How to...get in to sailing

RYA how to get in to sailing
RYA how to get into sailing yacht
RYA, 22 July 2011
If you’re looking for a hobby that takes you out into the great outdoors, leaving the stresses of life behind, immersing yourself in a mixture of fresh air and pure adrenaline rush, then sailing is the sport for you!

As with all outdoor sports, being in the elements is a great way to take exercise, meet new people and relax on some of the UK’s nicest rivers, lake and coastal waters.

How do I get into sailing?
Sailing is accessible to everyone regardless of age and ability, but it’s always best to get tuition!  The Royal Yachting Association is the national governing body for sailing in the UK, providing an easy and safe route to learn and progress confidently in the sport. With over a 1000 training centers and clubs, there is bound to be a training center near you!

All RYA Courses are progressive, providing a pathway from complete beginning to the more advanced sailor - something for everyone! Most courses are taught in small groups, but some center’s offer more personal 1 to 1 tuition. 

If you have never been sailing before, the two day RYA Start Sailing Course provides the perfect introduction. You’ll soon have a grasp on the basics of boat handling, which will enable you to sail upwind, downwind and turn around using both tacks and gybes.

What kit do I need?
One of the many fantastic things about learning at an RYA Training Centre is that all the equipment is provided, all you need to bring is something to wear under a wetsuit and a pair of shoes you can where in the water, it couldn’t be easier!

Kit and cost, once you’re a bit more competent
Once you’ve got the sailing bug it’s time to look for your own boat……..Do you like sailing on your own in a single hander or are you a more sociable person and prefer a bigger dinghy that needs a crew or two?

It’s always best to take a few courses first before buying all the equipment, so you have a good idea about what you enjoy and then speak to your instructor, they will be able to give you advice and help you make the right decision. If you want to take it one step at a time, it might be nice to join a club, hire a boat and have your own personal equipment, such as a buoyancy aid and wetsuit, before making the bigger leap of buying your own boat.

Health benefits
Sailing offers a great alternative to the gym, not only do you get to exercise in the fresh air, it’s a great all body workout and it’s really sociable!
Sailing’s not just for the super fit either; however it is a good idea to have a reasonable amount of flexibility to enable you to move around the boat.

Once hooked on the adrenaline rush of this fantastic sport, there is a whole world to discover. The UK has a great network of Clubs offering racing most weekends and a fantastic social scene! Although it sounds scary at first, its great fun, the fitness benefits are unlimited and beginners are always welcome…..and don’t forget the club bar welcoming you at the end of the day!

See you on the water!

Further details on RYA courses available and where to find your nearest club or center, visit the RYA’s website: www.rya.org.uk  

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