As COVID-19 makes more and more people take domestic breaks and holidays this summer instead of travelling abroad, the Great British staycation offers a prime opportunity for people to get kitted out and responsibly take to our waters.
British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry is today launching its new ‘Summer on the Water’ campaign, which aims to inspire boaters and water sports enthusiasts throughout the UK, to share their waterlust and discover incredible on-water opportunities and experiences on offer for all.
A recent survey* showed a 45% week-on-week increase in bookings for the UK, and also that 33% of British people intend to stay in the country for their summer breaks this year. Whether living by the coast or near inland waterways, a first timer or seasoned expert, the water offers something for everyone to enjoy this summer, including paddleboarding, motor cruising, surfing, kayaking, narrowboat cruising, and dinghy sailing.
After long periods of isolation and the pressures of lockdown, water sports can be fantastic for one’s physical and mental wellbeing, offering a real sense of freedom and exploration. In the most recent Watersports Participation Survey**, it was found that 67% of those taking part in boating and water sport activities do so to seek mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s clear that many people already agree taking to the water is a great idea, with the sale of SUPs reaching record numbers and RIBs selling out. Tony Jones from TheSUPco.com, the largest Stand Up Paddleboard specialist in the UK, says; ““We prepared for a surge in sales in the UK, but the sheer level of demand has far exceeded even our wildest expectations. While we still have good levels of stock of core lines and models, we are now offering pre-order on many other models which are due in 3-5 weeks. With team sports now off the cards for many, outdoor sports that by their very nature are socially distanced like paddleboarding have huge appeal.”
British Marine’s Summer on the Water campaign website www.summeronthewater.com showcases the fantastic variety of on-the-doorstep activities and experiences across Britain, as well as information for helping people to get afloat as easily as possible. It highlights how people can find locations which offer ‘pay and play’ facilities, and the companies that offer day boat hire, or holidays on the water, and hundreds of training centres which can be found on the RYA website http://www.rya.org.uk wheth,er at sea or on the UK’s many miles of inland waterways. The short campaign film aims to inspire all through capturing the drama, energy and beauty of the coastlines and waterways of Britain in a way that is bright, fun and relatable. Everyone is encouraged to share their experiences using the campaign hashtag #SummerOnTheWater and inspire others, keeping waterlust alive.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, comments: “Summer on the Water shows British people the rich variety of experiences that can be enjoyed right here on our own doorstep with on-water experiences to suit everybody and all budgets. Being afloat or just near the water offers many physical and mental health benefits and could be the perfect tonic for many after weeks mainly confined to their homes and gardens.
“We want the existing marine community and newcomers to boating and water sports to share their own experiences and in turn inspire others, whether that’s the feeling of accomplishment when stand up paddleboarding for the first time or the thrill of a breezy downwind sail.
“Being on the water brings a huge amount of fun and enjoyment. Those who are new to watersports will want to access it with the help of suitable safe and socially distanced ‘how to’ courses and experiences which our British Marine members are now able to offer. It’s great to enable everyone to get on the water responsibly whilst adhering to individual country government guidelines on travel, social distancing and hygiene requirements.”