Sailing 101 Crash-course

I was lucky enough to find such a sailing course for dummies, and the best thing is, it’s FREE, which I still could not believe. So, I told this even to Nima in the afternoon, and he decided to come with me immediately. So we rushed our way to HKUST pier to catch up with a group of people there.

The course was co-organized by Hebe Haven Yacht Club, which I believe is a yacht club in Sai Kung.

A little bit about sailing:

Sailing is a sport done as an individual or as a team, with a chief aim of getting from one place to another, purely by harnessing the power of the wind, using a minimum of one sail. Boats vary from size and sail size, according to design. It’s fun, and best of all, you will be able to meet lots of people and enjoy the beauty of the sea at the same time.

I’m going to talk about what we learnt, which involves a lot of terminologies, so in case you have short attention span, just skip the following 3 paragraphs.

So, being a crash-course, the coaches squeezed the content quite well, we basically learnt about the components of a sailing boat, which are helm, main sail, jib(the smaller sail before the main sail), central board (to compensate the wind, without it the boat will go ‘capsize’). We got the chance to operate each of them.

Normally there will be two people operating one boat, the one who take care of the helm is called helm man, who also control the main sail, and the other one control the jib, called crew man.

We also learnt about the sailing direction. Technically we can sail at any direction but the direction the wind comes from, which is called no-sail zone. We practiced by sailing across the wind(namely perpendicular to the direction which wind blows). The term for turning around is called ‘tackling’, which involves turning the helm to make the head of the boat face the direction which wind comes from, and  releasing both main sail and jib, keep the helm until the boat finishes its 180 degree turn then lock the main sail and jib again.

Michael being the helm man. Yeah

We closed our training by a friendly competition.

Here’s the moment we were closed to the ending line, the other boat is leading us by more than one boat bodies, and our coach suggested we go behind them, use their wind to multiple our effect the wind on us. We did so, and won the friendly match by a narrow margin.

Man in red in the picture is Rob, the head coach of the event. He’s really nice, and got a Scottish accent. It’s his fifth summer in Hong Kong.

Nima, Rob and I

A little bit about the dinghy we used today:

It’s been a nice day, and hope tonight’s celebration for Carson’s and Bell’s birthdays at Wan Chai won’t be that crazy.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sophie says:

    awwwwwwwwww I wanted to go but I have accounting quiz that night… so bad! Will there be a sailing 101 course next sem?

    1. Michael Xu says:

      hey Sophie, glad to hear that you are interested in it, i know you love this kind of sports 😀
      don’t worry that you missed this chance, the guy who organized this event is actually planning to start a sailing club in HKUST next semester, and the club will offer some similar courses in the future!! i would like to do them with you!! haha

      btw, you might like to refer to this facebook event

  2. Colin Ho ZH says:

    Hey Michael!
    Glad you had fun!

    Oh man! No credit to the organizer…x[

    1. Michael Xu says:

      haha it's my bad Colin! I should've added 'with much appreciation to the organizer, Mr Colin!!! '! yeah, you've done a great job organizing the course, i love it soo much 😀 best of luck on starting up the new club and i'm definitely interested in the furthur courses & practices!

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