What I love most about sailing

Sailing School students in their Optis under tow.

It’s a question I get asked frequently, and a question that tends to be difficult to answer.

It can be hard to describe a passion and a feeling that you feel with your whole being in a short sentence to a near stranger.

It can also feel like a very vague question that I could answer in a myriad of ways.

The way I look at it, I am a person who was born to coach, to teach, and specifically to teach children.

I am also a person who was born to sail and be outside on the water.

So why do I think I was born to coach? For me, there is nothing that beats that moment when a child finally achieves something that they have been striving so hard to figure out.

In sailing, it happens all the time.

When it finally clicks that a tack is upwind and a gybe is downwind, when they figure out how the wind is working together with their sail, when they are able to sail upwind to a mark in just one tack, anything goes.

Every little thing in sailing can be a huge victory to a child.

Everyone has their own struggles and everyone learns at different paces in different ways.

I love the challenge of figuring out what works best for each and every one of them.

Every new child who comes through the program is a new challenge and has their own story to tell.

I can’t stop sharing my love of sailing with others.

The feeling you get when you are on a boat – there is absolutely nothing like it.

The wind in your face, the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you hike out to flatten your boat.

Sailing is a passion as much as it is exercise and physical fitness.

It is also mentally challenging, pushing you to multitask and think about strategy and how to get where you want to go the fastest way you can.

It is an amazing sport that combines so many things together in one.

I look at some of the older members of the yacht club and hope that when I’m their age, I am still sailing as they are now - especially the ones who still sail dinghies after all these years and still race every Sunday on their Zephyrs.

It’s an inspiration to me.

I hope to continue coaching and continue sharing my passion for sailing with as many people as I can for as long as I can.

My current goal is to get more sailors to stay in sailing without racing.

Many sailors drop out from sailing because they don’t want to race or buy their own boat, which is why I have invented several on-water sailing games and started a Sailing Quidditch League.

We will be continuing through the winter season with our programs for Sailing Quidditch, level two and three, and Race Team training.

Anyone interested can find information on all of our courses at: www.

yacht.

org.

nz/sailingschool, or on our Facebook page: TYPBC – Courses.

You can also check out our Instagram account at: @tauranga.

coach for near daily photos of what’s going on at the Sailing School.

Hope to see you out on the water.

Team racing at TYPBCAt Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club we have many different classes of boats that different sailors and different age groups have chosen to sail.

One class in particular, though, has had a noticeable peak in attendance within the last year or so – the 420 teams.

At the college level of school, kids from Aquinas, Tauranga Boys’ College, Tauranga Girls’ College and Otumoetai have the unique opportunity of competing against each other in Teams Racing in 420 sailboats.

A 420 is a 4.

2m doublehanded sailboat with a jib and a mainsail that can be used for either Teams or Fleet Racing.

In Teams Racing, each school has three boats, and two teams compete against each other at a time.

The goal is for your team to end up with less points than the other team.

Whatever place your boat comes in the number of points that go towards your team for the race, so the higher all three of your boats finish, the less points your team will have.

If your boats place first, second and third, your team finishes with six points and the other team finishes with 15 points (fourth, fifth and sixth) and your team wins the race.

It starts to get more interesting when your team finishes first, third and sixth, giving your team 10 points and the other team 11 points.

In that instance, a single second between boats could make the difference between who wins.

This is a great way of racing sailing, especially for the teenage sailors, because they are competing as a team with strategy and precision.

It is amazing for building teamwork and communication skills, as well as developing special awareness and multitasking capabilities.

Not only that, but it is also excellent fitness.

The boats race around an ‘S’ shaped course that tests their abilities to sail upwind, downwind and reaching.

They must control their speed, and also control the speed of the boats around them in order to help their teammates and slow down their opponents.

It requires great sailing skill and problem solving abilities to be good at team racing.

The intensity and excitement of Teams Racing has shot up greatly within the last year at TYPBC.

Aquinas College has almost three complete teams of six, while Tauranga Boys’ also has almost two full teams, and each of Tauranga Girls’ and Otumoetai have one full team.

In addition, we have had several sailors start Fleet Racing 420s in their spare time.

This means that the number of 420s down at the club has almost doubled within the past year.

We especially appreciate BoPSAT, who saw the rising need for more Team Racing boats, and raised the funding for two brand new 420s that have joined our fleet for schools racing.

We hope to see this enthusiasm continue to grow, and hopefully more schools will join the rush and create their own teams in the future.

Coming up we have the North Island Regionals at Taupo from March 18-20, and to end off the season the NZ Teams Racing Nationals in Algies Bay will be from April 21-27.

Good luck to all of the competitors from the Bay of Plenty.


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