Why should you learn to sail in 2015?
Sailing in the UK has always been popular, not least because Britain once ruled the waves and we have one of the most developed sail training systems in the world through the Royal Yachting Association. In this guest blog, Lee Jackson, director of The Boating Hub makes the case for 2015 being the perfect year to learn to sail.
With the America’s Cup World Series coming to Portsmouth next year there will likely be increased interest in the sport of sailing, as more people are turned onto it by the sight of the new foiling AC45’s screaming around the harbour. Now has never been a better time to learn to sail, if only to beat the rush!
Sailing has a bit of a PR problem. It has always been tarred with the brush of ‘elitism’. This discourages ordinary people from trying out the sport because they’re under the illusion that it is too costly.
There is a general belief that you have to be well off to get into the sport, which really isn’t the case. For less than £2000 you can buy a decent sailing dinghy, gear, and learn to sail to enough competence that you won’t embarrass yourself or endanger others.
As with all sports, experience will teach you a lot, and after one or two short courses to literally learn the ropes will enable you to sail freely and safely out of your sailing club.
The UK has a largely unregulated sailing scene. This is fiercely defended by the Royal Yachting Association, which in turn provides one of the most comprehensive sailing certification schemes in the world.
In the UK you are never far from the sea, but also never more than an hour’s drive from a lake or river you can learn to sail upon. There are sailing clubs and schools all over which can take the complete novice and teach them to as high a standard as required. You might be a ten year old captivated by the Volvo Ocean Race and want a piece of the action, or you might be middle aged and want to cruise up the coast, G&T in hand and retiring disgracefully - the UK’s sail training system caters for all needs and wants in this regard.
Portsmouth – centre of the sailing universe in 2015
The America’s Cup World Series is set to land in Portsmouth in July 2015. The series consists of all the entries to the America’s Cup 35, which will take place in Bermuda in 2017, and will be short course fleet racing of foiling AC45 yachts. These are essentially scaled down versions of the monster AC72’s that captivated the world in San Francisco in 2013, and should provide a brilliant spectacle for established yachties and landlubbers alike.
Many landlubbers drawn to the event will want to learn more, and we’re sure that sailing schools across the UK will have a lot of interest as a result. Explaining to people who want to fly an AC45 at twice the speed of the wind that first they must learn a host of basics from trimming to helming, and then get a lot of experience to even contemplate a foiling Laser let alone a Moth MkII may put a few off, but overall such spectacles are known to draw people in to the sport!
If you’ve been interested in sailing as a peripheral idea, now may well be the time to book before the rush. Take a look at The Boating Hub to get an idea about where you can learn to sail. If nothing else you may have an idea of the terms ‘gybing’, ‘tacking’ and ‘Voyage Made Good’ when the sailing world casts its gaze on Portsmouth later this year.
Click here for Sailing Dinghies for sale on www.BoatsandOutboards.co.uk
Image credits: Volvo Ocean Race Rick Tomlinson/Team SCA
Middle image: http://bit.ly/1r2eCzE