Interest in boating soars | News | Boating Business

NEWSInterest in boating soarsBy Rebecca Strong24/06/2022Save articleThe number of people participating in watersports has almost doubled since 2020, according to new research.The annual Watersports Participation Survey 2021 shows that around 11.7 million people took part in one or more boating activities more than once in 2021. The activities which showed the biggest growth included personal watercraft, paddleboarding and dinghy sailing.The number of people enjoying watersports has soared since the pandemic Photo: RYAThe survey covers the period from October 2020 to September 2021 when the UK was dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and interest in socially-distanced activities soared.“During 2021, more than ever leisure time was being spent outdoors and with the severe restrictions on international travel, lots of people headed to the coast to make the most of the good weather,” said RYA director of sport development, Rob Clark.“Although the report tells us that the number of regular participants has remained almost static, we’ve seen boating organisations, marinas and retailers remaining busy during the pandemic as they accommodate newcomers to the sport.”The survey followed participants in core boating activities of small sail boat racing, other small sail boat activities, yacht racing, yacht cruising, power boating, general motor boating/cruising, canal boating, canoeing, rowing/sculling, windsurfing, water skiing and wakeboarding and using personal watercraft.Keeping the interest goingThe challenge now is in sustaining the interest piqued by the pandemic. “The survey highlights an opportunity for us to capitalise on the fact that people have been trying new activities afloat,” said Rob.“Hopefully by supporting our clubs and centres we’ll be able to create opportunities for newcomers to get back on the water and hopefully become regular participants.”

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