Why Sailing?

Why Sailing?

Why enroll your child in sailing or why continue enrolling your child in sailing programs? Sailing is more than just a hobby, it is a competitive Olympic sport that requires muscle strength, endurance/agility, cardiovascular fitness, mental wellness, relaxation, concentration and communication. Sailing can lead to high school sailing, college sailing or something even more! Also, HYC’s Summer Camps have competitive prices compared to other clubs and sports.

Sailing can be relaxing, but hoisting and trimming in the sails, hiking and roll tacks or jibes all require muscle strength and endurance. Also, pulling on the lines and having to move quickly in the boat can increase your child’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills.

The American Heart Association says “that in order to improve cardiovascular health, people should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.” Improving cardiovascular health can help reduce the risk of hypertension, obesity and other heart illnesses. Sailing is definitely a cardio sport; there are days where I burn 4000 calories just from sailing for three hours!

It has been said that being near the sea air and water can make you calmer and improve your mental well-being. Researchers have said, “Minerals in the sea air reduce stress; negatively charged ions in the sea air combat free radicals, improving alertness and concentration; salt in the water preserves tryptamine, serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain, which aid in diminishing depression or increasing your overall sense of wellness; and research has demonstrated that the sounds of waves alter the brain’s wave patterns, producing a state of relaxation.” Fortunately sailing requires water, so calmness and mental well-being will follow.

Concentration, communication and the use of science and math are key in sailing. You have to have the concentration in order to plan your next attack on the race course or you have to focus on your sails to make sure they are trimmed correctly for the next wind line. You have to be able to communicate to your crew or to your skipper what the next maneuver will be and where you will be heading to next. If you are not working as a team and communicating properly, you will not be able to get anywhere. Finally sailing is more than just who can be the strongest, you have to be a scientist and mathematician as well. You have to be able to read the wind, clouds and weather patterns to determine what side of the course you will be sailing on. You have to calculate your moves and angles to the wind to make sure you are not sailing too far away from your next mark.

Many people think sailing is expensive and for only the “elite”. I can easily show that this is not true. Our camps run at $33/day for our half-day camp; while (for half-day as well) baseball and football camps run at $50/day, lacrosse $95/day, basketball $40/day and field hockey and soccer at $31/day. So that goes to show that sailing camps are affordable even when compared to other sports.

These items listed above show that sailing does not only provide an exciting experience, but it offers a lot of positive benefits to your child’s mental and physical health at an affordable rate. Sailing can take your child anywhere! It can lead your child to getting into a certain university or getting a position in the sailing industry once graduating. I know sailing has taken me all around the United States and the Islands for regattas (and soon Europe), I have been able to take part in the Magenta Project’s Marstrom 32 clinic, win the Hinman Trophy for US Sailing Team Race Champs, train with some of the top sailors and coaches and I know there will be many more exciting events and opportunities to come! So send your child to sailing camp and see his/her future unfold.



Arielle Darrow
HYC Sailing Director


American Heart Association Recommendation for Physical Activity for Adults. American Heart Association, 2014, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/ FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WKMW63eZPVo. Accessed 1 February 2017.

Suval, Lauren. Water’s Psychological Benefits, 2014, https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/ 2014/04/18/waters-psychological-benefits/. Accessed 1 February 2017.