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why learn to sail

Why learn to sail

We have all heard the old adage that there are 3 different types of people, the ones that make things happen, the ones that watch things happen and, the ones that wonder what happened.

The truth is, you won't make it to the initial group without getting a little bit of instruction and having self discipline. Being positive and having the ability to get things done needs to become a habit - learning to sail is an excellent way for you to develop that habit.

Learning to sail hasn't really been included in the sports offering in most South African schools. Boys are usually directed to cricket, rugby, soccer and hockey while girls generally play hockey, tennis and netball. Having said that, a very good point to raise is how many of us keep participating in these school sports after we leave school?

Worldwide, obesity is on the rise and as a people, South Africans are becoming more overweight. learning to sail rather than watching sport on TV is a fantastic way of becoming healthier and stronger. For a parent or guardian, one of the best gifts you could give your youngster is introducing them to a sport that they wants to do for the remainder of their life, particularly when that sport isn't just healthy, but also eco-friendly and teaches important life lessons, as learning to sail does.

Sailing really is a cradle to grave activity. Some individuals are, actually, born on boats while others keep sailing well into their 80s. Long term friendships evolve from common interests - it's really common for buddies to remain sailing with each other for 40 years and more.

Sailing as a sport, hobby or profession

In several ways, being on the water is the ultimate freedom. There aren't any speed limits - you are able to go as quickly as your skill and the weather conditions permits - and, if you aren't racing on a set course, there aren't many reasons why you ought to head in any direction other than the one you feel like at the time. For a kid or adolescent still too young to hold a car driver's licence, the responsibility associated with steering and being in command of a boat without adult guidance; is empowering, liberating and a wonderful way of developing quickly.

Many individuals that learn to sail never race, using a yacht as a means to discover coastlines and harbours, or perhaps crossing oceans, instead. For people who want to compete, the Olympics, Americas Cup and Volvo Ocean Race may very well be some of their ultimate sailing goals.

Sailing - Professionally

There are many work opportunities available for girls and boys around the globe for those seeking to follow a career or gap year which will provide them with an outdoor lifestyle, excitement and travel prospects.  Learning to sail dinghies is often the first step in their sailing careers.

Sailing - an environmentally friendly sport

Sailors are generally in tune with their surroundings - the consequences of climate change, pollution, etc. tend to be more apparent on the ocean than on a sports field. There's no greater thrill than being powered by nature's elements. Whilst it's essential that we have young adults that carry the environmental torch, you'll also have more and more prospects for Green entrepreneurs - by learning to sailing, youngsters are often more mindful of the challenges, the need to deal with them and potential to make a career along the way.

Sailing's life lessons

Lessons that you can learn while enjoying being out on the water learning to sail include:

Decision making

Good sailors realize that the quicker you make a decision, the quicker you are able to correct it if it's shown to be incorrect. A decision could mean choosing a specific side of the race course, deciding to set an alternative sail, maybe tinkering with each person performing various roles on the boat.

In business, it is usually simpler for a manager to prevent a new project than have the courage to sign it off - you're less likely to get dismissed for keeping things as they are than attempting a new challenge. Needless to say, this strategy leads to the organization stagnating and, ultimately becoming uncompetitive - the manager will most likely wind up becoming redundant in any case.

In addition, many managers don't objectively monitor the outcome of their decisions. In contrast, a good sailor will be keeping track of their progress to ascertain if a specific choice had a positive or negative result. Adjusting to being proven wrong and taking quick corrective action is a beneficial life skill.


Sailing is a sport of reducing errors as opposed to brilliance. You need to manage your equipment and crew, make the most efficient use of the weather and wind shifts and utilize the surf and currents to your benefit. It's extremely intricate and rewarding as a result. Having the strength of mind to realize when you've made an error and to recover from it, without going into a panic and altering everything that brought you good results previously, will stand you in good stead for life, which is inevitably tough and confusing.

A significant part of sailing is that you simply cannot just stop when you're tired or the weather is unfavourable or rough. Youngsters who are only ten get caught in strong winds and they're forced to opt to cope with it or have a thoroughly unpleasant time. The majority elect to make the best of the situation and in actual fact learn to thrive on pushing their boundaries of stamina and accomplishment.

Leadership, teamwork and communication

Boats are extremely confined spaces. Dependant upon the size and focus of the yacht, there may be anything from 1-30 crew aboard - understandably, getting large crews to function together calls for leadership. Furthermore, the confined space means that you have to work with other personalities which may not gel well with yours - you can't simply overlook the problem.

Victorious sailing crews have well defined roles and clear communication as to what will take place next. Not everybody has a leadership role and not everyone plays a part in each decision. Part of the team is in charge of ensuring the yacht heads in the decided on path while others make certain that each manoeuvre is carried out properly. The important thing is that people are empowered to perform their tasks, they understand how they contribute to the overall objective, and they're in a position to offer suggestions to allow the entire team to learn and improve.

In "real life", it's vital that you have the ability to move in and out of leadership roles - at times you will call the shots, in other cases you're part of the team implementing the decisions.

Theewater Sailing Academy provides a variety of different sailing lessons and sailing experiences, targeted at different groups of sailors and people wanting to learn to sail.

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