Sailing has historically been seen as an exclusive sport, the sole domain of the well-heeled, but SA Sailing Western Cape is fast changing this with numerous outreach and training programmes creating opportunities for all. And this year’s Boat Show is an ideal opportunity to get started.
Aspirant sailors will be able to try their hand under the expert tuition of experienced trainers in the sheltered space of the V&A Waterfront Marina. Children – and adults – will be able to take control of a small dinghy and learn how Mother Nature can provide all the power needed for an enjoyable outing on the water. Life jackets are provided but come in clothing suitable for the occasion.
SA Sailing Western Cape is a non-profit organisation and the custodian of the sport in the Western Cape. It comprises of a number of disciplines for example – single hull, multi-hull, keel, kiteboarding and windsurfing – but it is very common for sailors to participate in more than one. In addition to being on the water there are various support functions where those seeking more secure footing can assist, such as bridge duties, safety, results, registration, marketing, fundraising and administration to name a few.
SA Sailing (National Body) as well as SA Sailing Western Cape have a key focus on high performance, with the aim of ensuring sailors capable of participating in the Olympic Games. But there are various other initiatives in place.
Youth sailors who begin sailing in the Optimist Class have an exciting opportunity to participate in and become an ambassador for the sport, for our region and beautiful South Africa. This initiative, created and sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport a number of years ago as a Cultural Exchange Programme, has seen seven very successful legs of the Exchange take place already. We now have many Western Cape sailors who have been fortunate to represent our region and make life-long friends with Chinese, Russian, New Zealander, Australian and Polish colleagues. The alternate leg of the exchange welcomes sailors and support staff from the very beautiful Qingdao in China’s Shandong Province in April each year (Easter weekend) to participate in our Western Cape Provincial Championship Regatta.
So use the upcoming Cape Town International Boat Show to get your feet wet in the sport and come on down to the SA Sailing jetty. For more information go to Facebook/sailing.org.za