How To Get Started In Competitive Sailing

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Most competitive sailors get started out of a genuine love for the sea and the boat. Although it’s certainly not true in all cases, most successful competitors grow up around the water and learn some of their skills early on in life before graduating to advanced techniques and competition. And in order to be competitive, this type of experience is crucial. You can go far on raw talent, but only so far. The true greats in the sport have given their lives to the craft of sailing. They reached a point where they decided that this is what they want to do, and they never looked back.

But beyond those generalities, let’s look at the steps you need to take in order to get involved in competitive sailing.

Step 1: Know your sport. This should go without saying, but the only way to become good enough to join sailing competitions is to know your sport inside and out. First of all, you have to know what you’re doing with the boat. You have to know all the major techniques and schools of thought that underlie the sport, and it’s good to be aware of how others find success. To this end, it can’t hurt to be a follower of professional-level sailing. While it’s not exactly easy to find on TV, there are some obscure cable channels that tend to cover the sport from time to time. Plus, if you live in a sailing area, you can obviously go and be a spectator in person.

Step 2: Get involved. Next, you’re not going to be able to get into competitive sailing if you’re not part of a boating organization. There are many such clubs in sailing hubs throughout the world, so if you live in one of these places, you should have no trouble becoming a member. Then, once you have joined, do some networking. Hook up with others, make friends, and discuss the craft with your sailing compatriots. And don’t forget what a valuable resource the Internet is; there are countless online sailing communities where you can discuss the sport with others.

Step 3: Start competing. Once you’re plugged into your local sailing scene, the opportunities to get competitive will start to present themselves. Some of the opportunities may be directly sponsored by your club, while others will be outside races that you’ll hear about through your club. Whatever the case, if you find success at this level, more opportunities will definitely present themselves.

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