At the words yacht, yachting, sailing, a picture immediately appears in my head – the warm sea, the sun, snow-white sails, girls in swimsuits and tanned young people in shorts. So it is, if you take a boat on a charter in the summer and go on a cruise along the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, yachting is multifaceted and interesting not only for such trips.
It is difficult to say when a person first used a sail to move on water. Historians cannot give a definite answer to this, but they are inclined to believe that somewhere between the time he began to walk on two legs and the way he invented the wheel. In those days, a sailing ship was, most likely, a raft or a dugout with a skin raised on a pole and was able to reach a speed of a couple of kilometers per hour. Today, NASA engineers consider the shape of the hull and sails of the racing yacht, and the budget of the team participating in international competitions is comparable to the budget of the Formula One team. The speed record for sailing today is more than 60 knots (110 kilometers per hour).
Sailing is interesting and attractive in that people of any age and any material income can do it. On yachts go both children from six years old, and people who retired and exceeded the eighth dozen, workers and large businessmen, politicians and school teachers. Owing to the peculiarities of their hobby, yachtsmen have to be diversified, understand aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, meteorology, tactics, navigation, have good physical shape and be able to work with their hands to eliminate thousands of minor breakdowns that inevitably occur during sailing, and are able to instantly accept the only right solution in difficult situations.
Starting yachting is easy. It is easiest to do this at a young age, enrolling in a sports sailing section. Beginner yachtsmen are taught to walk on small single yachts, conduct both theoretical and physical training classes. In adulthood, you can enroll in a sailing school, of which there are many now, both in Russia and abroad. The school will give practical and theoretical knowledge and, after the exam, will issue a diploma of a yacht captain. If the funds do not allow you to either unlearn at a yachting school, or fly to Greece and rent a yacht, let alone purchase your own, that is, the third and perhaps the easiest way to yachting. It is enough to come in the spring to the yacht club of your city and, looking around, ask for the crew, you only need two hands, a head and a willingness to work. To help with spring repairs on a boat where you don’t have enough hands and in the summer go on a yacht, learn wisdom, participate in races. Hands during the spring preparations for navigation are always lacking on all boats.
Yachting, like other sports and outdoor activities, is divided into many directions and varieties. Cruise and tourist voyages of any length, from one day to several months, amateur and professional regattas, both on large yachts and on single-seat sports, races across the ocean and round-the-world races without calling at ports, scientific expeditions to the most unexpected places, from the Arctic to Antarctica. Hiking is good because you are free to slowly walk in any direction, feel like a sailor of the era of great geographical discoveries, land on any island on your way, explore it and continue on your way. Racing is passion, speed and hard work at the limit of strength. At competitions, you will learn how to work in a team, feel an indescribable sense of excitement when, as a result of your well-coordinated actions, your yacht leaves competitors behind and comes to the finish line first. In the race, the crew and the helmsman have to take into account many factors – weather forecasts, the influence of currents, local changes in the wind at a distance, the actions and mistakes of competitors – not always the shortest way to the finish is the fastest, not without reason sailing is called “chess on the water.”