Sailing in Japan, China, America or Switzerland, it matters not, just as with any sport sailing requires training. To become a safe and competent sailor we need to train ourselves to understand each of the aspects of sailing associated with the kind of sailing we wish to follow. It could be dinghy sailing, sports boat sailing, keel boat racing or cruising or even joining the ranks of the off shore racing sailors.
Here in Japan we are very fortunate as we have many sailing clubs, suppliers and JSAF ready to help with out training. Although I only began sailing recently in 2008 I am happy to say I achieved my sailing dream. I can say Mark Smith of Japan is an Off Shore Double Handed Yacht Racer. The training I received has come from here in Japan.
To be able to achieve my dream in such a short time means I have had to focus. I enjoy racing with other sailors around inshore courses marked with buoys but I am not trained to be good at it. I love sailing dinghies and don’t go swimming to often, I even enjoy quite cruising on bigger yachts around Japan’s many incredible waterways but my heart and focus are firmly set on Short Handed Ocean Racing.
To be a safe and competitive ocean racer means training in many theories. You will need to be able to handle your boat, navigate using charts and instruments, predict weather using government and private weather services, understand how to start a stalled auxiliary diesel engine, obtain a license and know how to use a VHF radio, understand the basics of on boars electronics, obtain and become good at emergency first aid.
At sea you must learn to look after yourself. Where did I receive all my training, sailing clubs, Sailing suppliers and JSAF. They are waiting to help you too.