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.
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.
A little bit about the dinghy we used today: http://www.noblemarine.co.uk/boats/dinghy/Laser-Bahia/
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.