There is something addictive about dinghy sailing. That feeling of freedom, of being at one with your sailing dinghy, the wind, and the water …
The 9 year old, skippering her Optimist to a club race win knows the feeling;
A 13 year old Dabchick skipper getting his Dabchick planing for the first time knows the feeling.
Gliding over a lagoon bed, with barely a breath of wind, and no sign of disturbance on the water, watching fish dart around below.
That first awesome scary time out on the trapeze.
A wild wet rush through the breaking wave crests, alternating between airborne and submerged.
Powering across a flat lake, flat out on the trapeze, and the spinnaker drawing perfectly.
Dinghy sailing is a great way to get exercise. An active sailor will get to use all muscles in the course of a day’s sailing; in fact some dinghies will provide more exercise for particular muscle groups.
Using toe straps will strengthen and develop calf and thigh muscles, as well as provide excellent tone to the tummy area. Sheeting in does wonders for the arms.
Although there is no ideal age at which to start sailing, it is commonly recognized that the younger a person starts dinghy sailing the better it is.
Dinghy sailing provides many advantages to people of all ages. Start with self-confidence. Every excursion out onto the water offers a reward of sorts, which manifests in improved self-confidence. From self-confidence poise will be improved, as well as interaction with others. Constant activity within a confined space and frequent frantic bursts of energy will help do away with clumsiness and gawkiness.
It is of course not necessary to participate in high power sailing to reap any kind of benefit. Some are perfectly content to climb into their dinghy and spend the day sailing aimlessly. The interaction with wind and water, and possibly the solitude, provides much needed therapy for over busy minds.
Dinghy sailing allows the individual to perform to the levels they are comfortable with.
Dinghy sailing is suitable for all ages.
Dinghy sailing is suited to persons of all levels of physical ability.
Dinghy sailing does not need to be costly.
Dinghy sailing, in summary, is the universal sport.
© copyright Tony Flanigan 31 December 2012