'Have a Go' at Ocean Sports - No Experience Necessary

20 March 2012

This Saturday 24 March, Wellingtonians are being encouraged to try their hand at an ocean sport they have thought about doing but never took the step - sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, waka ama, surf paddle boarding or windsurfing.

All equipment and safety gear is provided and no experience is necessary. Participants need only bring warm casual clothing, which is certain to get wet, and a gold coin donation.

The fun is all part of the Wellington Ocean Water Sports Programme Open Day on Saturday, starting at 10.00am. Everyone is welcome.

The event is a partnership between Wellington City Council and the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, which runs the programme. Sport New Zealand granted the Council $300,000 over three years to establish programmes designed to get more Wellingtonians - particularly adults and 16-20 year olds - involved in ocean water sports.

All activities are based at either the Clyde Quay Marina or Freyberg Beach and places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

The Council's Sports and Events Portfolio Leader, Councillor John Morrison, says it's an ideal programme because it also offers ample opportunities after the Open Day for anyone wanting to pursue an ocean sport they enjoy.

"This is a great chance to get out on the water and find out what it's really like to sail a boat, kayak - or windsurf if you're feeling a little more adventurous," says Cr Morrison.

"You don't need any experience so there's no excuse for not giving it a go. For anyone who likes a particular sport we have a team of qualified instructors keen to get them out on the water on a regular basis."

The programme began in November 2011 with 21 students from Wellington College, Wellington Girls College and Wellington East Girls College taking part.

A 'Get on the Harbour Day' was held at the RPNYC Sailing Academy on Saturday 4 February with 119 students trying their hand at sailing, kayaking, waka ama, surf ski paddling and stand up paddle boarding.

The schools programme received a lot of positive feedback and is expected to develop significantly in the future.

For further information or to book your place, contact Matt Wood on (04) 939 6702 or ocean@rpnyc.org.nz.