SAILING fans have shown their support for Team GB’s Olympic stars.

Members of the West Yorkshire Scouts-run water sports centre at Green Withens, near Ripponden, joined with sailing clubs all over the UK by taking part in the national Push the Boat Out day.

The event, promoted by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), was held to show support for Team GB’s sailors, who will be some of the first competitors in the two-week Games.

An open invitation was sent to explorers, scouts, guides and leaders, in a bid to get as many boats and dinghies on the water at the same time as possible.

More than 40 people from across West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and further afield, attended for a day of water activity.

Craft available included rowing boats, kayaks, open canoes and Bellboats, as well as sailing dinghies and windsurfers.

Events included a Regatta, comprising two handicap races for dinghies, and two races for open canoes.

A spokesman for the centre said: “For many years sailing has been our most successful Olympic sport.

“While at the Beijing Olympics we won more medals for cycling there were a lot more events, and in many of these several competitors are allowed from each country.

“However, in sailing in 2008 there were only eleven events, in these Team GB won six medals, including four gold, one silver and one bronze, an impressive haul of six out of the 33 available, as well as achieving a fourth and two sixth places.

“The target in the 2012 Games held at Weymouth is to match or improve on the 2008 results.

“The aim of Push the Boat Out was to encourage newcomers to join in, as well as helping lapsed sailors rediscover their enjoyment of the sport.”

For more details about the RYA, including information about where to take up sailing and about Olympic sailing and the UK team look at Sail for Gold on