Visitors to the Lorient Race Village have a chance to experience the sport of sailing for themselves thanks to two Try Sailing initiatives operating during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in the city.
The Volvo Ocean Race Academy Try Sailing programme swung into operation this week with the first of a series of schools and youth groups taking to the water in the race’s fleet of Ludic dinghies.
Academy manager Katie Hearsum said Try Sailing had been well received in Lorient with plenty of schools signing up to offer their pupils a chance to visit the Volvo Ocean Race and try sailing for themselves.
“This is a sailing city but not everyone has tried out sailing for themselves,” she said. “The first school groups to use the Ludics had great fun and everyone came off the water smiling.
Adult visitors to the race village also have a chance to get afloat in a fleet of six Farr 30 race boats, branded up to match the Volvo Open 70 fleet. Aspiring sailors register online and are provided with waterproofs and a life jacket to go afloat.
Manager of the initiative, Jérome Lapouge said the early feedback had been very positive, with the fleet now booked out for the entire stopover.
“It’s entirely free to the public every afternoon from 1400 until 2000 and we operate one-hour sessions. We can take seven people per boat so that is 42 people an hour getting a taste of sailing.
“Most people know nothing about sailing so this is an introduction,” he added. “They get to spend an hour in Lorient’s harbour and take part in the manoeuvres.