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We can all visualise the huge waves and icebergs of the southern ocean, as Ellen MacArthur encounters in her round-the-world races, and it seems to be a very long way from the calm and glassy look of your local village pond. However it is not as far removed as you might think.

Sailing is a sport that can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone. You need not come from a sailing background as there are plenty of places to learn the basics. You do not even need to own a boat as clubs and centres will provide you with all you need to start with; water, boat, buoyancy aid, and the enthusiasum to start having a go.

Boats come in all shapes and sizes and cater for the fact that people do not come in a standard size, so there will be an option to suit you. Every time you go sailing you will have a unique experience, as the wind strength, direction and all the other weather factors will constantly be changing and challenging you.

If you live in a landlocked area miles from the sea, that is not a problem either as the majority of lakes, reservoirs, and rivers near you will have sailing activities going on. Many venues will have competitive racing fleets as well as offering the option just to go and float around, so once you have mastered the basics there will be plenty of new challenges for you to get your teeth into.

Sailing is one of the few sports where able bodied and disabled people can take part alongside each other. It all comes down to your willingness to give it a go. There is always a method of getting people out on the water, enjoying the feel of the wind in your hair and water lapping beneath you.

How to run/provide sailing

There are 3 ways of running Sailing in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running sailing yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running sailing using an external provider

  3. Activity for adult groups - running sailing for a group entirely of adults

Useful links

The National Governing Body for sailing is:

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