Minister Simon Harris, officially opened Greystones Sailing Club's new premises on the South Pier in Greystones, County Wicklow this afternoon.
The Club, originally established in 1968, caters for over 350 members and is very much a family club, rooted in the Greystones community. Initially, sailing was confined to Mirror dinghies launched from a rubber mat rolled out on the shingle on North Beach with boats transported to and from the harbour on the tops of cars. The old clubhouse was built in the early 1970’s and has continued to be a part of the Greystones community since then. Now with the opening of the new facility, the club boasts over 100 dinghies and 20 keelboats and has one of the strongest junior sections of any club along the East Coast and is set to grow.
Speaking at the Official opening today, Commodore of Greystones Sailing Club, David Nixon said that “Greystones Sailing Club has moved to new, bigger and better facilities only a few hundred meters from where our club first began. We have moved, but our ethos of a family friendly, community based club still remains as strongly as it was when the club was first developed in the late 60’s. Our aim with our new facilities is to grow sailing in the community and the new clubhouse is the catalyst to drive that through our growing membership. We invite all Greystones families and anyone with an interest in sailing to contact us and see if sailing is for them. We are open for membership to anyone who thinks they might enjoy sailing. No experience is required and we now have a choice of sailing in dinghies and a growing fleet of keelboats who are often looking for crew, no matter how experienced they may be.”
Greystones Sailing Club prides itself as being part of the rich Greystones community and is aimed at family participation at all ages. Over the year's the club has had a huge growth in family membership with an increase of 40% this year compared to last. Greystones Sailing Club has the biggest junior section of any sailing club on the east coast with a programme each summer, that will train up to 200 children of all ages, throughout June, July and August this year. The thriving junior section has been a great lifeline for the club as it is through the junior’s, the club gets the rest of the family hooked – even the parents and adults who never thought they might like sailing, see what fun can be had and how exhilarating it can be.
David added that Greystones Sailing Club “offers any child and adult a sailing experience with our annual open “Try Sail” events where we invite anyone to come sailing and try it out to see if they like it. There is a great social side to the club too, with special food evenings and social events held regularly. We now also have a world class facility of Greystones Harbour Marina on our doorstep, which houses our growing keelboat fleet where 20 keelboats race twice weekly, compared to three years ago when we had just four boats. We are delighted to open our new fantastic facilities today and look forward to welcoming many more families and friends through our doors over the years to come.