SAILING: Draycote Water Sailing Club

Lorraine Leahy and Warren Yates have learned to sail at Draycote
Lorraine Leahy and Warren Yates have learned to sail at Draycote
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Learn to sail with new course starting on Tuesday, April 15

A couple who were inspired to try sailing for the first time during London 2012 admit they have discovered a whole new life they never knew existed after learning the ropes at Draycote Water Sailing Club last autumn.

Now, as Draycote Water SC invites you to find out how you and your family can get afloat in Warwickshire this year, Warren Yates and Lorraine Leahy from Kenilworth are urging everyone to follow their lead and take advantage of the opportunity to learn to sail.

The couple are looking forward to enjoying their inaugural summer as fully-fledged sailing converts having first enjoyed a taster session and then tackled their RYA Start Sailing course at Draycote last October.

Their enthusiasm for the sport was sparked after taking advantage of free try sailing sessions being run by the RYA, sailing’s national governing body, on the beach at Weymouth during the last few days of the Olympic sailing regatta. A yachting flotilla holiday with friends in Greece last year affirmed their interest, before a call to Draycote Water SC changed their lives forever.

Draycote Water SC’s next adult RYA Start Sailing course gets underway on Tuesday 15 April, with further courses taking place every month until October. The club is also inviting people to try sailing for FREE on Saturday 17 May, as part of RYA Push the Boat Out weekend, with another free kids-only Open Day on Saturday 12 July.

Warren said: “Draycote’s Start Sailing course was extremely enjoyable and very well run. This is a pastime that has more than its fair share of terminology and technicalities, not to mention an awful lot of strings and ropes to pull and tie.

“The way the instructors simplified and conveyed information in a fun way was fantastic. Rather than being bamboozled in the classroom for long periods, the instructors really maximise your time on the water, which is when it really all sinks in and your confidence grows. At the end of the course I felt a great sense of achievement and knew I was hooked, Lorraine was the same.

“Finding a shared interest and something we can do together has been great. Sailing’s a lot more physical than I ever thought so hopefully it will help keep us fit too. Getting to meet people and make new friends has been an extra bonus. We now bore the hell out of our non-sailing friends talking in our new language!”

To enable them to keep honing their skills over the winter, the pair took advantage of a special club discount giving them access to use Draycote’s own fleet of boats under the watchful eye of the club’s training team.

Now they are looking forward to making the most of the many other innovative ways the club keeps people interested and involved in the sport, including social Friday night sailing and start racing courses, as the weather gets warmer.

Draycote Water SC is a recognised RYA Training Centre meaning it conforms to the highest standards of quality and safety.

RYA Start Sailing introduces people to the basics and gives them the best first experience in the sport, while also providing opportunities for them to then stay involved and keep improving their skills at friendly, welcoming sailing clubs.

RYA Push the Boat Out weekend is a nationwide event that will see hundreds of sailing clubs across the country opening their gates for local people to come and ‘have a go’ at sailing with an experienced hand.

For full details of everything going on at Draycote Water SC this year, and how you can get involved, visit