MY FIRST SAILING LESSON

MY FIRST CUTTER SAILING LESSON

No more choice!Now that I bet I’d solo sail in six months, I have to stick to it.While some seem rather sceptical about this challenge, I am reassured to see that the entire Tribord team believes in and encourages me.Now, all I have to do is...

THE SURPRISE

Oh!What a disappointment. While I was dreaming of being at the helm of a large boat, I found myself confronted with an SL 15.5 catamaran.Like little boys who want to drive big trucks, I've always wanted to stand at the helm of a big ship!

I had a lot of preconceptions about sailing boads and thought they were for kids...probably leftover from my one and only experience on a sailing boad when I was 8, which served to drown my enthusiasm! But I wasn’t going to be discouraged, and with Unaï at my side the lesson would at least be fun. He had just one bit of advice:"You have to teach her the points of sail, but you can make her choke on it a bit”!

My first lesson on a catamaran SL 15.5

WHAT I THOUGHT VS.WHAT I EXPERIENCED

That you needed years of experience to have any fun!

TOTALLY UNTRUE! I had an amazing afternoon and went home exhausted but really happy. You only need to understand a few concepts to be autonomous on a light sailing boad, and quickly get to the point where things get fun and exciting. The boat reacts faster to manoeuvres so it's a good opportunity to try things out and see how it works. Everything feels faster when you’re that close to the water; I felt like I was shooting across it at the slightest breeze.In short, it’s a great way to get started, and having seen Unaï & Margot in their lesson, it can be a lot of fun for more advanced sailors too!

 

That I was going to fall in!

On a "small sailing boad" I thought I would easily fall into the water because the boat is less stable.WRONG! Well… TRUE, you can fall into the water easier on a light sailing boad, but it’s all part of the fun. Catamaran hulls are light, the slightest action from the wind on the sails can lift the boat, and you feel every little mistake right away - so be careful not to capsize!Capsizing isn’t rare though, it’s a step in the learning process: learn to capsize and right your boat!

 

That small boats aren’t as fun as big ones!

And there you go, all my prejudices blown away, it's just not the same thing!The sensations are not the same, the "fun" is not the same.I came back from sailing completely thrashed, literally and figuratively, but it was great to learn so much and I really appreciated the moment.Why go for a lightweight sailing boad or a regular cruising sailing boad?

Capsizing on a catamaran

CAPSIZING, WHAT AN EXPERIENCE

Thanks Unaï, you helped me master back flips! I was rather apprehensive when told I would have to learn to capsize, but I think they found the solution:Unaï flipped the boat without telling me he was going to.So I was able to perform my best back flip... 6 times in a row!I should have known, since he's 15 and was told he could make me choke on it, that he wouldn’t go easy on me.The first swamping I was a bit worried because I did not know what to expect but once my head was out of the water, everything was alright:It's really just a dive in the water!In the end the hardest thing was getting back on the boat, since you’ve got to lift your hips out of the water (not super easy). Thanks to Unaï and his desire to drown me I got to work on my style for getting back on board - I'm somewhere between a drenched seal and a lost salmon!

MY FIRST SAILING LESSON

What an afternoon! Even if it’ll take me some time to remember all the vocabulary, I learned the essentials. After a few hours I was more comfortable at the helm:I got a feel for the play between the sails and the bar to maximise speed.Even if all my attempts did not work out, understanding something and putting it into action is not at all the same thing. It was a good start for my challenge.I know the points of sail, understand the wind better, and can’t wait till next time to learn some manoeuvres!

MY ADVICE FOR GETTING STARTED

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