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             25 February, 2021

Category:  Articles » Travel & Leisure » Cruising Sailing


Sailing - The Highs of Sailing

         Views: 1998
2006-12-11 23:53:43     
Article by Ong Kok Keong

Some friends are amazed that I still sail every weekend. These questions were thrown at me all the time. Is sailing complicated? Is sailing fun.? Is sailing intense? Is sailing expensive?

Sailing looks complicated because there seems to be a spaghetti of ropes that you have to deal with. Actually, when you are on the water, the only rope you need to deal with is the main sheet. The rest of the ropes can remain in their positions without the sailor fiddling with it. The intense racer will of course need to adjust these during the course of the race.

The other part of the dinghy that a newbie had to deal with is the rudder which is attached to the tiller extension. The rudder controls the movement of the dinghy. Assuming that the wind is blowing into the bow (front of the dingy) and you are on port side (left side of the dinghy). Pushing the tiller away from you will cause the dinghy to turn to the left. Conversely, pulling the tiller towards you will cause the dingy to turn to the right. It is very different from driving. It takes some practice to internalize this.

The sea is unlike the highway where congestion can build up quickly. The sailor can have the freedom to sail without having to worry running into other dinghy of boats. On the water, it is just the sailor and the elements. In Singapore, sailing in the east coast, there are occasional water sprouts forming. These water sprouts are less than a metre high and last for less than a minute. Getting hit by these water sprouts really gives you a real kick.

When the weather is fine, light winds and the waters are not choppy. You can stop the dinghy and just enjoy drifting aimlessly in the vast open waters. You feel at one with the elements. These are rare moments of solitary solace away from the hustle of the maddening city. Just dangle your feet over the dinghy and enjoy the solitude.

Sailing can be very intense if you are racing in a regatta. The tension is bow tight as you jostle for a advantageous slot in the start line. Getting off first means not being disturbed by the dirty winds behind. Sailors need to be focused and tactically sound in order to maintain their lead or gain positions patiently. Knowing the rules of the race is important so that you can present your case when there is a protest.

In SAFYC (Singapore Armed Forces Yacht Club), you can charter the Laser for as little as S$10 for half a day. You have many choices of crafts for charter, Optmist, Laser, 420s, Laser Byte, Laser2, Hobie and Nacra.

URL: http://www.singaporesailing.com
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