“Sailing must be the most underrated sport of all time. Although it does not have the instant gratification of motorised sport sought by adrenaline junkies or the forced mate-ship of team games, sailing has long term rewards that far exceed either. Non-sailors seem to view sailing with suspicion as some mysterious art-form that must be passed on genetically. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
SAILING AND CHILDREN
Sailing is simply one of those life skills, like riding a bicycle or swimming. It can be learnt in an hour or two for sheer enjoyment or perfected through Olympic training. The level is up to the individual. I often hear about today's kids being ADD, hyperactive or socially inept. Leave the Ritalin, play therapy & peer pressure behind & introduce them to sailing. They will seek their own pace and meet their own objectives. Sailing provides many challenges, great contentment and teaches the value of self discipline.
SAILING AND SUCCESS
Sailing does not require you to "fit in" or to be "chosen" for a team. You do not need good hand-eye co-ordination or to be fit. You can be any shape, size or age. It is a healthy, outdoor, water sport that builds confident and able young men and women. Think JFK, Ted Turner, Edward Heath, Prince Phllip, Ernesto Bertarelli, Thomas Lipton etc. Not successful men who sail, but rather sailors that became successful.
SAILING AND SELF GROWTH
Competitive sailing requires tactical and strategic thinking more than physical ability which is why older, more experienced sailors often hold the whip hand over the agile youngsters. Do not think "sailing school" or "ocean cruiser" or huge expense. Do not rush out and buy a boat or any "boat-y" gear. Do not think of romantic beaches. Think small, unsinkable, safe boats with sails that will effortlessly and silently propel you across the lake and back again… like magic.
If you enjoy sunshine, water, and outdoor activity, simply phone your local sailing club and they will be only too happy to welcome you to one of their "open days". You can easily have grasped the mechanics of sailing and be able to put this into practice within a couple of hours.
SAILING AND THE ADRENALINE RUSH!
Although I started out saying that sailing held no appeal for adrenalin junkies, I lied. Think windsurfing, kite-boarding, Hobie Cats, sports skiffs like the 49'er, Volvo 70's and the America's Cup. Totally on the edge or tame enough for Ouma, and everything in between. Sailing has it all."
- Nick Mace
(GUEST COMMENTARY from Scuttelbutt)
"Scuttelbutt" is an online newsletter for sailboat racing.