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Learn to Sail returns to Waikawa after international sailing on TV drives up interest

by Dave Hancock 2 Oct 04:33 PDT 3 October 2021
As much time as possible is spent on the water at the Waikawa BC Learn to Sail sessions © Waikawa BC

The America’s Cup, Grand Prix and Olympic sailing has filled our televisions over recent months and there is plenty of interest in learning how to sail to get that most pure of boating experiences.

The Waikawa Boating Club is once again running its learn to sail program in summer 2022. The international racing on television has driven an uplift in enquiries for learning to sail and has prompted the sailing fraternity to get moving on the next training program.

The club’s Rear Commodore of Sailing, David Grigg, is quick to point out that the program is there for all types of sailing. “There are more types of sailing than just racing”, he says.

“While we have a very strong racing club, many of the hundreds of yachts in Waikawa are just out there to enjoy the Sounds. Some are day sailors, while others will go overnight or out for days at a time.”

The seven-week program starts on 3 February and runs every Thursday until 17 March. Participants get assigned to a boat with an experienced skipper and over the weeks, they become familiar with many aspects of sailing.

Jonathan Duffy is leading the Learn to Sail program and has put together the course content. “Safety is paramount and we will cover this first of all, but we get into the hands on fun stuff very quickly”, Jonathan says.

“Knots and winches, sails, navigation, some rules and even dealing with a ‘man over board’ are all covered while we’re on the water.”

As much time as possible is spent on the water but if the weather makes it unsafe or unpleasant to go out, the classroom will move off water and into the clubhouse or still on the boat but staying in the marina.

Anyone interested in learning to sail can find more information on the club website waikawaboatingclub.co.nz/learn-to-sail or by calling 03 573 6798.

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