Ever tried sailing?
From 13th - 20th July it’s the Youth Sailing World Championships in Gydnia, Poland. Fourteen of the country’s most promising young sailors, all aged 18 or under, have been selected to represent the British Youth Sailing Team.
Girls: Eleanor Keers (17 – Itchenor Sailing Club) and Faye Chatterton (15 – Waldringfield Sailing Club)
Boys: Haydn Sewell (16 - West Kirby Sailing Club) and Will Heathcote (16 - Royal Lymington Yacht Club)
Girls: Freya Black (17) and Millie Aldridge (18) – HISC/Parkstone Sailing Club
Boys: Ewan Wilson (15 - Wormit Boating Club) and Finley Armstrong (17 - Royal Torbay Yacht Club)
Girls: Matilda Nicholls (17) – ASWC Portland/Aldeburgh Yacht Club
Boys: James Foster (16) – Poole Yacht Club
Girls: Mollie Densley-Robins (18) - WPNSA
Boys: Finn Hawkins (16) - Porthpean Sailing Club
Theo Williams (18) and Jasmine Williams (15) - Restronguet Sailing Club
Heard of Sam Whaley? He and the RYA have allowed us to share this video of him racing a new type of sailing dinghy called a Waszp on Rutland Water. These boats are like small versions of the huge America’s Cup yachts. They go extremely fast and look like they are flying. At the bottom of this article you will also find our interview with Sam too.
Well, it's actually now recognised that sailing and windsurfing help to develop positive characteristics....it’s also really good fun!
You’re free to be in control of your own boat, learning to use the wind and the tide to go faster or slower, as well as in whichever direction you choose. You’ll feel free and distracted from anything that’s bothering you off the water. You’ll meet new friends and learn some great skills.
To give it a go the RYA (the national governing body for sailing and windsurfing) have created OnBoard.
The RYA OnBoard Programme' is an introduction to sailing and windsurfing aimed at 8-18 year olds.
Visit : www.rya.org.uk/onboard and there is a course finder so you can find find a place to sail wherever you are in the UK and no matter how far away from the sea!
'Try Sailing' events, open days and RYA OnBoard Festivals are set to take place throughout the summer, so there’s bound to be one nearby!
Skills you could gain
Becoming more independent has helped 17-year-old, Krishan Bhogal both on and off the water.
Having lost her father in 2014, Nicola Stockdale focussed on her sailing, developing her teaching skills, volunteering as an instructor and devoting more than 500 hours to her local club. The 19-year-old is now considering a career in sailing, with aspirations to become a RYA Yachtmaster™ having found that being part of a team has built her confidence and skills.
So what are you waiting for?! Get OnBoard!
Let’s look after our beaches and oceans to make sure they can continue to be enjoyed.
We Interviewed Sam Whaley:
Sam, how old were you when you first started sailing?
I’ve always been around boats and the sea but properly started learning how to sail and race aged I was actually quite a late starter compared to many other sailors.
Did you enjoy other sports too or did you mainly focus on water sports?
I very quickly fell in love with all sports on and off the water so definitely became way more active. In my mind however I knew sailing was my sport and always was trying to use other sports to somehow make me a better person and sailor.
What kind of boat did you learn on?
I learnt to sail on a Pico dinghy before buying my first Laser. I also was lucky enough to be part of the school sailing team so was able to borrow and race Toppers.
How does that differ from the Laser that you sail on now?
Fundamentally it’s the same skills and experience - just at about half the speed of my Laser!
The Waszp looks more like it’s flying than sailing, is it difficult to control?
Yes and no. The Waszp is an amazing machine and the first time you sail it it’s like a bucking donkey - unpredictable and hard to control. However once you’re used to the boat after a few sails it becomes an incredibly easy and fulfilling boat to sail.
How fast do your boats go?
My Laser usually pootles around at a steady 5-15mph. The Waszp is a bit faster with a top speed of 30mph.
Do you prefer sailing on lakes or the sea?
Both are nice in different ways but surfing waves on the sea is epic fun.
Where is your favourite place to sail?
I love sailing back home in Swanage, or San Francisco for its amazing scenery.
What life skills has sailing taught you?
To work hard, believe in yourself and be self-sufficient.
What are your top tips for kids wanting to learn to sail?
I used to hate sailing when I was younger so just keep persevering and one day it’ll click and be one of the best moments of your life. Try and have fun along the way. Never give up.