Sailing is one of the world's most popular sports enjoyed by young and old. It is truly a lifetime sport that offers a huge variety of leisure opportunities for the elite athlete or keen race to those who simply want to sail for fun with the family.
How do I get into sailing?
Your first step is to find a sailing school or club where you can take some lessons or find someone who you can safely go afloat with.
The members of the International Sailing Federation (the Member National Authorities responsible for sailing in each country) around the world should be your first port of call to find out what opportunities there are close to you. They will be able to tell you about local sailing clubs or schools and their national training programme.
There are many holiday companies who offer sailing courses to recognized international standards which can also be a good place to start. It is advisable to check what training programme they are offering.
Having learnt the basics, a lot of people progress into racing. Organised by clubs and classes across your country, racing around a course is a great way to improve your skills and have a lot of fun along the way. For most people racing is not about going to the Olympics, although there are plenty of opportunities for talented youngsters to progress through to top-level competition. Racing at a local sailing club usually involves a variety of classes of boat and a huge range of abilities and experience across a wide age range.
However you get into sailing, the first thing to remember is to have fun and be safe.