Sailing as an after-school sport

Published on December 5th, 2023

by Joe Cooper, WindCheck Magazine
One of several remarks I make to the assembled throng, at the first meeting of the Prout Sailing Team, usually in late February, has to do with the amount of time sailing takes up. I mention this in concert with the admonition to use our time on the water wisely.

The background to these remarks has to do with the proposition that generally sailing is not the kind of sport where you can come home from school and head out to the backyard, street, park or YMCA and “practice.”

By and large, every other sport allows such after-hours practice and/or goofing around. Given how touch- and feel-centric sailing is, this is a serious drag on a new sailor’s ability to develop the requisite skills, simply in the senses that sailing uses. Pitch, roll, yaw, a sailor’s response to puffs and lulls, waves, other boats or objects including marks (moorings), land, and so on.

OK, I know you may go home and read the theory, the Racing Rules of Sailing, watch videos and so on, but while book learning for sailing is a help, it really does not substitute for being in the boat. Tiller time is King (one of my Coop’isms on the t-shirt). – Full report

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