. The weather was perfect and the youngsters,club members and visitors, had a great night on and off the water. Our sailing instructors also enjoyed themselves and loved having such an enthusiastic group. They would like to thank all the parents who helped out during the session.Youth Club is on again this Friday, July 29, 6-8.30pm.

Come and have a go at sailing on our beautiful lake. All equipment is provided and the cost is just £8 per night or £6 if you book three or more and the sessions are for all, beginners or advanced sailors. Bring your friends and enjoy learning to sail with our fully-qualified instructors and having fun on and off the water. Booking is essential, contact sdo@ullswateryachtclub.org tel 07900855812. (Sue Giles  25.7.16)

Violet helps out with Penrith Show goodies

Eleven-year-old dinghy sailor Violet Simpson, pictured above, is helping Ullswater Yacht Club launch its first ever trade stand at Penrith Show. Violet, who lives near Penrith, is the club’s ‘cover girl’ appearing on the front of the newly-published brochure for Ullswater Sailing School which will be distributed from the UYC stand at Penrith Show on July 23.

Violet also helped with promotional material by working on handwritten lettering and drawings for balloons, pens and postcards which will be given out on the day.

“We have never had a stand at Penrith Show before but we thought it was an ideal way to reach the local community and let people know what we can offer at Ullswater Yacht Club,” said UYC Commodore Peter Lewis. “We are grateful to Violet for helping with the designs.”

Visitors to the stand will be able to find out about the range of courses on offer at the club’s Ullswater Sailing School, including a day of free sailing taster sessions on August 27 and special discounted sailing lessons for adults as well as a new Friday night Youth Club for 9-16 year olds and Splash Out, a summer holiday sailing school being held throughout August.

Topper sailor Violet is a regular at the club with her older sister Olivia and brother Louis, mum Sue and dad Mark. The delightful shot of her enjoying sailing her Topper with her friend, which is also Ullswater Sailing School's website profile picture, was taken at the club’s annual Sail Camp by club member Rebecca Bairstow. Visit UYC at trade stand SM69 at Penrith Show. (Sue Giles 12.7.16)


'Charley is an enormous asset to the club'

UYC member Andrew Bailey, left, is a relative newcomer to sailing so he had a private training session with our Sailing Development Officer Charley Steel. He and his friend Ian were so impressed with the session that they contacted Ullswater Sailing School principal David Clarke to let him know:

“Just a note to express my delight at last week’s private training session with Charley through UYC and the Sailing School. Both Ian and I were extremely impressed and I would like to make the following comments: 
* Charley made booking very easy and FLEXIBLE! We put the session off twice owing to a lack of wind, and that really was not a problem to her.
* She spent time before the session and at the start of the session checking exactly what we wanted from the time we had.
* She followed appropriate health and safety procedures and also started with a quick safety briefing
* The delivery of the training, and methods were fantastic. I wish we had had more time.
* Her communication skills were fantastic.

 “But what shone through most was her enthusiasm for both the job, the club, the sailing school and her love of sailing. She really is an enormous asset to the club and I personally hope she will be around for years to come. Both Ian and I have said we would like to do more training, sometime later in the summer once we have had time to practice just some of what she taught us.”


Push the Boat Out Day, May 14

Andy Featherstone, of Church Brough, near Brough, and his daughters Sarah, 10, front right, and Eleanor, 8, front left, get ready to go for a sail with Jayne Golden, left, helped by Sailing Development Officer Charley Steel.

Ullswater Yacht Club really ‘pushed the boat’ out on Saturday, May 14, with a busy day of free taster sessions. The club was taking part in the Royal Yachting Association’s Push The Boat Out Campaign to encourage more people to take to the water. More than 40 people from all over the area went afloat at the club to have a taste of what it is like to sail on Cumbria’s most beautiful lake.

The visitors, mostly family groups, were taken for a sail by RYA qualified instructors Jayne Golden, Phil Brooks and Matt Smith in boats from Ullswater Sailing School’s training fleet. The visitors included the Featherstone family of Church Brough, near Brough. Andy and two of his daughters Sarah, 10, and Eleanor, 8, enjoyed a sail in a Laser Stratos with instructor Jayne Golden. Mum Jackie and six-year-old Grace, who said she was looking forward to being old enough to have a go, watched from the shore.

“We had a really busy day and it was a great success. The weather was ideal, sunshine and just enough wind for our guests to experience what it is like to sail on Ullswater. It was good to see so many visitors enjoying themselves at the club,” said the club’s Sailing Development Officer Charley Steel, who co-ordinated the event. (Sue Giles 16.5.16)

 They’re off – from left, sailing instructor Jayne Golden, Sarah, Eleanor and Andy Featherstone


Meet our new Sailing Development Officer

When 28-year-old sailing instructor Charlotte Steel visited Ullswater Yacht Club to take part in competitions as a young Topper sailor, she never dreamed that one day she would be working there.

But now she is…Charlotte, or Charley as she likes to be known, has just been appointed Sailing Development Officer, teaching at the club’s Ullswater Sailing School. She is a senior RYA instructor and a race coach and just can’t wait to encourage more budding sailors to get on the water at Ullswater.

Charley, of Rochdale, was encouraged to sail from the age of 11 by her late father, Graham who was a keen dinghy sailor. A member of Elton and Hollingworth Lake Sailing Clubs, both near her home, she became a competitive sailor herself, racing a Topper, a Laser and then several different two-handers. She raced in boats in Europe and America, enjoyed coaching, and as a senior sailing instructor worked in Greece and Turkey.

Now her ‘office’ is UYC, based on the Eastern shore of the lake about two miles from Pooley Bridge and her work involves teaching on the lake she enjoyed racing on as a youngster. She will be developing the scope of the Sailing School which is already used by schools, youth and community groups and individuals wanting to learn to sail or improve their skills.

“I took part in Topper Open meetings at Ullswater and have been to Holiday Week twice. I have always liked sailing here and it is wonderful to be back now and to be able to work here,” she said.

Ullswater Sailing School has a fleet of dinghies, to suit all ages and all levels of experience, three Toppers, six Picos, two Fevas, two Bahias, and two Laser Stratos and runs a range of different RYA-approved courses. For instruction, Charley is joined by a team of fully-qualified RYA instructors, mostly club members who themselves learned to sail on the lake.

Ullswater Sailing School Principal David Clarke said: “We are delighted that Charley has joined us. Her enthusiasm and commitment shines through and we are sure she will be a great asset to the Sailing School and UYC.”
(Sue Giles 5.4.16)

Charley Steel with Club Secretary Marion Marshall and Ullswater Sailing School Principal David Clarke

Lovers of Ullswater learn to sail

Robert and Shireen Gale spent a weekend in October 2015 learning the basics of sailing on an Ullswater Sailing School RYA Introduction to Sailing Course. The couple, from South Shields, are newcomers to sailing and joined UYC just last year. Robert explained:

“The reason Shireen and I joined was because we have been regular visitors to Ullswater for many years with our motorhome and often considered buying a boat. In fact, we liked Ullswater so much that we were married in St Peters Church, Martindale in October 2014. We chartered the Ullswater Steamer ‘Raven’ to get the guests from The Sun Inn at Pooley Bridge to Howtown for the service and back to the Sun Inn for the reception.

 “We have both been scuba divers from many years but recently gave this up as we felt the need to move on to a new hobby. Initially, we bought a kayak and while paddling near the yacht club, we thought we might give sailing a go.

“We had a great weekend learning the basics with Wendy but we are aware of the need for practical experience and more extensive training before buying a boat of our own. We would hope to develop our skills during the coming season. I am bound to say that, during the few visits near the end of last season, we were made most welcome by members and officials and we look forward to getting over to Ullswater regularly during the current year.”

Above: Robert and Shireen Gale get to know the Laser Stratos with the help of senior instructor Wendy Lewis


Ullswater Sailing School receives RYA OnBoard award

The presentation of the OnBoard award by Alan Jones, RYA Sailing Development Officer, left, to David Clarke, Principal, Ullswater Sailing School, right, watched by, from left, instructors Edmund Clarke, Rick Boyce and Julie Archer