Getting involved in Sailing
As detailed in the history of competitive sailing, the sport is typically seen as available solely to the more privileged end of society. This is perpetuated by the snobbery and nepotism that exists in many holiday summer sailing clubs. The truly competitive elements of the sport are slowly eradicating this problem, but a strong stigma still exists within the sport.
Clubs and governments are working together to try and get more people involved in the sport and to make the benefits available to people who may not normally get the opportunity to experience it. Sailing courses for children that can cost from one to two hundred pounds per week are being encouraged to offer subsidised places and free sessions as part of community schemes organised by local governments to encourage young people to exercise.
Once a young and experienced sailor, the next step is to try and gain experience as an assistant instructor. This will allow you to gain more experience and privileges at the club.
Sailing in the UK
There are hundreds of sailing clubs in the UK. These range from small village clubs, which have an area of water and few boats, to larger organisiations such as those at certain universities, which own a significant fleet and are represented at international level. There is even a gay sailing association.
The main purpose of any club should be to promote sailing at all levels, this is done by organising social events, providing relatively cheap use of equipment and having regular races. A comprehensive list of all the country’s active clubs can be found at UKSail.com. A list of the major events in the UK is detailed in the Current Sailing Events section.